About a month and a half ago, I went to the gym and instead of "running" on an elliptical machine, I decided to run around the track. This was not an unusual occurrence a couple of years ago, when I had minor aspirations to becoming a runner, but I stopped running and switched exclusively to the elliptical when I was pregnant because I was just too uncomfortable with the impact and bouncing. Since Malcolm arrived, I have run on a treadmill a few times and the elliptical a few times, but mostly I stuck to daily walks with Malcolm and Miikka as my regular exercise. Anyway, this time when I ran around the track, I managed 3 miles with only about 1/2 a mile of walking. I was somewhat surprised, although I probably shouldn't have been - walking up and down all our hills with 10 to 15 pounds of baby strapped to your chest is a pretty good workout - and began to think about signing up for a local charity 5K organized by my former trainer. So I started making an effort to go to the track more often, timed my miles, and decided that I could definitely do the 5K. Then about two weeks ago I go a miserable cold and didn't do anything more strenuous than stroll for almost a week. The 5K started to look like a bad idea. But I made myself take Malcolm out for a run in the stroller at the end of last week, and when I didn't collapse in a wheezing heap after 2 miles, I started to feel a bit better about my chances. I did a couple more practice runs around a local park - one with Malcolm and one without (which was much easier) - and decided that I might actually have a chance to run the entire course.
And I did! The weather this morning was almost perfect - cool but not too cold (although I could have used a pair of gloves), sunny, but not too sunny - the birds were chirping, and I was happy to be outside. Much better than the only other 5K I ran a couple of years ago, when it was about 80 with 80% humidity at 7 AM. This time, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into, I knew the route and my abilities, so I didn't start too fast or too slow, and I just kept chugging along. I didn't walk at all, actually managed to speed up a bit at the end, and finished in 32:02. Nowhere near a winning time, of course, but I am pretty pleased with myself. If you had told me, when I was on the junior high track team suffering when I had to run any race longer than 100 meters, that I would be running a 5K for fun, I would have rolled my eyes at you (I was very good at that). Now, I think I might want to try a 10K one of these days.