Discovery of the day: Nowhere to run

I mentioned last week that I signed up for that 5K running class, allegedly scheduled to start last Saturday. Key word there is allegedly. I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Friday eve I dug out my running gear from the far back recesses of my closet. Saturday I got up a 6 am(!), shoveled some chow, and headed over to the Park & Rec to hurt myself in the chill (37 deg!) but dry (phew!) morning.

Nobody there.

To say I was miffed would be polite. Then I remembered that last year the first class was held at a park down the road. Maybe they forgot to send me that info because I signed up late. I drove over.

Again, nobody there.

Drove back and forth between the P&R and the park a couple of times, just in case, but no joy. Just as I was getting ready to give up and go home I spied a small group of women huddled on the corner by the P&R. They were wearing exercise togs. That seemed promising.

Alas, they too were waiting for the class that didn't seem to be happening. After a few minutes consultation we agreed to go for a walk anyway. Hell, we were standing outside at 7 am on a Saturday morning. May as well.

Turned out to be a nice walk! The clouds stayed just far enough away so as not to threaten us with wet and the temperature was downright pleasant once I got warmed up. We probably did about 3 miles. I was nice and sweaty by the time we finished our loop.

Called the P&R on Monday and eventually got the definitive answer: Instructor is out with an injury. No class until May. I was kind of relieved, but disappointed. I had myself psyched up to put in my month of pain (and there definitely would be pain) to get my ass back on the road.

But it was a little unnerving how sore I was from Saturday's little walk. And I definitely had felt the unhappy reaction of my heart and lungs on the hills. Maybe I'm not as ready as I thought I was.

So, as often happens, a setback reveals an opportunity. I figure it's time to step up. I will be walking 3 miles (~45-50 mins.) at least 3 days a week this month. I'm banking on the notion that it might cut down on my training curve next month.

I walked yesterday at lunch; that's a start. I was really sweaty when I got back but I have my own office and I don't deal with customers face to face so no one cares. I even brought my old running shoes to leave at work. I'm aiming for no excuses although I'm sure I'll find some.

It's important to me that I give this a good, honest try. I ran (off and on) for 10 years, even starting up again after I had my son at age 40, until a series of respiratory infections knocked me off track 6 or 7 years ago and I was never able to get going again.

I was a fairly inactive youth, and learning to run (and sometimes even enjoy it) at the age of 32 was one of the hardest things I ever did. There were days that my ex had to practically drag me out, whining and moaning, but somehow I kept going. I never could break a 10-minute mile, and I only ran maybe 15 miles a week (OK, that's generous), but I still count it as one of my greatest successes. I had always said that I couldn't run and that I hated exercise. I did it anyway and didn't die. It was the ultimate triumph of Me over Me.

I'm hoping for a comeback. I would love to be running regularly before I turn 50. Now that would be a triumph, for sure!

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