I finished 5K #3 of #3in13 yesterday. (I’m trying to get off my fat ass and one of the ways is to do thirteen 5K’s in 2013). This was a trail run at the Alabama Nature Center. It was cold, it started late, and I was by myself but I muddled through it and drug my freezing ass across the finish line. This isn’t getting any easier. I hate to run, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned no less than a thousand times since I came up with this brilliant idea. Even in the academy, where we ran every day for nine weeks, I hated it. I could never get my breathing right, time my inhales/exhales, all that. It always feels like I am struggling for breath and I sound like a damn wind machine on overdrive if you are within a 5 foot radius of me. I think it sounds like a loud death rattle. I can do 50 minutes of Zumba and am still ready for more, but you put 3.1 miles in front of me and I’m winded by .02 in.
My strategy is to start off running, then walk/run/bitch/shuffle/run/walk/bitch. And I might shuffle some more. Every day. (Pop culture reference FTW). But I’m out there, and I’m doing it, which is what everyone bringing up the rear tells themselves and their rear of the pack mates, if only to make us feel better about our slow selves. I’ll never be the one who gets a medal for my age group or kudos for “record personal times” but I’m happy with the t-shirt, assorted muscle aches and all around good feeling that I get from actually doing something productive.
Yesterday during my “shuffle ’cause my calves were mooing” phase, this man passed me. This 82 year old man, who is a former Marine.
And not only did he pass me on one of the boardwalks, he told me that if he had long legs like mine, he’d be running past him. Well shit. So I caught up and hung with the old inspirational fart the rest of the way, even up a hill that I was sure would kill us both. After that there was a series of zig-zag hills, he lagged behind but was still kind enough to point out every rock, root and obstacle in our paths. I passed the finish line a good minute or so ahead of him, and then he led about 20 of us in pushups after the race. What a great old fella, and to quote an old movie, “Here’s to him, and those like him, damn few left.”
Next week is the Chick-Fil-A race series in Prattville, then Survive This Mud Race, followed by the Cow Patty Trot and after that maybe the Minooka Mudder. That gives me 7/13. After those I have many more options for April and May before going outside is like standing in the devil’s asshole. The one I’m most looking forward to besides the mud race is one called “Finish on the 50” , where I’ll finish my 5K on the 50 yard line of Jordan-Hare Stadium.
I may not be breaking records or running like the wind, but I’m doing pretty good for me and that’s something to be proud of.
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