Truth be told, I've never been much of a "runner". While my friends were off running track in high school, I could usually be found up on the tennis court flirting with boys in my short skirt and favorite orange and green Nikes. Even when it came to exercise, I demanded that there be some sort of social component. But part of me has always envied those joggers as I sat at the stoplight, sipping my Starbucks, watching them run in place while impatiently waiting to cross the intersection. And each time we would cheer on my brother-in-law in his latest marathon, part of me would think, I could do this! Even though I get winded after walking up three flights up stairs, I COULD complete 26.2 miles without any body parts breaking and/or falling off. And because I also tend to be a bit lazy, I also thought, And you know what? I probably wouldn't even have to train that much!
So when my Brother-in-law announced his intention to run the Surf City half marathon, I jumped at the chance to do the 5k. I mean, everyone's got to start somewhere, right? I formulated my training plan, bought that thing that holds your iPod on your arm and the only flattering pair of runners shorts this side of the Mississippi. I even purchased a choke chain so my unsociable German Shepard could train at my side without traumatizing every cat and small dog in the neighborhood. I. Was. Ready.
But then something strange happened. It began to RAIN in Southern California. And for those of you familiar with the weather patterns out here, you know how rare it is to get more than a few inches per year, let alone a few inches per storm. And by the time it finally stopped, my 5k training schedule, much like that show, Conveyor Belt of Love, was just a distant memory.
So, on race day, I decided to do what I do best-fake my way through it. I pushed away the memory of getting winded walking to the registration tent the day before and did my best impersonation of someone who knew how to stretch their muscles by lifting my leg repeatedly. And with my iPod firmly secured on my arm and bib fastened on my shirt, I was pretty damn sure that no one knew my secret. That I was going to FAIL MISERABLY.
Well, except for my husband. I didn't miss the small smirk on his face as we ran in place waiting for the race to start. After all, I was the one who dragged him over to the "Twelve minute Mile and WALKERS" section. And at the time, I mistakenly thought they were referring to people WITH walkers, not people walking.
Although I literally did not jog ONE STEP before the day of the race, I did finish, thanks to my plan to WOG. (walk and jog, emphasis on WALK.) And while I will admit to *thinking* about taking the kids 1 mile U turn because my lungs felt as if they would collapse, I didn't do it. Even though my end time was a completely shiteous 38 minutes, a part of me was really proud of myself. Because as I heaved and gasped did that arm thing that people on The Biggest Loser do when they're forced to run a mile on the first show, I knew that all my humiliation would provide excellent blog material!
YOU KNOW IT'S TIME TO HANG UP YOUR RACING BIB WHEN:
1. An overweight guy wearing jorts and Converse passes you like you're standing still.
2. When you stop all conversation around you by shouting that your going to "kick all the people with walkers asses" at the start line. (Note to self: take headphones off before speaking!)
3. When Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga just aren't providing the inspiration you've hoped they would.
4. When you realize that if you double the time it took you to run the 5k, it almost equals your brother-in-laws's HALF-MARATHON finish time.
5. When you dramatically tell your husband to "save himself" at the two mile marker when you realize a nine-year old just lapped you.
6. When you are unable to bend your legs for THREE DAYS after completing a 3.2 mile wog.
See you in April at the Seach Beach 5k! Hopefully this time I'll actually break in my running shoes before hitting the course!