Today, I went for a run – a real, honest-to-goodness RUN. Normally, when I say I’m going for a “run,” I lace up my athletic sneakers and go for a nice medium-paced stroll (with plenty of stops to admire the foliage along the way). But not this time, no siree, Bob! I ran. (Okay, jogged…same thing, right?)
I despise running. I’ve often joked that the only time you’d probably ever see me running is if someone was chasing me with a big knife. I also run like the Dickens in short bursts whenever I see a bee. (I have a bona fide phobia.)
So, why the change of heart? Well, two reasons:
- I am coming to an age where this expertly whittled waistline of mine no longer comes quite so naturally. I fear that my routine afternoon strolls are no longer enough to keep me svelte.
- I want to run a 5K! They’re so in vogue! I’ve seen photograph after photograph on my social media outlets of people sporting headbands, sunglasses, and colorful blotches of chalk, looking proud and accomplished after a 5K race. I want to join their ranks.
One big thing seems to stand in my way: asthma. When I initially began entertaining the idea of taking up running, I wondered if it might help with my asthma symptoms. You know, toughen up the ol' lungs and whatnot. I’m not what you might call a “mild” asthmatic. I always keep an inhaler handy in case of an attack, and while they don’t happen super-duper frequently, they can be quite severe. Much of the time, my asthma is exercise-induced. I get winded just walking the 50 feet from my car to the donut shop.
But, asthma be darned! Running a 5K is my (latest) dream! I will be so hip in my own sweatband and sunglasses, racing alongside all the other runners. Me…a runner! It will happen. I started my training today. I’m using the popular training plan, Couch to 5K. It’s not for the faint of heart, I tell ya. They must think some pretty in-shape people are sitting around on their couches, not a bunch of tater-chip-lovin’ asthmatics like me. Nevertheless, I will complete this program if it kills me! (And it very likely will.) I almost got through the first day’s training exercises today! Although it felt like sheer torture, and I ended up having to give up early, I must say that my lungs did feel stronger and clearer when I finished. But, then again, that could be because of the half-cartridge of Albuterol I sucked down 5 minutes into my workout.
The first workout consisted of alternating between jogging and walking. The walking part was ok. I like walking…that is, until I’ve alternated it with jogging for nearly 20 minutes. My shins felt like they were going to explode beneath me! About a mile from my car, I thought I might have to be left for dead on the park trail. I had to take a good long rest before I could muster the strength to make it back.
I realized during my run that I don’t have the proper gear. I have the shoes. I bought them last November when I first decided to pursue this goal. But, I apparently lack the appropriate running pants. It’s no good to have to hold your breeches up while you’re running. Having my fanny pack flapping around wildly as I ran only added to the pants-on-the-ground dilemma. I don’t know how other runners (runners…such as myself…) keep track of their belongings. I’ve never seen another runner with a fanny pack. Where do they keep their keys? Their inhaler? Their emergency Twinkies??
But, I really want to run a 5K, so I guess I gotta keep on keepin' on and complete the redonkulous training program. I am a runner now. Maybe I’ll see ya on the trail!