Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." ~Chinese Proverb

Three years ago, I decided that I would complete a sprint triathlon. At the time, I had no clue how to swim. I '"trained" on and off for about three months, which basically amounted to a few short runs, some rides on an indoor bike and getting in a pool, holding my breath and trying to complete one lap. I told my Dad, who grew up as a swimmer and runner, that I would complete this race, even though we had just adopted a two year old from Russia weeks before and I wasn't in the mindset to do this. He was so proud that I was going to try. I was shocked that I was going to try.

And then my Dad died.

But I still did the race.

Because I told my Dad I would.

And thank God the lake was shallow, because I doggy paddled through the entire 200 meter course.

The following year, I decided to do it again. Except this time, a 200 meter swim became an 800 meter swim, which in "non swimmer's terms" is a half mile.  I remember the first time I entered the lake for a practice swim, with my swim coach sitting in a kayak next to me and her pointing out the distance. I literally said out loud "That's a 1/2 mile swim? Are you kidding me?" I shivered in my wetsuit. This was a mistake. This was a joke. This was going to be really really hard.

And it was. Really hard. And I was slow. Very slow. But later that year, I completed my first 800 meter swim in the triathlon.

Fast forward to July 2013. I have a friend, Kathy, that I have known since we moved to AZ.  You know AZ right? Also known as "the land of the eternally fit," or at least that is how I see it. There are more people swimming, biking and running on any given morning than there are driving cars.

Kathy and I have a lot in common, except for a love of running. Kathy has already completed half marathons and even runs a few miles before Zumba class, ya' know, just for fun.

And me? Well, I hate running. It hurts, its boring and I am slow (recurring theme right?). Yes, I have run short distances in triathlons and yes, I have run a few 5k's. But I never prepare. I rarely train. I just go out and run the distance that I need to, and as I am running, I remind myself, I will NEVER do this again.

And then recently Kathy convinced me that we would complete a half marathon together this November.  That's 13.1 miles. Of running. Pure running. No swimming or biking thrown in. Just RUNNING. Oh did I mention that my husband runs marathons? In fact, he has done two. That's 26.2 miles. Each time. No going home and sleeping and then finishing up. Just running. Only running. What is the MATTER with these people that I surround myself with?

So far, I have run two mornings this week, accumulating almost 5 miles. What is the matter with ME?

So let's get something straight. I may teach fitness classes, but these were hard miles. I was very slow. I was very hot. But I still finished them.

I am not really sure where I will be a month or even two months from now. But this is where my blog and my next journey begin. You will hear my complaints, feel my aches and pains, and maybe even cheer with me as I achieve a few victories along the way. If you don't want to know the highs AND lows, then stop reading now because I anticipate more lows than highs.

I am still not even convinced I can run 13.1 miles.

Two days down and counting....