I debated which blog to post this on, but after much deliberation (with myself), I decided this is the place. I’m not even sure I would have bothered writing this post, but Shelley asked on Facebook when I was going to post about it, so I decided to pander to my fans. (I must pause for a break while my minions fan me with palm branches and rub my feet. Celebrity really is a bore.)
Several weeks ago, a friend put out the word that she and her roommate were going to train to run a 5K race in April. They invited anyone who wanted to join them. I thought that I might do the race with them, but I didn’t really need to train for it because a normal daily exercise routine for me often involves walking/jogging between the equivalent of a 10K or 15K. A 5K is a piece of cake, but no way will I ever be able to run a full 3.1 miles without having to take walking breaks.
I’m not a runner, after all.
I’ve been telling myself that for a long time. At one point, my knees were my excuse. I have, in layman’s terms, floating kneecap syndrome. It’s something a person is born with and the only thing one can do about it is strengthen the muscles around the kneecap to hold it in place. Basically, the tendons are too loose and the kneecap moves out of place. It isn’t debilitating, but it does cause some pain. Running was out of the question, but I could walk fast and far, so I did.
Then one day, I felt like trying to run. And I did. Not far. Not fast. But I ran. Over time, I began running more and more. I was afraid to tackle the uphill parts of my route, but I ran where the sidewalk lay flat and where it sloped down a hill.
My path was not marked. The only time I measured my distance, it was one lap around the lake we’ve trained at for the past two weeks. That was .6 miles and it wore me out. So, I had no idea how far I’d actually run in one stretch on my own. I still don’t.
Last Sunday was my first foray into the 5K training. I decided to run as much as I could and walk if I had to. The women I was with wanted to run twice around the lake (1.2 miles). I joined them and ran the entire distance. I could have run farther, but they were done and I didn’t want to push myself.
Yesterday, the goal was three laps (1.8 miles). We reached it and my friend M wanted to keep going, at least one more lap. That would make 2.4 miles. I went for it. I did it. It felt wonderful.
The best part is that I know I could have made it the last .7 miles for a full 5K, running all the way.
It’s time to stop saying “I’ll never” and “I can’t.” Because I will and I can.