Three and a Half Hours

IMG_0591Three and a half hours to go. Originally, it seemed like it was a long way away. I would never had considered it if I hadn’t had seven weeks to prepare. After the date got changed, I had another two weeks — plenty of time. Then, life happened.

August is deceiving. It feels like the freedom, the extra time and the sunlight will last forever, but September always follows with its demanding schedule, new tempo and decreasing daylight. Add in some travel, a couple of visitors and a bout of intestinal upset and suddenly nine weeks hardly seems long enough.

Will I be able to do 5k becomes the question? I was never a runner. An athlete yes, but not a runner. Even in softball, I was mainly successful because I could hit the ball out of the park, eliminating the need to run quickly around the bases and, of course, the pitcher does not need to run at all.

My main sport was swimming, a totally different body dynamic. I still enjoy doing laps until I am completely lost in the rhythm, the splash of the water, the push off of the wall and the rush of the water over my body. It is hypnotic. But, running is another matter.

My earliest memories were of running around the block when I was quite small, less than eight years of age. We lived on one of those horseshoe shaped crescents that were built by the thousands in the 1940’s and 1950’s. So, a trip around the block meant that you were really close to home for most of it. I did not enjoy it but my swimming coach thought that it was a good idea. I don’t remember doing it very much.

I later ran because I thought that it would help my figure, but the sheer torture of running was simply not worth it. There had to be a better way. I tried to run in highschool and everyday when I was about to go and get changed into clothing that I could run home in, a student would pull the fire alarm and I would have to exit the school. This went on day after day until they finally caught the guy and I stopped planning to run home. It makes me wonder if that isn’t one of those synchronicities that don’t make sense at the time.

In university, I tried to run with one of my boyfriends, but he was a full six inches taller than I was, highly competitive, and I was on a calorie-restricted diet at the same time. That was a disaster waiting to happen. When I almost passed out during a run, I thought that it would be safer to call it quits.

Now here I am, post children. I have been walking extensively for a year and a half and just started to add running into the mix. As I said, it sounded like a good idea at the time, but now with the clock ticking, all I can say is, “Wish me luck!”

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