I have no recollection of ever being a runner. In high school, I conceded against my will to what the teacher was requesting and would begrudgingly round the track at a sloth’s pace. And, I would happily switch to a lollygagging stroll when the track took a turn out of the teacher’s view and I could avoid the dreaded demand to “Run!”. I can’t really pinpoint why I hated running so much. Maybe it’s because I was never into sports and therefore wasn’t required to run for any activities. Or maybe it’s because I’m not very competitive and the thought of pushing myself that hard kind of makes me want to vomit. It could be that idea of bridging the gap between the running of my “dreams” and what I hoped to look like and what I actually looked and felt like seemed insurmountable. For thirty three years, I have avoided running. In anyway shape or form.
But, then I heard about a fun run that was full of bubbles. Huge, flowing, colorful mounds of bubbles. Can you imagine?! That got me excited. As quickly as that elation hit me, it dissipated the second I converted how much five kilometers was…. THREE (!!!!) miles. My mind began spinning… thinking back to my high school days, I realized that was 12 laps around the track. Forty heart-pounding-feel-like-I’m-gonna-die minutes of near death far outweighed the thought of tromping through colored bubble bogs. Then my mind went the other direction, that place where you look in the mirror, find your squishy spots and are reminded of just how long it’s been since you last exercised.
So, I did it. I started to train for the Bubble Run. And, I started to run.
I had nine weeks until the run and a free app that was “Couch to 5K”. An actual training program for people like me – people who have spent more time on the couch than running. It was a three day a week program with each session being 30 minutes or less. The timing and duration were totally doable. Whether I could handle a 90 second session of running remained to be seen.
Day 1 got off to a rough start with Beckett running over Jacob with her bike and Camden spending the final ten minutes of the workout wailing pathetically “All done. No more run. All donnnnnnnne. No. More. Runnnnnn.”. But, we moved through it. We got in our groove. We stuck with the program through camping weekends up the mountain, weddings celebrations out of state and the unpredictable switchback turns the weather would take.
Two months later and I can actually run. By golly, I can really run. One mile is easy peasy. Two miles is definitely a workout. And, I kind of pray to the powers that be that my third mile will involve absolutely no incline. I did it. I ran a 5K. We did it as a family. Jacob held back from his usual less than 7 minute mile pace. Beckett bounced her way from curb to curb, hopped over the reflective turtles in the road and tip toed along the lines in the road. All while running the entire three-plus miles. And, Camden was a trooper. Her stroller was more of a bubble plow that made her disappear from sight and tinted her blonde-hair a myriad of rainbow colors. I frolicked in bubble bogs that were chest high. I emerged with shoe booties of colored froth. I stayed true to my 12 minute mile pace and finished with a huge sigh of relief and a flood of endorphins when I crossed the line at 36:00 minutes even.
Can you imagine that?! I RAN A FIVE KILOMETER RACE. It’s a sentence I never thought I’d type, utter and associate with myself in any way.