Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Run, Run Away . . .

For the last few years I've wanted to try to run an organized race.  After completing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in 2008, I had the thought that if I could walk 30 miles in a 30 hour timeframe, I could handle training and running a real race (the Avon Walk as actually 39 miles, but I had some dehydration problems in day one and only made it to mile 20).

I started looking for an appropriate race, and found one that I actually registered and trained for (dark nights at the local college track last summer because I couldn't get out during the day with the kids being home).  Unfortunately schedules changed and I was unable to run the race.  Now I have signed up for another - The Beacon Dash, a 5K Run/Walk on April 11th (commencing at UMass Boston with a course that follows the Boston Harbor Walk.

Training in winter can be difficult.  I am not a treadmill person; I don't mind walking on one but find it very difficult to run.  I have an irrational fear that I am going to lose my footing and be shot backward at a high rate of speed into an unsuspecting senior citizen from the local 55+ community.  When possible, I would rather run/walk at an outdoor track at a local college, but on days, like today, snow often hampers my efforts (the photo below shows the conditions today at the track - it doesn't show in the photo but it was still snowing when I was there!)

Thankfully, my local YMCA has an indoor track that makes it possible to get some training time in even on snowy days.  It is not the most exciting way to pass two hours, walking around the same space approximately 35 times, but having an IPod with audio book capabilities helps to alleviate some of the boredom!

My goal is not to win the race, and I won't even be upset if I have to stop and walk during it.  It is a starting point.  I've encouraged friends to join me - most of the time the answer I hear is "I can't run that far!".  Well, I may not be able to either, but at least I am going to try!  Everyone should try - you never know what you can do!  I never thought I could walk 30 miles in a weekend, but I did and it was a great feeling to cross the finish line.

To quote John Bingham, a marathoner who started running at the age of 43, “The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”  Mr. Bingham is the national spokesperson for Team in Training - a group that trains and runs events to raise money and awareness for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research  - visit his website at - Waddle On (great website name!)

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