Every couple of years, I decide to pay an organization, usually charitable, to let me run a long distance and casually explain to people that I have participated in a lengthy run so that they may look at me with admiration. I’ve completed 5k races, a 10 mile run and even a half marathon. These are all a big deal for me, because I hate running with a fiery passion. Nothing incites anger in me more than running around aimlessly. Even in high school, on days when my coach told the entire team it was time to run, I would fume with indignation that I was being asked to run in giant circles. I was fine with chasing a ball for two hours, but running in circles – that was where I drew the line.
Anyway, this year, I signed up for a 10 mile run.
Now, the only thing I hate more than running is practicing running (aka. training). So typically, I do not prepare for these lengthy runs. I craft extensive training plans, sign up for virtual coaches and read about how to run. I also dabble in inspiring quotations.
This year, however, I decided to prepare for the 10 mile run. Normally you are supposed to be able to run up to 8 miles non-stop before going on one of these runs. One day, I ran almost one whole mile without stopping. So, I didn’t quite make it to eight miles, but I did a little bit of training nevertheless.
And guess what! I was really impressed to see that the training actually paid off! Given my recent health, a few days before the race, I decided to run a 5k in lieu of the 10 miler. And so I slowly ran that 5k, and I was pleasantly surprised to find at the end of the race that I was not in egregious pain. In fact, I am pretty sure I went another two miles just trying to find David at the end of the race!
So, I learned a valuable lesson. If you practice running, running becomes easier. I suppose this golden nugget is true of a lot of things. I just forgot.