Back in high school, I don’t remember which year, I succumbed to peer pressure.
Don’t worry, mom. I didn’t do drugs. I didn’t drink. I didn’t smoke. I didn’t skip class. Much anyway.
I joined the track team.
All my friends were doing it. They lured me in by telling me how cool it was, how cool it would make me…well, I don’t think they actually said that last part (they knew I was pretty much a lost cause in the coolness department) but I’m pretty sure it was implied and so I caved and became a member of the track team.
My friends were big runners. They’d been on the track teams (indoor, outdoor and cross country) for years and the only running I did was either for the bus or the forced laps the PE teachers made us do around the gym every class. The best time ever was that time I broke my toe. The gym teachers were still going to make me run so I came to class the next day with a multi paged (yes, seriously) letter from my mother which memorably contained the line “My daughter does NOT need to be repeatedly slamming her broken toe against the hard gym floor!” Underline, underline. Needless to say, by the time the teachers finished reading my mother’s dissertation, I didn’t have to run. Ever again, if I wanted.
I heart my mom.
But I did run again. One of my friends also had special permission to not run on the hard gym floor. She ran outside on school grounds for ten to fifteen minutes and then came back to rejoin the rest of class. Occasionally, she brought another student with her. Once, she asked me. I think that day she was probably feeling particularly desperate because she had never asked me before (and never again, as it turned out). I was excited because I thought it meant we would run out of sight of the gym and then hang out for ten to fifteen minutes before returning to class.
This friend went on to kick ass and take names at the Air Force Academy and become a hard core board certified surgeon. I went on to fold jeans for a living. Coincidence? I think not.
But yeah. Those bad influence friends of mine eventually got me on the track team. I ran sprints because they were fast and the race was over quickly. I usually only ran the 100 meter dash and maybe the occasional relay because I was that Not. Into. It. And since I was a clueless awkward teenager (who grew into a clueless awkward adult--I’ve always liked symmetry), I never learned to run properly.
Shin splints are a real bitch.
Now every spring for the past few years, I develop a deep urge to run. I’d like to be one of those serious (or semi serious) runners and so every spring I lace up the crappy running shoes I bought for $10 at Payless and try to run around the neighborhood. I then spent the next few days crying over how badly my shins hurt.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Shin splints are a real bitch.
I really need better running shoes.
The last time I was teaching, I tried running. The school was (and is) filled with hardcore outdoors men and women. They’re the sort who run marathons for fun. I was the one who crapped out on the half mile loop around her neighborhood and then spent three days rolling around the school building in her rolling chair because her shins hurt too much to walk. Of course, I was also the one who had to contribute the chair thing to laziness because I didn’t want to admit I had crapped out on the half mile loop around my neighborhood.
So go figure that back in January, when I set my yearly goals, I set one saying the following:
Train to run a 5K. I don’t necessarily want to run a 5K but I’d like to know I’m capable of running a 5K.
I blame this goal on the seriously insane amount of white wine I drank on New Year’s Eve (You'd think the New Year's Day hangover would've been enough to discourage that goal but it wasn't). But since the goal was set and published on this blog , I am determined to accomplish it because I hate not accomplishing my yearly goals.
I haven't done much work on it yet. Blame the snow and ice-- yeah, that's it. The snow and ice. Between January and now, I have mostly run around my house once or twice a week. It’s not really getting me anywhere. So I did a Google search on training for a 5k and found this site:
The Couch to 5K Plan
This is a three day a week plan that claims it'll have me running 5Ks in two months. I'm planning on starting this in earnest come May (or maybe June) so I should be able to run a 5K by July (or possibly August). Wonder how it'll work out. Considering my track record where running's concerned (yes, pun intended), I'm sure it'll be a rousing success.
I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress because I know you'll be on the edge of your seat for this one.