I don’t like running so it’s ironic that I found myself running a 10 k race on Mother’s Day…. BY MYSELF.
To me running is a means to an end. In order to do better at speed skating I must increase my cardio and endurance. Running is a part of that. There are other things I’m doing – a ravine stair training class and sprints – but for the most part, running is helping my cardio so I do it.
Hating. Every. Single. Step.
When my good friend Lisa signed up to run a 10 k race with her husband, I decided to sign up too, as a show of support. Her husband runs faster than she does so I didn’t want her to go it alone and it gave me something to work towards. Anyhoo….the week before the race circumstances beyond their control cropped up meaning that instead of running the 10 k, they would be doing the 5 k.
I suppose I could have dodged out and run the 5 k as well but by this time I had told everyone I was running the 10 k, my kids included. There is a downside to having verbal diarrhea.
The race started at 8:00 a.m. and although hubby offered to get the kids up to see me off, I know thy hell that is taking care of two tired, grumpy, unoccupied kids who would be in a field for an hour or so while I ran. We decided on him showing up with the kids to see me cross the finish line – preferably not in a stretcher.
The kids were quite focused on my winning. Will you come in first mummy? Will you win a medal? No and yes I explained. There was no chance in hell I would come in first. Or second. Or thirtieth. But yes, I’ll get a medal for finishing.
But don’t you want to win mummy? Why are you doing it if you don’t want to win.
I did my best to explain why I was doing it but how do you explain to a child winning had nothing to do with the why and that while I hated the running itself, the benefits I reaped outweighed the running hatred.
So I got up at 5:30 on Mother’s Day and made my way down to the race site, not one ounce of me wanting to be there. 20 minutes before the race began I started to fantasize about lying down on the bench I was now perched atop and taking a nap. When they called us to the start line, I slowly made my way there. Very slowly.
Then we were off. And I ran. I hated the first 4 km and the last 3 as well. But I did it and as I approached the finish line, there they were….my husband and two boys cheering me on. My eyes welled up with tears and my heart felt like it would explode with happiness, a much better feeling than when it feels like it will explode from running 10 kilometres. My oldest son ran alongside me for the last 100 metres and we crossed the finish line together.
I was presented with my medal and hugged by two boys who told me how proud they were. When I crossed the finish line it no longer mattered to them I wasn’t first, just that I had run.
My time for the race was 1:07, finishing 86th out of the 117 women in my category.
But in my heart, I won.