This Friday Clayton and I are joining our friend Nathan in the Picnic Island Adventure Run.
If you’re like me, all naive and innocent, you might think that sounds like a big ball of fun. So then maybe you’d sign up for it less than a week in advance. And then maybe you’d actually try to physically run 3.3 miles and end up wheezing on a bench next to the sidewalk you’d attempted to conquer.
Ok, maybe you wouldn’t do that. But I would.
But Natalie, you think, you’re a personal trainer! True, but I work with weights. My clients lift and push and pull and flex. They do not run. Therefore, I do not run. Haven’t in about a year and a half. So when I took to the pavement on Sunday night for training session one, I wasn’t expecting much. I was able to finish two miles without stopping, and that was beyond thrilling for me. The last half mile was particularly painful and I’m pretty sure a couple in their 90s walked past me, but I didn’t stop. I thought this was an accurate marker of my current fitness level — I’d be able to finish most of the race on my own and hopefully adrenaline would push me across the finish line.
And then there was last night. I stretched and prepped for what I assumed would be a 2+ mile run. How could I not add to my mileage when the race was only four days away? So off I went. And here’s the take home lesson: never trust that first run. Your body is in shock for most of it and before it can realize that it should have completely shut down about 25 minutes ago, you’re already back at home playing with your dog and massaging your calves. The second run? That’s the truth-teller. Especially when the sun is shining and the humidity is ungodly. That’s when you can expect to discover just how unfit you truly are. Or, in my case, just how far you can push those two puffs on the inhaler before the lungs implode. Turns out, it’s only about a mile and a half.
So now I have three more days to “train.” The tricky part is that the race isn’t just straight running on a nice paved road. That would be too easy for someone who hasn’t done a 5k in four years. This race takes you through water, under a cargo net, over hurdles, and God knows what else in those five kilometers.
Despite the sore back and burning quads, I am really hoping this race will kick start my running again. I was fairly consistent throughout college and have started to miss the runner’s high. Not to mention it will soon require at least 3 miles to drain Bryson’s energy. (He’s about 40 pounds!)
And even if none of that happens, the free pizza and ice cream at the post-race party will make that asthma attack so worth it.