Running the Good Race

Earlier this evening, I not only completed a 5K run, I lived to tell about it.

It was actually more of a walk-run, and my time, 43:08 minutes, was not terrific except…it was for me. I do not have a runner’s body. I’m on the short side to begin with, and my legs are even shorter than they ought to  be. My internal climate control is set for cool and moist, as in the Auld Sod. If the temperature had been over 75º, or it had been more humid, I would never have tried this.

However, the weather cooperated and it was  65º with a light breeze when the race started. The course was mostly downhill, and I managed, to my compete astonishment, to run about  80% of the time during the first mile.  I had started to walk as we approached the eighth block, but in the nick of time I spotted Walking Partner and her husband watching from our corner and managed to resume running before they saw me.

I made it to the Mile 1 marker without either passing out or dying in only 12 minutes! {gasp gasp}

I was pretty impressed with this, because back in the day (pre-kid, pre-additional 20 pounds) I didn’t do much better.

Mile 2, however, made me wonder what I had been thinking when I signed up. I slowed to a walk for about 80% of that stretch, and I was severely, severely tempted to either cut across the park and head back prematurely, or just give up and call someone from home to come get me.

I got through it only by telling myself the important thing was to finish, my time didn’t matter, and that already I had done better than the 3 mph I do when I walk the same course. When I reached the 2nd mile marker, my elapsed time was only 27 minutes! This cheered me greatly.

I had only another 1.1 miles to go {puff puff puff} so I gave myself a few more “I can do this!” pep talks. In Hoyt Park, one of the race volunteers handed me a cup of lukewarm water.

Never has lukewarm water tasted so good.

I got through the last mile by running for short stretches and walking for much longer ones. The last hundred yards or so went down the hill that was flooded in July. Even though I was feeling a bit queasy by that point, I did notice that there were still some ephemeral ponds in the woods even after our spell of hot, dry weather.

A few yards from the finish line, the queasiness vanished when I discovered I had a cheering section composed of Wisconsin State Senator Jim Sullivan and a whole passel of Sullivan for Senate volunteers. In the spirit of full disclosure, Older Son put them up to it; he has been volunteering in the Senator’s campaign and also ran the 5K, finishing many minutes ahead of me. But still, it was nice to be cheered on by a politician for a change.

The cheering section also made me doubly glad that I’d not only persevered, but that I’d pushed myself hard enough so that I didn’t embarrass Older Son in front of his friends by being the absolute last one in. (Update: I just looked up the results online: I came in ahead of 12 other people, about half of whom were in their 30s!  Yesssss!)

© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Seasonal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Running the Good Race

  1. Mike Starr says:

    Good for you… I could do a 5K walk but as far as running more than 50 ft, I suspect that’d be out of the question.


  2. Anne M Leone says:

    Good for you for trying AND finishing! What an impressive accomplishment! And I love that even a politician was cheering for you!


  3. I’ll third that. Good for you!! Can you hear my cheering all the way from CT? Wow, Anne. You are my hero.


  4. jessica shaw says:

    Congrats, Anne! I’m quite the non-runner myself, so I am *very* impressed with you! Good for you!!!


  5. Becky says:

    You go girl!!!!


  6. Susan says:

    Good for you!! I laughed out loud reading your blog. You ‘run’ a 5K just like I do!! We would make good walking/running buddies 🙂


  7. Very impressive! Congratulations, Anne. 🙂


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Thanks, Karen! Sorry to be so late in responding; my computer decided your nice note was spam and sent it deep into the administrator files, which I haven’t been checking because I’ve been out of town all week. FYI: Some wonderful person just gave Younger Son a Kindle as a college graduation present. I can’t wait to see how it really works (but I’m going to have to; Younger Son took off for Minneapolis this morning and won’t be back until Monday afternoon).


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