Friday, September 6, 2013

Is This a Good Idea?

I have a love hate relationship with running. Mostly hate really. A few years ago a friend of mine roped me into running a 5K. Living at the start of the Boston Marathon I have always had visions of myself someday running the marathon. Actually, the visions are of me just crossing the finishing line in triumph. I don't have any visions of training, through the rain/sleet/snow, or running for hours. But the finish line seems fun. So, when she said "Let's take this Couch to 5K class" I said "Sounds like fun!" Define fun. I'll tell you what fun isn't. It's not getting up at 5:00 in the dark to drive to a meeting spot and then run up and down hills with a trainer yelling at you not to stop. I know I wrote about this before but on the first day of our class someone actually puked in the bushes. I should have thrown in the towel at that point but I kept going and eventually ran the 5K and finished in pretty good time...for me. I was very proud of my accomplishment and then promptly stopped running...until the next year when we decided to do it all again. I beat my time from the previous year, which was my goal. I do love the feeling of accomplishment I get from running and I do feel great afterwards. But the actual running part? Yeah, that pretty much sucks. Some people say they can just clear their head when they run and they actually lose track of the fact that they are running. I spend the entire time thinking "Oh my God...when is this going to be over?!" So, here we are they day before a 5K in our town that is being organized by Tim's cousin Jack who started the LiveForEvan.org foundation with some friends after their good friend Evan Girardi, passed away in his senior year of college. Proceeds will go to fund the Evan Girardi Memorial Scholarships for Hopkinton High School, college-bound seniors and the 2013 LiveForEvan beneficiary, the Boston Cardiac Foundation, a non-profit that brings cardiac medical technologies and services to less developed countries around the world www.bostoncardiacfoundation.org. Not only is it a cause near and dear to the hearts of the Nealon family, but it is a great cause in general. So, I just signed Tim and myself up. A few things to note. The kids signed up earlier this week. Mimi is walking with some friends and Jack is running....he basically runs about 20 miles a week with his cross country team so this will be a piece of cake. In fact, he didn't run all summer and then went to his first practice and ran 5 miles, without puking in the bushes or even looking that winded. God love him. And yet, ya gotta hate him for just a second. I say that with love, of course. I have run 3 times this summer, and not very far. I tend to walk my usual route and then run back home because it is all downhill and it makes me feel like a cheetah. If you ever see me running home, as I'm cruising down the hill, you can be sure the bubble over my head is a picture of me, all cheetah-like, crossing the Boston Marathon finish line. Tim, ran once 2 years ago. I signed us all up for a 1 mile run in the dunes in the Outerbanks while we were on vacation. It was a "glow run"...so we ran with glow sticks around our neck and wrists as the sun was setting. At that point, I had just come off my 5K and warned everyone that I basically would blow their doors off out of the gate. The course basically consisted of us running up and down sand dunes as high as ten story buildings. I'm not kidding. Have you ever been to Kill Devil's Hills in the Outerbanks. Google it. They are stoopid high. Jack took off like a puppy who had just been let off his leash, and came in 10th out of about 250 people. Tim and Mimi ran together and finished about 10 minutes before me. I ran for about a minute before the quick sand sucked at my feet. All I could hear was myself gasping for air. Just a reminder...it was only a mile. Fast forward to vacation this year where I was waiting with the kids at the entrance to the beach for Tim to put the parking ticket in the car and walk back to us. All I hear is "What is Dad doing??!!" I look up and he is jogging back to meet us. I said "He's running" and the kids said "He runs?! This seems weird! What's wrong?!" Now to be fair, Tim is in great shape but he doesn't ever feel the need to run. Ever. He has embraced the idea that he is never going to take up running. I should probably do this. But instead, I hemmed and hawed all week thinking that we should run to support the cause and be with Tim's family. Of course, we could just support the cause with a donation and support the family at the finish line but this morning I decided, "We are going to run!" Tim's response "I'll have to get up at 5 just to stretch enough." To be fair, we don't have any plans of being able to run the whole thing but we'll give it our best shot. Tune in tomorrow to see how it went....

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