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Unpublished Opinion

Friday, August 12, 2005

Where has the Time Gone?

Flashback:

Date: August 12, 2004
Scene: Race Judicata 5k Run/Walk, Chicago IL

Betty and I decided that we would join some of our colleagues and participate in the Race Judicata 5k. Just walking it, of course. It is sponsored by one of the local legal clinics and all of the law firms and public interest offices participate. I had done a number of 5k walks, so I thought it would be fun. We thought we would be the only non-runners from our office, but then VC, another colleague, said she decided she just wanted to walk too.

We got to the race spot and Betty and I giggled a little bit as we watched all the hard-core runners prepare. Our group was pretty mellow, but there were guys from other offices that looked crazy to us. They were doing all these elaborate stretches. They were wearing weird running clothes. One guy had his mini i-pod hooked up to some strange contraption on his arm. They were so serious! We wondered aloud to each other what the big deal was.

We lined up with the other walkers behind the runners and started off. Somewhere around the first mile marker, Betty said that she wanted to start running and had found this program where you walk with little portions of running in it and gradually build up to be able to run a 5k. I said "Oh I printed that off too! The couch potato to 5k, right?!" Indeed, the very same one. Actually I printed it off twice for good measure, because I had lost the first one. Probably because I had it just sitting around for so long.

At this point, Betty had actually done the first workout already. The three of us decided to use the rest of the 5k to try out this method. VC had a watch on, so she was the official time keeper. We were to walk for a few minutes and then run for 90 seconds. 90 seconds was an eternity. I kept looking at her and asking her if the time was up yet. It was torture. They were the longest 90 second stretches of my life. But, you know what? It was actually kind of fun. We kept passing and then getting passed by a group of three female racewalkers. Every time we would start running, they would say "There they go again." And we would laugh. We were running!

Present Day
:

Flash forward a year later and the difference is amazing. I wear special running clothes. I wear special running shoes. I have a pre-race contemplative stare. I wear my mini i-pod on a funny contraption on my arm. I became that image of the runner that I never thought I could be. Something that seemed completely out there and unattainable. I started this running journey just to see if I could do it. And it ended up changing my life. I am so immersed in the running world that I cannot possible imagine life without it. I plan my weekends, my vacations, my life around when I run, when I train, when I race. I read blogs about running. I subscribe to a magazine about running. I can't stop talking about running!!!

I am not a fast runner, nor do I ever aspire to be one. I will never be like the elite runners who ran 10 miles in diapers. But I don't want to be. To me, running has created a series of goalposts to keep myself focused, a series of journeys of self-improvement, a series of happy races and memorable moments. To me, running will forever be journey of discovery, to see what else it is I am capable of doing and what else there is left for me to conquer.

A year ago today I could barely run for 90 seconds. Last Sunday, I ran a half marathon. Shit, I think it just finally hit me. A half marathon. Great, now I am crying at work...

Happy Running Anniversary Betty!

4 Comments:

  • Congrats and good luck....By the way cute kitty. Check mine out sometime, (under introducing). Life Eyes

    By Blogger LifesEyes, at 3:45 PM  

  • Your post was very inspirational.. It captured what running means to you. I can relate. Congrats on the milestone..

    By Blogger ShoreTurtle, at 5:27 PM  

  • Congratulations again! I remember all too well the painful 90 second run - and how I looked at the schedule and thought - what? there's no way I'll be able to run 5 minutes straight in a few weeks, much less the 5K at the end of the program. But...here we are! You kick ass! Thank you so much for being my running partner!
    I'm very much looking forward to running Pumpkins - the anniversary of our first 5K.

    By Blogger Buccaneer Betty, at 1:47 AM  

  • Wow, what a great story! Very very inspirational. I'm bookmarking you!

    By Blogger jeanne, at 6:39 PM  

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