What's with all of the freaking runners at 6 am in the miserable cold..what are they running from anyways? For crying out loud - at least wait until January 1st to pretend to want to get in shape so the rest of us can enjoy the gluttony of the season! Piss off and go to the gym so I don't have to look outside and see your breath freezing in the air!
Look, I have nothing against running for Pete's sake don't f-n bother me about hating runners. This past year starting in January I decided to get off of my fat ass and teach myself to run. Ever since 8th grade when my Track and Field coach ran up behind me and said.."wow, you are NOT built for running, why don't you go over to Shot Put with the other big girls and try that..." I figured her word was as good as gold and that since I was a chubby greek girl with big boobs and huge caboose, I would put my back into throwing that damn ball as far as I could and hang up my running shoes for life. At 37, however, I thought to myself - hey, I can run to the fridge during a commercial as fast as lightening...I can do this!
So I did. But first, some preparations...Go to Dick's and have salesperson mock me as I asked for directions to best running shoes they carry. Check. Go to Victoria's Secret for their very shwanky VSX sports line for sports bra that is not made in my size - Check. Buy ipod with running armband because that's what runner's wear. Now I'm $500 in the hole - I've got to make this work!
Training day #1 January 6, 2011. Logged jog time: 1 minute. Fell onto couch panting and cramping. Enough for today! Reward myself with large (dark) chocolate bar. Good effort! Day #2 Logged jog time: 2minutes - repeat...repeat..repeat. Until I did it! I made it to 8 minutes straight! I am a runnerrrrrrrrrrrr! Pounds start melting off - no joke - and by February 1st I am running 10 minutes at a time. TAKE THAT YOU STUPID F-N TRACK COACH! I'M NOT A LOSERRRRR! (in my best Adrienne voice from Rocky)
Continue training 5 x a week for merely 30 minutes a day of pathetic jogging. Let's be honest. I hate every f***ing second of it..but I am LOVING the fact that I am doing something I didn't think I could do. I keep focused on the Biggest Loser contestants who are easily 200 lbs heavier than I am and running 3x as much and it helps me to stay on track. I yell profanities at myself while running.."keep running you idiot!" and "you did this to yourself so shut your piehole!" Laughing at my self-loathing propels me to keep running!
April comes around and I am getting overconfident. I look over at Hubs - who has been a runner for YEARS and even has the Boston Marathon under his belt (eyeroll)...and say, 'there is a 5k tomorrow morning down the road - I think I'm ready.' He jumps out of his chair, overly excited and way overconfident in my ability to do this. I don't know what the hell I have just done. How far is 5K anyway? I did terribly in Math. I have no idea how to convert to miles - I don't know why I even opened my mouth - I am destined to fail and this is it for me..me and my stupid ideas.
We arrive 45 minutes early. I am frump girl since I decided my VSX was too revealing to run in. I have a long sleeved, oversized tshirt that says "if you can read this you're too close" that makes me look bloated and out of shape, along with stretched out bellbottomed yoga pants with a bleach stain on the knee and my only accessories are a worried look on my face and bags under my eyes from no sleep. I look around - these people are tools. They have excited grins on their smug, sunken in faces, and are doing the most obnoxious stretching that I have ever seen. I look at Hubs. He knows I'm annoyed. "I hate runners." He nods at me, trying not to throw fuel on the already blazing fire. My inner demons start having a chat inside my head at my mental coffee table..
Demon 1 to Demon 2 - (sipping a latte)...Why on earth did you ever put this idea in her head you evil piece of shit! You know she hates running!
Demon 2 - (smoking)...I was getting rather bored with her pure lifestyle and thought I'd throw her to the wolves for entertainment purposes only!
Demon 1 - You really are an asshole you know that!
Back to the starting line. I notice someone coming through the finish line - and I look at Hubs, puzzled. WTF. He looks at me. He hesitates. He winces...."some people like to run the entire 5k for warm up before the race starts.." Now I am pissed...he's regretting his words. "These people have been running for years honey, just stay focused on concentrate on YOUR race and don't worry about everyone else's pace." What the hell does this even mean? Am I supposed to have a strategy? What IS my pace? I have no idea - I am just planning on going on there and running and praying I don't twist my ankle or end up in a mud puddle face-down. Just when I start getting too deep in thought, I am blinded by the pale white thighs of the idiot man in front of me stretching with his stupid f---ng running shorts up his asscrack. Have I mentioned how much I perfect runners annoy me?
We walk to the starting point. My heart starts palpitating, I'm sweating and I haven't even done anything yet. ( I simply refused to stretch not wanting to look like any of the other runners!) I hear the gun and look around and just about get trampled by the hundreds of runners already annoyed with me for being in their way. I start to run. My sheer panic allows me to survive the first 100 yards. I look down at my footing, I look ahead at my path...it's not looking good. Rainbows of runners pass me on either side and the voices inside my head are urging me to feign tripping and fall over and end the madness. I ignore them - for once. I am like a mad hornet now buzzing through the woods of this rural race.
My husband is next to me the whole time urging me to keep going and telling me I'm doing great. Just when I think we've got to be at the Finish Line, I hear one of the people yell.."1/2 way there!" What the ? It feels like I've been running for an hour already and I am reaching in to the depths of my diaphragm for more breath. I see a hill and that's it for me, I start to cry like that blubbering chub from 8th grade that I once was..."RUN FAT GIRL, RUN!" I say! When I see it - the Finish Line! I am almost there - and I nearly plow over the several senior citizens that I come across in front of me, determined not to let them beat me! I dig deep and ran like the devil himself was chasing me and bulldozed right over the finish line! My husband was screaming "you did it, you did it!" But I could barely hear him over the beating of my heart...I seriously thought I was having a stroke. I survived. I finished. And I beat those 70 year olds with a minute to spare!
Once at the Finish Line, I notice the other runners congregating around the food tables, reliving the highs and lows of the course. I can't do this. I am not a runner, and I am certainly not going to pretend that this was fun. Hubs and I make a beeline to the car in silence. He knows to wait for me to initiate.
"I don't ever want to do this again.." I said.
But I lied. I went on to run 3 more 5ks in 2011 beating my time on each occasion...and I still hate every second of it. Look, if I had a point to this story, it would be - don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something - not even the demons in your head.... Lord knows if I can run - anyone can.