It occurred to me halfway through my five-miler at Boston’s Run to Remember on Sunday that it is my one-year runniversary. On May 28, 2011, I ran the Chick fil-A 5K in Newport News, Va., after Hubby signed me up on a whim (there were fuzzy cows involved). Prior to that, I hadn’t run since high school. My sports teacher would likely say I never “ran” at all.
I would like to think that this inaugural 5K sparked in me a deep love and passion for the sport and uncovered an innate athletic talent waiting to be nurtured …
It didn’t do that.
What it did do was plunge me into a brave new world of weekend runcations, early starts, thermal tights, bibs, T-shirts, medals, coconut water, run snobs, compression socks, hills, GPS watches, chia seeds, beer, and weird granola bars. It gave me a physical challenge greater than anything I could have envisioned. It also inspired me to write this blog.
Running will always be a struggle for me, thanks to my loser asthmatic lungs, but I am getting better. A year ago I could barely run a block. Today I can do 10 kilometers. It’s not pretty, and sometimes (OK all the time) I scowl and swear, and occasionally I want to ditch the whole thing (my 5K to Couch program), but I can do it.
Since May 2011, I have completed 35 races in five states (plus one in Australia). I have accumulated more T-shirts than I will ever need, and am this close to starting my own line of safety pin jewelry on the side. I have bought three pairs of running shoes and more Lululemon items than I care to admit. I have amassed a ridiculous collection of medals, a few of which are actually useful. I’ve sent money in the direction of numerous charities and watched my formerly non-exercising Hubby turn into a half-marathon demon.
This year’s 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge has added yet another new dimension to my life.
Most importantly, and although you may not believe it if you were to catch a glimpse of me mid-run (grimacing, crimson-faced, gasping for air), I don’t recall ever having so much fun.
The Run to Remember
My anniversary run (and No. 23 in the challenge) was Boston’s Run to Remember, which honors Massachusetts law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, and benefits Community and kids programs of the Boston Police Runner’s Club.
It was a huge event, with 9,000 or so runners, held in the midst of a perfect Memorial Day long weekend. I did the five-miler and Hubby the half. Savvy readers will recall that the last time I ran five miles was in March, so I was a little out of practice. (Some might say this is a permanent state for me.)
During the past couple of 5Ks, I had refocused my energies on running the whole way (again). I thought there was no way in heck I could do a full five miles without walking, but I kept a steady pace and met up again with my old friend Endurance, who I guess had been on vacation. Together, we rocked, and almost managed to run all the hills. I know the prevailing wisdom is that longer distances afford you more time to get into a rhythm, but I always thought longer just equaled more opportunity for red-faced humiliation. Maybe not …
My progress may be slow (sometimes it goes in reverse), but I’ve come a long way in 12 months.
Twenty-three runs down, 29 to go.
The event: Boston’s Run to Remember
The location: Boston
The date: May 27, 2012
My time: 52.49 (10.34 – two seconds faster than last week’s 5K pace!)
Hubby’s time: 1.41.12 (pace 7.44)
The shirt: White short-sleeved cotton
The cause: Community and kids programs of the Boston Police Runner’s Club
The aftermath: Bananas, granola bars, bagels, potato chips