About two months ago, I went ahead and did something quite crazy. I signed up for a local 5.5 km run through the social and sports club of my workplace. Now while running itself is not usually associated with being crazy, for me it was because I used to detest running while I was young and in school. I dreaded the yearly cross country event we had to take part in and would walk the whole 1.5 km and pretend I conquered the world at the end of it. I never had the stamina nor the interest to run for the sake of running (I didn't mind running around while playing hockey though) I was also always prone to my sides aching after putting in some effort in running. So, it was a BIG thing for me to sign up for this run, which was a competition, and definitely would have real runners competing as well.
I immediately started focusing on running in the gym. I tried building stamina by running for as long as I could. The first day, I jogged for about 15 minutes, brisk walked for about 5 minutes, then jogged again for another 15 and then walked for about 10. I covered about 4.5 km that day and went back with swollen feet. I was not deterred, though - I took a one day break and tried again the following day. I tried running about 3 times a week in the gym and while I could last longer jogging (I graduated from 15 minutes to 30 minutes in about 3 weeks or so), I didn't have enough stamina to last one whole hour.
I was about to head out onto the roads for trial runs, but I unfortunately met with an accident. Although I was physically fine, I met with a mental block. I thought I'd be back on my feet in a week or so, but I allowed the mental block to fester and hardly did any running or practice. I looked at the calendar with nonchalance as the days flew by, but panic greeted me as June arrived. June 10th was the day I'd run along the streets of this town I grew up in. It was the day I'd have to give my all. Towards the end, I only had 2 objectives:
1. Finish the race within the qualifying time
2. To not embarrass myself (by fainting, or worse - coming in last!)
June 10 arrived. Not being familiar with how runs are handled, I arrived just in the nick of time to register (which means dumping my card into a box for the lucky draw later) I didn't know they had a warm up session, otherwise I'd have gone much earlier. At 6:45 am they flagged off the 12 km runners. At 7:00 am, the 5.5 km runners were flagged off. We jogged, ran and walked along the race route, the 5.5 km feeling like the longest distance I've ever had to take on foot. Towards the last 1 km or so, the 12 km serious runners started overtaking the non-serious runners of the 5.5 km. Nevertheless, I reached the finish line in 45 minutes, and had no reason to feel embarrassed over anything. Objectives achieved. On top of that, I received a finishing medal and a certificate. I have a weird feeling that I'll be participating in more runs after this!
|The bib, the finishing medal and a goody bag|