The Longest 5km EVER!

I’m a prairie gal. Sure, I grew up in the mountains, but to recall that time of my life takes a scratch of the chin and a shake of my head. It was good to grow up where the winter was short. I’ve been known to belly ache about living on the prairies a time or two, but truth be told, I love it here.

I especially love that when I run (or walk) five kilometres it’s flat both coming and going. There may be a hill somewhere around here but I surely haven’t seen it. In fact, I’ve been told that I live on the hill here in my town but it took me about five years to see what they were talking about.

I was very excited to sign myself up for the Canmore Rocky Mountain 5/10km/half Marathon Run/Walk set to go for September 8th. It gave me a good long time to train and it was going to be in the MOUNTAINS!! I couldn’t wait to see my beloved mountains again. Then, I remembered that it was probably a lot higher there, as in, the air is thinner.

Less oxygen. More hills.

I didn’t check to find out just how much difference there was between my current prairie elevation and that of the mountains I was set to run in. Ignorance is bliss until you Google the heck out of it. I should have stayed ignorant.

When I arrived in the mountains the truth of the matter became quite clear. We were not in harvest country anymore. No sir! The exact difference in elevation between the two has not been calculated by yours truly, but the estimate based on my, then panicky state of mind, would be about 1400 feet. That’s a lot of feet! When I looked it up a  few days before my “race” I tried not to think about what that would do to my barely trained body. I went back to ignorant bliss.

Reality was a kicker.

It was a relief to see a variety of people lining up for the 5km. There were beautiful lean muscled people, young kids, plump people (hand up), thin people, old people, tall people, short people… I had NO idea where I would fit into the scheme of the real race and how fast everyone else was in comparison to myself. Growing up, I was the last person every single time we had to sprint/long distance run. I would try to convince friends to run/walk with me so I wouldn’t be the last lame excuse in the gym class. I hated running. Running and I have had a history. A short and painful history.

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There I was, close to the beginning of the start-up line. The horn blew and I was off. It was clear, from the get-go, that I was going to be passed by a few hundred people. I didn’t count. I was not that obsessed with how many were ahead of me. The lean-muscled, evidently well trained crowd hustled passed me. Soon the middle-agers were kicking my butt. Then, it happened. Right around the 3km mark. The old guy behind me pulled out whatever juice he had and limped past me. I kept running though. I’m not sure you can call it running because there were these walkers that were reluctant to have me pass them. They would run past me then slow to a walk. They did this several times until I let them keep ahead of me. I couldn’t have those tall walkers feel bad, what with all that leg length and everything they had going for them. Truth was, I didn’t have the energy to look behind me to see if I was actually last, for another pass…

Right around the 4km mark the 10km and Half Marathon runners converged with the 5km run/walkers. Then EVERYONE was passing me. Thanks, organizers, for helping me feel better about myself!

I blame it on the elevation and not because I didn’t run very much at all the last week before the race. Training took a kick to the gut when a migraine of scientifically impossible proportions took my head and threw it into the tree grinder. My migraine passed just as we entered the mountain paradise. No, it wasn’t a migraine that took me down in the end.

As I ran, my legs felt heavier and heavier. I looked enviously at the walkers, seemingly oblivious to my pain and enjoying the chat with one another. I thought to myself that I could probably walk faster than I was running so why not just enjoy the rest of the race and the beautiful scenery and walk? It beckoned to me. The sweet song of walking surrender.

I couldn’t do it though. My stubborn streak beat the siren of temptation and held it in a head lock while I put one foot in front of the other. I kept misreading the markers and mistakenly thought I had gone 3kms when I had actually gone only 2kms. From that point on the race only got longer. When the FINISH line appeared after what seemed like an eternity I sobbed. I cried and ran. Onlookers probably assumed I had run the Half Marathon and had accomplished some amazing feat. I had a  “Keep on going!” and a “It’s only 500 meters left!” shouted to me. I blithered and kept on running, holding  the FINISH line with my eyes and heart.

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I figured I should probably get myself together for the cameras that were surely going to capture my finish. I plastered on a smile as I passed my enthusiastic cheering squad and put a jig in my step. As soon as I had passed, I resumed weeping as I crossed that finish line.

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Five kilometers doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was a marathon in the making. I can tell you that it felt a lot longer than my usual prairie 5km. As I crossed that finish line I knew that God had done a miracle! As the man on the mat who had been healed by Jesus, leaped up and ran, so did I…without the leaping. The joy over the visible, if not instantaneous, healing is similar.

I’ve had a few “fit” people ask me “So, what’s your next goal?” Are they crazy? I just ran in the mountains. It’s time to hibernate! I’m kidding!! I’m going to tell you a secret… I’ve set another goal but I’m just not telling yet. Let’s just say, I am more informed about what elevation does to a body this time around.

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Summer Vacation story…and I’m sticking to it

Official logo of Winnipeg

Official logo of Winnipeg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being in spiritual leadership is extremely taxing in both the spiritual aspect, the social aspect and just feeling the weight of the expectations on you. Every year we try to see family and fit some relaxation time in there with the four kids. Relaxing with four young kids could be considered an oxymoron. Perhaps there are those who think that The Reverend and his very Holy Family *sarcasm* should just go into seclusion and read their Bibles.  Then there are the times we end up in a big city with a lot of mesmerizing lights, go over to a random Italian home and enjoy an authentic Italian meal, drink homemade wine and end up in their basement singing songs from the ’50’s.  My sister is dating a nice guy who is from Italy and maybe they’ve invited us in to “The Family” *say that with a raspy male voice it makes it sound more impressive*It was hard to tell because they showed me the cellar and that worried me a little. I’m kidding. It was favaloso!

Today we had an odd thing happen. We went all the way to the beach and had NO ONE wanting to go swimming. Oh sure, the teenagers went in to dip their toes and the kids wandered around aimlessly but really all we could do was sit there and eat snacks. Sure, not every adventure has to be actually adventurous but it would help if MY kids acted themselves and spend the time in the water…that would have been normal. Some of them just hung around looking out of sorts. Halfway home “Mom, I’m going to barf.” and barf he did. I should have known b/c our older daughter was complaining of a very sore head so she was kind of out of sorts. But mommy says “We are ALL going to have a fun time at the beach because it’s holidays…RIGHT?” Ah so momma’s not always right. We tried though. It was early to bed for barf boy and headache Queen. Then the Queen of Scream showed up and made me rap her a lullaby. Well, I rapped and she screamed. So over tired was she that she did not appreciate my lyrical artistry.

I ran, jogged with my brother around Winnipeg yesterday. Right off my bladder seemed full. Yah. No bathrooms. So my game was a little off with that little middle-aged crisis. Ok, me with my short (and I do mean SHORT) legs can never keep up to a brother like mine so as I moved my legs at lightening speed he sauntered along…and did a very good job of looking like he was getting a good jog in. He’s nice like that. Even though I felt intimidated to run with a long-legged guy like him he jogged easily beside me. Twenty-two minutes of jogging and a day later and he must have been deceptively working me harder than I thought. My thighs are screaming and my calves are begging for jog day not to be tomorrow. But I will. I will let him work harder than me and my short legs will let on. I can be stealthy like that. YA right…

All in all my holiday has entertained and relaxed, kind of. I have more stories but have to ok them with my family yet.

I love being with my fam jam. They are kooky like me only maybe more so. I should go to bed now though. Insomnia does not cure travel weary stress brain.

 

 

Midlife Crisis

Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was either take up jogging or buy a Harley so I went with the Harley…I figure if the rest of the Western World can have a midlife crisis, why can’t I? Just kidding!  I took up jogging…because, while it’s just as dangerous, it’s less expensive….and healthier! I’m all about healthy. *snort*

Today I asked my son to come with me to cheer me on. I told him it would be better than last week. Last week he accompanied me on my 2nd jog ever (since high school) it was more huffing and walking than anything that resembled a jog. Being the encouragement and truthful guy that he usually is, he told me that I was pretty slow and when would we get to the jogging? Thanks, son. You are a terrific cheerleader. If he had hadn’t been bored to tears this afternoon, with nothing more entertaining than watching his middle-aged mother jog, he would have gladly done almost anything else, I’m sure. Except Math.

I started out strong. In fact, I think I was almost motivated by his jogging to pick up my pace a little. During the first interval, he danced around the side of the road ahead of me, almost mocking my slow pace. I smiled and told myself it was a great idea to bring him with me. The second interval I was breathing a little harder and he bolted ahead of me. I was glad that he came along so he could get some exercise and I turned up the volume on the iPod I was borrowing from him. By now, it was hard to hear the automated trainer over my heavy breathing. By the third interval, he ran a block ahead and back and then told me “We went around the town 8 times on that Terry Fox Run a couple of years ago…EIGHT TIMES!!” Kid, if I make it around bend, up the (tiny) hill and against this wicked wind, I’ll be a superhero.

I waved at him and told him not to talk anymore because it’s against the jogging rules to talk while I jog. We established this rule on the first run. Oddly, this did not stop his questions. He kept asking “Are we turning here? How about here? Are you going this way and home? Why are we going this way and not the opposite way?” I’m not sure why he didn’t understand that we were going ALL the way around town. I was starting to wonder if I looked that desperate to head home. We were only 1 Km in, after all. Finally, when there were almost no corners left to turn he said “Oh, you mean all the way around town?” Gasping, I said “YES, ALL the way. All three kilometers.” That’s how big this town is, about, if my GPS thingy is working. I told him that eventually I would be able to jog the entire way but I was starting slowly so as not to hurt myself.

“How could you hurt yourself walking?”

Next time, I’m leaving him at home…at least, until I can jog the whole shebang without feeling like my chest will explode.

I should have bought the Harley.

 

 

If you hate exercise

English: Jogging in Kennington Park In common ...

English: Jogging in Kennington Park In common with other open spaces in London, jogging is a popular lunchtime activity in Kennington Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You should know that I do too…

….and you should read my posts at my other blog

I pretty much can’t believe that I’m doing this and my family have told me their opinions, which I share here

If you happen to love exercise, you can go ahead and have a good laugh at me. Making a big deal of a 5 Km is what I am doing and I may have some embarrassing stuff to share with you all eventually…ok, let’s just say it’s already happened and stay tuned for more tales from the Reverend’s Wife.

Over at Emerging from the Chrysalis I am undergoing a transformation both physically and spiritually (and mentally, if we’re being honest) so that’s why I am sharing with that audience what I am doing. I will be moving the humor part of it back here. But for now, go on over and see if there is something to make fun of me about.