I have a good friend who decided to start running when she turned 30 and then proceeded to run a marathon. I’ve always respected people like that; those who try something new and then really get into it. She has since run many other races and on occasion has asked if I’d be interested in running a race with her, to which I have always responded with a “thanks, but no way”. I’ve run with her a few different times for fun (is that even possible?) and was proud of myself for keeping up. Then I’d wake up the next morning unable to move.
I’ve enjoyed running off and on for the last several years, more time off than on. If anyone even mentioned running in a race I quickly told them that there was no way I would ever pay to run because that’s just crazy talk. I had successfully turned down all race-running invitations up until a few weeks ago.
The company Andy works for was putting on a 5k which Andy was required to be at. The race was in Tacoma near my sister’s house, so Andy threw out the suggestion that Jillian and I should run in the race. Just like that, for the first time ever, I considered running. Even more surprising, I paid to run. I hadn’t run in a couple of weeks and was slightly nervous that I might be insane. But I had paid my money, made plans with my sister, and I was in.
We showed up that morning ready to go. I figured that the worst that could happen was I’d get too tired and have to walk; absolute worst would be death. Jillian and I had discussed pacing ourselves and sticking together. Some people walked it, some ran with others, and some ran alone listening to music through headphones. Jillian decided we should listen to music too, but since there were two of us, we’d just listen through her phone and share our music with every other runner we met along the way. I’m sure our fellow runners appreciated this.
We started with some 80’s rock to get us going, but when that wasn’t getting the job done, we turned to the Pandora station we should have gone to in the very beginning. Beyonce. We owe it all to Queen Bey that we finished strong. We both felt better than we thought we would, although, my knees did not appreciate the steep decline at the end of the race. The course leveled out at the end and we sprinted to the finish line as people cheered us on and I’ve got to say, it felt great.
It felt great until later that night when the aching began. I guess running a 5K without exercising much before may not be the best idea. Jillian texted me that night asking how I was feeling.
“I’m pretty sore, how about you?” I responded.
“My shins hurt and I’m a little sore, but not too bad.”
Moving was difficult the next morning. I texted Jillian, “How are you feeling today?”
“Really good! Not near as sore as last night. You?” she replied.
“Seriously? I’m in pain from the waist down and my knees are killing me.” And there’s the difference between 30 and 40 years old. Oh, and I forgot to mention that she works out everyday. Me, every few weeks.
But I did it. I said I never would, but I did. In this first year of being 40 I’ve had a few of those never-say-never experiences and I think they’re good. Sometimes very painful, but good.