Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Birthday 5K? OK!

Remember when I said I hated running? No? Well, let me refresh your memory:

Running: Just (Don't) Do It

I wrote that a year ago, and I'm not really sure what's changed since then to alter my opinion, but nevertheless, I have decided that I have a new goal.

Five weeks from today, I will turn 46.
Five weeks from today, I will run my first 5K.

Now if you're a runner, this is probably no big deal to you. 3.1 miles. Cake, right? Right. But this is the girl who has tried running SO many times, who can walk five miles like it's nothing but can't jog to the corner and back. The girl whose knees swell and ache and who sometimes breaks out in hives during strenuous exercise.

I'm not exactly the 5K poster child.

Here's kind of how this all played out in my head. My friends run. Sometimes they run together. When I walk my dog in the morning and at night, runners pass me and I wish I was them. I'd like to find that nice, easy pace and make it look effortless. I'd like to have thighs that don't rub together and a butt that looks good in those cute little Spandex capri pants. But most of all, I am at a very low point in my personal life where I need a goal - something to work for. Something to occupy my mind and body. Something to be proud of. A competition... with myself.

So I checked the calendar.
My birthday is on a Saturday this year. (November 3). Holla! That's 5 WEEKS from now.
Google "5 WEEKS TO A 5K". Plenty of training programs. Excellent.
IM two friends: "Be honest: Can I do this?" Their responses: "HELL YES."
Even better: "We'll do it with you!"

I'M IN.

Next step: Find a race on November 3. THIS IS CRITICAL TO MY PLAN. Unfortunately, there were no races here in town, but I did find one in Bloomington. SCORE.

Here's where the Godwink comes in. The race is for an organization I've never heard of: The LUNGevity Foundation.

In reading about them, I saw that they were founded by seven, Chicago-area lung cancer survivors with a goal to have a meaningful and immediate impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer. More importantly, they are champions for helping survivors live longer and better. That's when I knew this had all come together and I WOULD run this race. For Norma.

I WILL run this race. I will run it for Norma, my friend who was diagnosed two years ago with lung cancer. She never smoked, and is one of the most God-loving, wonderful and heartfelt people I know, with family members who I have come to call sisters and friends. Norma is also a fellow writer, so check out her blog at 75 and Holding... On.

I will be blogging about my progress, if nothing else as a means of keeping my eyes on the prize (aka The Finish Line). In honor of Norma, I am going to try to raise $500 for the LUNGevity Foundation prior to the race on November 3. If you feel so inclined to donate and give me a virtual "push" toward my goal, here's the link:

My Birthday 5K: LUNGevity Foundation

If not, a shoutout will suffice. Or a recommended running playlist. Or just honk if you pass me on the road. I'll be the one in the cheap tennis shoes, old t-shirt and baseball cap, huffing and puffing with a look of determination on my face that says, "Just DO it."

For Norma, and for myself.

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