Photo by Sasha Wolf

I’m running a 5K.

I’m not exactly sure how it happened.  Those of you who’ve known me awhile know that my lack of athleticism borders on legendary.  But a couple friends have mentioned 5K training programs for non-runners, and it piqued my curiosity.  I downloaded an app to check it out, mentioned it to my husband, and recruited my pal to be my running buddy all before I was really sure I wanted to do it.  I’ve never even considered running a 5K before, but here I am.  (I plan to share more about the inspiration for my run in an upcoming post, so stay tuned.)

So… I am 5K training.  I’ve been going to the Y for several months now, but mostly, I do brisk walking on the treadmill.  (I tried an aqua fitness class which could be a blog post in itself – apparently aqua fitness classes appeal to very quirky people, and the fact that I am one of them is not lost on me.)  I love the treadmill, actually, but it feels pretty pointless.  Sometimes, I try to switch it up a little, so I put on Melissa Ethridge’s “I Run for Life” and begun to run.  It is a very dramatic and purposeful and stirring song, and I run very dramatically and purposefully until two minutes in, when I sputter to a walking pace, out of breath. The thought of running an entire capital K seems impossible right now, let alone 5 of them.

I am using a program called Couch to 5K, in nifty app form.  The first workout was hard, but not too hard.  And the next two workouts were just a little less hard.  I’m looking forward to getting in shape, and I’ve already convinced myself that I can see runner’s muscle in my calves and thighs.  But mostly, I am sold on all the perks of 5K training.  The program recommends three work days a week with rest days in between.  Those days when I don’t go to the gym aren’t lazy days anymore.  They are rest days.  I have to make sure my body recovers in between workouts.  It’s very athletic of me, you see.  And I only jog for a short time before going back to walking – not because I’m out-of-shape, but because I am interval-training.

This morning, I went to the Y at 7:30am.  At 7:30am, all the work people are off to work, but the casual-workout folks aren’t out of bed yet, so it’s just me and a bunch of buff old guys.  I walked in and thought to myself, “Hello, old guys.  How are you feeling this morning? I am feeling buff with all this training and athleticism.”  I hopped on my treadmill and did very well until the last run interval, when the plastic book-holder that someone had left on my treadmill clattered to the floor.  I thought one of them might shout “Imposter!” and recognize me as the clutzy gal who made a fool of herself a few months ago, but instead a nice gentleman picked it up and handed it back to me.  I didn’t know what to do with it, so I just held it awkwardly while I finished my run.  But, I finished.

All sixty seconds of it.

Gotta start somewhere, right?