Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Race day in Peterborough

Since I started working out on a regular basis, I've drawn attention to myself from a few surprising sources. Marathon man Ryan, who I blogged about a while back as providing the inspiration for several reformed couch potatoes, sees me as a bit of a project, offering encouragement and occasional derision (if I miss a day). David, who aspires to be an expert in almost any field, is quick to provide me with pointers on how I can be a better athlete. So, a month or so when Kelly asked me if I wanted to join her in the 5K run in Peterborough, I took her request in stride (no pun intended), mulled it over in my mind, and replied "sure, what the heck", even though I really don't like running. Kelly then checked back with me a couple of weeks ago to see if I was still willing to do the run, and again, I agreed. Fast forward to Saturday night when I receive a text message from Kelly posing the question for the 3rd time. I hesitated in responding for a few minutes, and got another message saying "I guess that means no". Something told me that Kelly was getting cold feet, so I decided to play along. I sent a non-committal text message back saying that I thought there might have been a little more preparation, to which she replied "Oh come on". I went to bed without replying, but mentally, barring any huge obstacles like a blizzard, I was going to run, and I was going to call Kelly's bluff; after all, how hard could it be to run 5K? Sunday morning I sent Kelly a text telling her that I was going to mass at 9, and that if she would pick up the run kits I would meet her in Peterborough. No reply. I went to mass, and headed up to Peterborough. As I approached the "Y", I sent Kelly another text asking her where she wanted to meet me. Kelly, being a text junkie couldn't resist my messages and wrote back that she had assumed I wasn't going to run and because of that, she had decided not to run. My trap had been set, and she jumped into it - now for the guilt trip! (A lifetime of being raised a Catholic had prepared me for this moment). I sent a text to Kelly, using her own words to taunt her "Oh come on, don't be a flake". A minute or two passed, and back came the message, "are you there now?" I had her! Kelly jumped in her car, I picked up another race kit, and 45 minutes later we were at the start gate warming up for what was sure to be an easy run. Boy was I wrong. The first kilometer wasn't too bad (I had David Bowie in my ears cheering me with "Young Americans", but by the end of the song, and the first kilometer marker I was in pain. My lungs and my legs were screaming. I pressed play again as 7 year old children started to pass me. How embarrassing! I did make it to the finish line in just under 30 minutes. I took 2 short walk breaks and took full advantage of the water and Gatorade stands along the way but I was amazed at how difficult this little run was and have a great deal more respect for those who went on to do the 1/2 marathon on that beautiful sunny day in Peterborough. The next challenge is in May in Ottawa where a group of people are talking about doing the full marathon, and I actually said, in the heat of the endorphin induced euphoria suggested that I might take on the 1/2. Stay tuned!

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