Step by Step

9 Mar

My first 5k is one week from today. One week! I can’t believe it’s so soon- I feel like I’ve only just started running, and now I’m putting myself to a major test. It feels equivalent to signing a toddler up for the high school track team.

While a 5k might be a breeze to the guy who finished first last year (with a time of 15:33) it is for sure a huge deal to me. Just to put it in perspective, I would be happy if 15:33 was my time to finish ONE MILE. It’s almost beyond my comprehension that anyone can run that fast when I think about how slow I run! That guy probably finds running “fun”, whereas I’m more apt to describe it as “evil torture that steals my ability to breathe.” So, I guess that’s one of the differences between myself and someone who can run a 5-minute mile.

Now, I am not comparing myself to this guy, by any means. Nor am I trying to place first, or even 20th or 50th for that matter. The 50th person last year finished in 20:14, at which point I could only hope to be on mile 2, with lots of people behind me (so I’m not dead last). To be honest, I just want to finish and get my free t-shirt. I also hope that I meet my 15-minute mile goal, but truly that is secondary to just crossing the finish line eventually- a lofty enough goal in and of itself. I think that, for me, finishing is something to be proud of regardless of how long it takes. I don’t know if I will ever feel like I can say that I am a runner, I just know I sure don’t feel like one at this point.

Yet I hope to spend next Sunday being one. A week from my first race, I still have a love/hate relationship with running. I still stand in awe of the people who can run on the treadmill for 45 minutes straight. But I am starting to feel a strange camaraderie with other runners I see out there- not so much the ones who make it look easy; not the fancy pants runners. The ones who, like me, make every step look like the struggle that it is. They make me think that maybe all you have to do to be a runner is just continue to put one foot in front of the other.

One Response to “Step by Step”

  1. Rach March 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    GOOD LUCK! I walked a 5K on Saturday. Now I’m going to start training to run a 5K in a couple of months.

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