If you ever had gym class with me, or were my gym instructor, you may remember my semi-annual system collapse during the seasonal mile run the school demanded of us.
I would stop, sometimes fall, sometimes literally collapse. It was usually due to an abdomen cramp that no matter what I tried — eating, not eating, drinking, not drinking, running early, running late, running fast, running slow, etc. — I couldn’t avoid. Sometimes I saw stars and began wheezing, sometimes pain would appear instantaneously like a gunshot wound. Either way, by the time I graduated from college I had never once run a complete mile. I’m not sure I had even walked one.
With that said, this may come as a surprise to you. In October I will head out to San Francisco to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. The best part about it is I am running it with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT), raising money to support blood cancer research.
My roommate inspired me to attempt running again, eight years after the high school gym class torture, with her daily runs. I figured if she could run the morning after I blacked put at BZR, then I should be able to run a mile or two in a good [caffeinated] state. (OMG, posting that link to BZR just brought back so many [hazy] memories!)
I found my running had improved: Yoga has taught to me breath properly in order to avoid or minimize the stitch that moves in on my abdomen when I hit the pavement. And I’ve learned that pacing yourself means listening to how fast your body wants to go, not racing the guy next to you.
So two 5Ks and a two-year break later, I’m signed up to run 13 miles. Hmmmmm…
My cousin, a multi-marathon alumni, recommended I check out TNT. I was positive on nailing the running aspect of the event, but hesitant about the fundraising. As I headed to the informational meeting, I thought “These people are going to have a tough time convincing my cranky arse to do this.” Seriously, it had been raining all week causing my sinuses to want to explode, I hadn’t eaten solid food in days and I was PMSing; if the group could get me to smile I’d be shocked.
Thirty minutes later I was on the brink of tears, listening to a marathon alumni talk about how he embarked on his first marathon after a chemo treatment for blood cancer.
Excited as a pig in sh!t, I made buddies with an enthusiastic TNT alumni and mentor (fingers crossed she’s my mentor!) who is also running the Nike half (and then the NYC ING full a few weeks later… go her!), signed the page authorizing them to charge the $100 sign-up fee to my CC and got my official TNT training shirt.
I’m expecting the running to be
easy managable. I will be working with the team coach twice a week at group training sessions and following a training schedule on the other days, which includes both running and cross-training (yoga for me!) Really looking forward to this and meeting new people who also like to embark on ridiculous physical challenges.
Fundraising is still the most intimidating part. I’m looking at is as an opportunity to partake in a lot of fun social things I don’t normally get to do — host happy hours, throw BBQs, host raffles, a Slumber Party and even try my hand at guest bartending. It’s going to be a close-to-$4,000 adventure.
I’m not sure how hard it will be; I’m not sure I’ll enjoy every minute of it; I’m not even sure I’ll run the entire 13 miles.
The only thing I am sure of is that I have yet to set myself a serious challenge and not meet it.
One more thing crossed off the “live-life list!”