The Biggest Loser (Ha!)

My Running Competition

My Running Competition

It’s pretty hysterical really.  Watching me run a race, or run anywhere.  I have way too much heft in my mid section to look like a runner.   And I run slower than most people walk.  But I have completed three 5K’s in the last 4 months.  The first one was in 95 degree heat running up and down the ramps in Gillette Stadium.  In the last two, on much easier courses and under cooler temperatures, I finished last.  Dead last.  No one behind me but the truck to come take down the finish line.

Most people would look for some other way to get exercise, for some other way that allows for less assumed humiliation.  Like when the elderly woman in the pic above was in front of me and finished before me in one race.  All I saw was the back of her, which, by the way was pretty fit.  After the race I asked her if I could take her picture because I wanted to remember the person who gave me inspiration to keep running.  I just kept thinking, you can’t let this woman finish without you, she’s on the other side of 70.  And she’s doing it.  She’s trotting along then stopping to walk a bit, just like me.  Just a wee bit faster.

“You were ahead of me for quite a while,” she smiled, and I agreed.  Just not long enough.  “I’ve been running for over 30 years and I love it.   So don’t give up, you’ll get better over time.”  What a sweet little lady with calves that I can only wish for at the moment.

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Wednesday Observation: Running on a Treadmill is SO Different from Running Outside

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patr...

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here I was thinking that running for 22 minutes straight on a treadmill meant that I was physically fit to run my first 5K.  WRONG.  Tonight I decided to see how far I could go on the Smithfield High School Track.  Each lap is either ¼ of a mile or 1/3 of a mile, meaning I need to run between 9 and 12 times straight. 

Well I ran around once.  Then I walked around.  Then I tried to run around again. By the time I finished I ran around about two times and walked around about two times.  So between a mile and a mile and third.  I’m sure all my panting alarmed the elderly gentlemen trotting briskly around the outside lane, as I hugged the inside like my guts were going to fall out.

I am running my first race on July 3 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  For you New England Patriot fans the race takes you right into Gillette Stadium.  And my darling husband and daughter, who hate to run unless it’s part of a basketball game, agreed to run with me.  Actually they signed me up and decided to join me just in case I began to procrastinate or back out, as only I can, concerning exercise.

So I’m in a bit of a pickle now, because I have about 6 weeks to train to do 5K without dropping dead. 

I am not a runner at heart.  I like to cycle, I like to sit in front of the TV even better.  I like to read with a bowl of tasty snacks next to me the best. 

But I need to run.  It’s  the fastest way I can think of to get my exercise done.  There I said it.  And a body in motion stays in motion.  Running is good for my cholesterol, my blood pressure, my weight, my energy level, and my mental attitude.

So it’s time to train, train and train some more.   I got this.

When I told the Crow that I was going to run a race she responded as I thought she would.  “Make sure you don’t fall.  You’ll hurt yourself.”  Ah, encouragement at every turn.  Of course she does worry.  Usually unnecessarily and as often as possible.  One time when Julia was sitting on an ottoman laughing and leaning backward my mother warned, “Watch out, you’ll bite your tongue off.”  She was serious.  Severed tongue through a fit of laughter.  Julia uses that line on me whenever she thinks I’m being over-protective.  It works pretty well, I must say.

Just now I told my daughter that I too was very athletic as a child.  She sat and stared at me, a blank look on her chiseled blond beauty of a face.  She had just spent the evening at basketball practice for the AAU team she plays on.  She’s already made it clear to her father and me that her goal is college hoops and then the WNBA.  She just might pull it off too, who knows?  But I want her to know that not all of her athletic prowess comes from her Dad.

“Really Jules.  I never got any formal coaching, and I only played on one team for one summer.  But I was a really good softball player.  I used to bike for miles on a daily basis, and I wasn’t bad at tennis either.  You don’t believe me do you?”

“Nope.”

I’ll show her.  I hope.