Today I ran the Catholic Charities 5k Run for Life with The Moms' Group. It was the first race I've done in five years. More than five years, actually. A long freaking time, I can tell you that.
And it hurt. It hurt badly. I forgot streets go up and down. I forgot 5k was 3.2 MILES. I forgot I hadn't run a step in months. I was reminded of all these things as the pain began just after the first kilometer marker. What? You mean I have FOUR MORE of these things to go?
There were a few good things: I didn't get a cramp in my side, the shinsplints didn't flare up, my feet didn't ache. I did have trouble breathing, in part because of, um, not having run a step in months, but also because I've been fighting a cold for the last few days.
Other than not being able to breathe, I was good to go. Too bad running requires breathing.
So I was painfully slow compared to my last race five years ago. And as I rounded the last corner of the last kilometer, I was loathe to see the clock and the "4" in the first position of my time. As I neared the finish line, I heard a smattering of applause, but kept my head down and pressed on. Without looking up I knew it was The Moms...the five or six of them who had faithfully stayed until all of us finished. I knew they could have been long gone, but they stayed anyway. My Moms...they are truly priceless.
So now as I write this I can't...really...move too well. But every time I feel the tightness in my legs, the twinges in my quads, I'm reminded that I didn't let my lack of training or my extra weight stop me today. Slowed me down quite a bit, but didn't stop me.
And don't worry, I can breathe now.