*This might be a slight exaggeration.
I am not a runner. I am never going to be a runner. I have perhaps, from time to time, explored whether or not this might ever change. It will not. And I am totally cool with that. I have embraced my non-runner status. If, someday, a bear or a zombie were to start chasing us, I would put forth some good effort, but you would have nothing to worry about; you will be able to escape while said bear or zombie feeds on me. You’re welcome.
So I have ignored the runners geeking out over the Fort4Fitness event that has taken this community by storm the last few years.
Except the route travels half a block from my house, and last year some friends wanted my dog to come out and cheer them on (what? that totally makes sense!), so I got up at the ungodly hour of 7:30 or 8 on a freakin’ Saturday, and trudged to the corner with Ms. Ruby and we clapped and barked and encouraged runners and walkers, and saw all kinds of motivated friends and strangers pass by.
The event features a 4 mile run/walk, a 10K, and a half marathon. And while I was sitting on the curb cheering on those 4-mile walkers at the back of the pack, an older woman went by. With a walker. Not as in a fellow walker in the event. She was using a walker. I was already sitting on the curb (in my pajamas), but somehow I think I shriveled up a little more. How pathetic was I, sitting there watching? I decided then & there that I would participate the following year (aka this year).
The 10K sounded like a good challenge. (As a walk. Nothing has changed about the not being a runner, never being a runner, ok with not being a runner status.) 10K was not scary like the half marathon, but clearly more than a good jaunt with the dog. I promptly rounded up some friends to participate with me, registered, and had good intentions to, you know, train. Which didn’t so much come to fruition. The preparing part, that is.
Nevertheless, this past Saturday I was up before sunrise (what the what??), bouncy and enthusiastic. That is not my m.o., in case that isn’t clear. Much like I’m not a runner, I also am not, nor will I ever be, a morning person. Especially on Saturdays. Klondike and I geared up and headed downtown to meet up with our walking pals.
The weather was perfect, the mood was strong, and despite my utter lack of preparation, I prevailed. I wasn’t able to maintain Sunshine’s exuberant pace, but I finished, and I wasn’t last, and that was pretty much my only objective. 🙂 And it was a total blast. I saw lots of friends, both participating in the various events and in the throngs of people along the way cheering and staffing water stations and being generally awesome. It was fun to be part of such a positive community event, and I especially love that it goes through my beloved neighborhood. And holy crap, they give you JEWELRY just for finishing!
Was I more tired and sore than I was expecting? Yes. Did I get a blister on the pad of my foot? Yes. Did that piss me off royally because I know better how to manage for blisters? Yes. Am I doing it again next year? Hell yes. Will I do a better job being prepared? I certainly intend to. Which, I believe, is what those pesky event planners are hoping for – a general increase in our activity levels and, you know, making positive changes. Bastards.
It’s kind of hard to argue with the merits of that, right? And I’m always interested in walking buddies; give me a shout if you want some company.
So….see you out there next year?