It is a well-known fact of those who know me, even those that barely know me, that I am not athletically inclined at all. I’ve never played a sport, not even in elementary school. I was horrible at dance. And I don’t even swim in the pool or ocean EVER. The only thing I have ever been somewhat good at is yoga, and that’s because I’m flexible and I can develop strong core muscles when I’ve been practicing for a while (which I’m not doing now, so I guess I’m not even good at yoga. sigh.).
But as I entered my 30s, I learned something real quick: my usually high metabolism which had kept me lean and thin my whole life allowing me to eat whatever I wanted, whenever had suddenly slowed down. Way down. Like in order to keep my weight the same, I was going to have to start exercising.
I didn’t want to join a gym and yoga can get expensive to go all the time, so I took to what I thought would be easy and was definitely free: running.
Yes, running is free and we can all do it (though not all with grace or skill, something else I seem to lack), but you know what? Running sucks. I really have no idea why people do it at all. It’s boring, it’s painful, it’s too hot or too cold, it gets all your parts jiggling for the whole damn town to see why you run around trying to look cool and oh-so-in-shape.
Well, last summer, I ran and I ran. I ran all the way to a 10k and did better than I thought (meaning I didn’t quit or die). My body looked better than I had seen it in years, so that kept me going, and I will admit that I liked the way I felt after a run. But then school started and I got busy and just stopped. Along with my muscles slipping away so did my desire to run.
Until about a month ago when my friend, colleague, and reader’s group member asked me to be in our city triathlon for the running portion. I agreed, thinking this would be a great way to motivate me to start running again this summer. It’s only a 5k, and I had no doubt I would do just fine.
Until today, 9 days before the actual race and I finally have begun to train. I thought I’d run while I was in Tahoe, but the altitude really kicked my ass and besides, lying around the lake was so much more fun.
My run today sucked. I probably ran a mile and stopped three times to catch my breath or clutch my side, which was painfully cramping. I looked like some weird animal trying to run as well–kind of like a giraffe or some other kind of animal that is not graceful at all, even with the beautiful African sunset in the background. Well, that lame animal is me. It’s so pathetic.
I hate that I am going to have to run–everyday–just to run in this upcoming triathlon. My goal, at this point, is not to win (actually, that has never been a goal of mine), nor to improve my time. My one goal now is NOT TO MAKE AN ASS OF MYSELF. To finish. To not stop and walk. To not embarrass my teammates.
I have learned, however, that the first day is the worst, so today I’m thankful that my first, terribly painful, embarrassing, feeling like the most out of shape person is over!
And I’m also thankful for Christine, my old babysitter and now dear friend, who is in town and staying with me so she can be close to her awesome boyfriend, who has agreed to watch my kids for FREE so I can train everyday. She also keeps baking cupcakes, which is going to cancel out all my work, but oh well. Christine is still the best in my eyes.