Sunday, July 24, 2011
I almost titled this blog "Giving Up a Dream", but that is not right. I gave up the trophy for the 201 Watermelon Series of 5Ks. I'm not giving up anything else.
You know, it came almost too easy. I saw a poster at the YMCA last January for the Senior Games 5K road race for people over 50. For about 3 years I'd been doing regular cardio exercise - walking, Walk Away the Pounds, cycling, elliptical, and some swimming. I wondered if I could run 3.1 miles. I jumped on the treadmill and ran a 5K at my gym right near the bulletin board with the poster. I can do this! I entered the race. I was a little afraid of all the pounding on the joints so I only ran once a week for 10 weeks, mostly on the treadmill. I didn't follow any Couch to 5K program or any program for that matter. Most of the time I only ran 1 or 2 miles. The race was only my third time to run that far. My goal was to make it and my hope was to not be last.
I ran the race and felt fantastic! I didn't know until a week later that I had won a bronze medal, coming in third in my age group. I am an unabashed award junkie. That is part of the reason that for years my favorite work assignments were writing grant proposals. I just loved getting those awards! And it is why I worked so hard in school. I do believe I was the epitome of the overachiever.
I think back over the awards that I have won in my life. The only athletic awards I ever earned were for swimming; I was on a swim team from age 10-16. I won a few awards, but very few, and I worked hours and hours to earn them. My mom got me up very early and took me to practice, and then took me back in the evening. I swam twice a day, over and over, and rarely won anything. I was a good student and got good grades, but I worked very, very hard for them.
Honestly, this is the first time I ever won anything easily. I read a few running books and started training three times a week. I was convinced my joints could take it. I improved my time from 31:19 to 28:46.
This cold took an almost certain award from me. One of my new runner friends told me that it could be that my running has run down my immunities. She said that is not unusual especially for someone my age who just started running and really pushed it. It could be that running actually triggered this cold. It is hard to know, though. This virus might have happened anyway.
Okay. Now what? Today I'm going to walk a little, my first exercise in 8 days. I'm not giving up running, though. I'm considering joining a Galloway run/walk training group here in town. It might be a gentler way to approach running. On the downside, it costs and it ties me down on Saturday mornings. After I'm feeling better, I'll decide.
I wish I weren't such an award junkie. Maintaining an 80 pound weight loss should be reward enough for me.