Okay - so my beloved has gotten on board with the racing in a 5K sort of way.
We both walk a mile most mornings and try to collect another mile along the way during the day.... usually walking the Pomeranian...so not exactly what one would call race training. Neither of us really run much - though he is definitely better at it than I am.
He's done a couple with me now - and has decided that one per month is a good idea for him. Adding the extra event / miles to our lives brings more exercise and movement so it's a good thing.
Both of us see the 3.1 mile distance as a long walk - so it's interesting to see how the word "RACE" affects the psyche.
My son needed transportation on this particular day - so I decided to hunt for a 5K in the area. Great idea to kill 2 birds with one stone.... BAD idea that one of those birds was a race! But anyway.... signing up for the race had a 'team option' that was about the same price as 2 entries - so I asked my son if he wanted to join us. For a little jog? Sure.... no problem. Sounded good at the time.
The morning was COLD.... in the lower 30s. I was grateful that there was no chance of precipitation - but the skies were heavy with thick gray - OH so GRAY - cloud cover. So we were freezing AND depressed... YUK. Not an auspicious start :-( Whining before we even began... and, of the three of us, I was the most prepared,
We usually start out jogging and my husband soon leaves me in the dust. Today was no exception. The race was at an elementary school so the greatest challenge at the beginning was to NOT trip over children :-) I loved the fact that so many kids were out participating..... but I did struggle with my attitude as I tried to sort out my long stride and work my around the little ones. My men had a tougher time of it - but managed pretty well!
Oh but it was COLD! I tried to jog a bit but my ankle wasn't feeling strong and the pavement was uneven. I didn't want to risk another injury especially knowing I have a trail half marathon on the agenda for next weekend.... so I settled into my speedy walk.
Sometimes this winter I have really struggled with the WHY of doing these events.... I am often extremely miserable.
For the first few miles, I always torture myself with WHY, oh WHY do I choose to do this? (Of course, for a 5K in freezing temps, that is the WHOLE WAY!) But I am good at settling in - putting my mind to it and keeping on the path. And maybe that is the lesson for me.
I like half marathons because I get a finisher medal. Simplistic - but true. I know I can do it... even when it takes the stuffing out of me. In day to day life, I can get worried, upset, and exhausted... but no medal. This is mine..... just mine.
The 5Ks & 10Ks are just fun. But not today. I think I have learned... I do not like the cold. I struggle with breathing anyway... but that frigid air burns all the way down. Breathing through my mouth makes me extremely nauseous.... but I'm still on a learning curve with breathing through my nose. And today? BURN! My chest really hurts. I wonder if my asthma is coming back - or perhaps simply acting up with the cold, the exercise - and of course the tree pollen is beginning.
So - there's the whining - I TOLD you I was a whiner..... and that is one of the reasons I am so questioning about why I continue to race.
My son was the first of us...... and then my husband... and I brought up the rear. They were miserable too - as I battled with my ankle pain and breathing issues, my husband battled a stitch in his side the whole way.... my son was just miserable. So.. all in all.... it was a tough 3 miles!
But the important part was that we did it - we finished. And, for my husband and me at any rate, we learned. He and I have never been athletes in any sense of the word.... so in our mid-50s.... we are learning what it means. And every time we put ourselves out there - we learn more about ourselves... about our bodies and about our spirits.
I guess that is why I still do it. I still have things to learn from this kind of experience.... more emotion to wring from it.... next week.... a trail half and I hope and PRAY the weather is more temperate!