Seriously, a 5K or someone like me?? Absolutely ridiculous, right?
The story, just so I can look back and remember:
Just over two years ago, Noah was running the kids race that is related to the biggest race in Grand Rapids, the Riverbank Run. At that time, he asked me to run with him and I knew that there was no way in a gazillion years that I could do it with him. And it was the time when I realized just how fat I had gotten, which has only gotten worse. I still remember that day like it was yesterday and I remember telling myself that SOMEDAY, I am going to run a 5K.
Fast forward to this past January when I started a new job/career, I had to get some actual clothes to wear and it was at that moment that I really saw how bad things had gotten, with rolls and rolls of muffin top over my pants. And then to make things worse, I stepped on a scale and had a number to reaffirm how bad things had gotten. A REALLY BAD NUMBER!!!!!!!
So I found an online deal through weight watchers. So as I was working this new job in a VERY stressful situation, I also tried very hard to stick with an online program to lose weight. However, I only lost about 12 pounds. Not much when you put it in relation to how much NEEDED to be lost. The program that had worked for me ten years ago just didn't cut it anymore.
So the school year ended, we headed to Florida for the vacation that was the main impetus for me trying to lose weight in the first place. The following week summer vacation had begun and I was still feeling ugly, fat, and useless.
Aaron asked me to go play tennis with him. Back when I was in high school, a friend and I used to enjoy going to hit balls back and forth. Neither of us were thin or in any kind of healthy shape, but even so we could spend an hour hitting balls back and forth and having a good time. So I figured that maybe this would a good way to get some exercise and have a fun time with my son. So we went.
I got sweaty. REALLY sweaty. And it was wonderful! It felt sooo good to feel like I had gotten my heart pumping and been active with my son. A couple of days later, Aaron asked to again, this time with Noah asking as well. So we went. And again, I got a great workout and came home feeling not only like I had exercised, but maybe I was actually showing the boys that we could be out playing together instead of sitting inside watching a dumb screen.
For some reason, the next day I decided to go out and see if I could run a little. I couldn't....at all! We live on a main street with tons of little tiny feeder streets so my goal was to walk a street, then run a street. All the way to the end and then do the same coming home. I wish to anything that I could have timed myself on that very first outing so I could know now how far I had come.
The next day I decided to try a little more running and a little less walking. And for the next couple of weeks, I am not really sure where the training went since I didn't start logging it until the end of June, other than I jumped into it whole hardedly, hating every moment but feeling like I was growing stronger with each run.
Somewhere in those first few weeks, I came up with an idea. I am going to run a 5K! Where did this idea come from? Who knows. But I went online, used literally the LAST $30 in our checking account (yes, it's been another very difficult summer) and registered for a 5K race in September. I figured if I made a financial commitment, maybe I would actually follow through. You see, I am good at STARTING things. Not so good at FOLLOWING THROUGH. I of course didn't tell Hubby, being sure that he would second guess me and scold me for spending the money. As I will mention later, he has been surprisingly supportive of this. Maybe his prize will be a skinny wife someday :) Doubtful but miracles can happen I suppose.
So began a journey. I was running in just regular tennis shoes and somewhere in that first couple of weeks, managed to injure my left calf. The injury has progressed as training continued to a point that I am in constant pain. But I will come back to that. I figured if I am going to do this, I NEED to get some shoes.
Having mentioned already that there is certainly NO money to waste on something frivolous like running shoes, I pulled out the trusty Kohl's card and found a pair of a brand I know to be good and bought them, after trying on basically every pair of women's running shoes in the store.I knew that I was supposed to go to a running store and get fitted and all that, but that would have definitely been out of capability for us. Do I believe that they are PART of the problem with my injury? Possibly. But they are still very comfortable and I do think they are better than what I was wearing before.
I have had to make a couple of other purchases, namely running shirts and shirts, an arm holder for my ipod, and a headband since apparently I am a sweating machine. I had been afraid to mention these purchases to Steve, since we don't even have the money to buy food right now, but surprisingly, he has been 100 percent supportive of this adventure so it was okay.
I joined two different running web sites to track my progress and followed a 5K training plan that seemed to be a good fit for me. About mid July, I found another race and knew there was no way I could waste more money that we didn't have on a race registry, so I entered a contest for a free entry, figuring that if I won, maybe I would be ready.
Lo and behold, I won! Oh Crap! Now I have to follow through on this.
Just as I was registering, the pain in my leg was progressing to a point where I had to change my training to every other day, trying to fit cycling or swimming in on the other days. But the week leading up to it, I ended up not even being able to cross train, for reasons that I am too depressed to get into here.
So the day of the 5K came. I felt like I was prepared in some ways, and in many other ways, I must be a complete idiot to even try this. I will tell of the event in my next post.