Normally I like to reserve this blog for things related to trading cards and the Minnesota Twins. Normally I don’t like to use this blog to prattle on about my personal life. Of course, you see, when the stars align in just the right way, any excuse can be made to do just about anything. So, since this is slightly relevant to one of the topics of residence here at CW, I can forgive myself this one indulgence, right?
As two or three of you may know, earlier this year I put it upon myself to FINALLY lose the college belly that I added before I even stepped one foot on campus. That was back in ’95, kids. Starting in late February, I proceeded to shed 40 pounds before Summer began. You see, at the time my motivation was to get into “Vegas shape, baby.” My wife, The Over-thinker, and I had originally planned to spend a week or so in Las Vegas this Summer. That, unfortunately, did not pan out. That did not stop me from pushing forward and dropping pounds. I still have a little bit of the belly, but I’m now sitting at roughly 160 pounds.
Part of my weight loss regimen included running–something I had not done since I tore my ACL in 1995 (part of the reason I was able to gain a college belly before college). I used the Couch to 5K (C25K) app on my phone to keep myself on track. My first day of training was May 1st of this year and, let me tell you, it sucked major arse. In retrospect, it was the easiest run of the entire training program but, since I had not run in over 15 years, it was also the hardest. I kept at it, anyway, convincing myself that I wasn’t going to lose 40 pounds for no reason. That’s when I decided that training to be able to run a 5K would eventually have its own purpose.
I was able to finally tick something off of my Bucket List. Running a charity 5K. I can run any distance I want at any time that I want. Running for a charity event, however, is something different altogether. It’s a much more social environment on a set course at a set time all to raise money for a great cause. Perhaps it’s a bit of an early-stage mid-life crisis peeking out, but I like the idea of being able to do something fun all while helping those in need. Added selfish bonus–it helps me stay healthy, too!
Midway through my training, I stumbled upon an advertisement for a 5K charity event being held by Minnesota Twins pitcher Glen Perkins. Perfect! I’m training to do a 5K, I’m looking for a 5K charity event, I’m looking to check something off of my bucket list, AND I’m a big Twins fan! His 5K run, called Fifteen’s 5K (because he wears 15), is the first he’s ever hosted. The run would benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a charity very close to Glen.
The run was scheduled for 8am on Sunday August 12 2012 (yesterday morning) and, luckily for me, I had finished my 5K training well in advance. In fact, the last day of the C25K app was a 5K test, which I finished successfully on the first try–on my 35th birthday, even! So, for the last month and a half I’ve been running no less than a 5K three days a week just to stay in shape. This might sound silly to the more experienced and advanced runners, but to an out-of-practice middle-aged guy with a previously injured knee it seemed like the smart thing to do. I finished my 5K test in around 34 minutes. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a great pace.
As I progressed through July, I was eventually able to run 5 miles. In fact, I even “accidentally” ran a 10K at one point (I got lost and decided to keep running anyway). My pace improved slightly with each run. I was at just over a 9-minute mile before the Fifteen’s 5K.
Even though I had trained to be able to run a 5K, even though I had run no less than a 5K three days a week for over a month, even though I am confident that I could run a 10K, I was still nervous about my first official run–and I don’t get nervous.
But I still did it.
More than that, though, I didn’t just do this for myself. I was able to do this for those in need.
…and I set personal records while doing so!