In February, at a birthday celebration for a dear friend, a group of us were talking about working out and being active. What started as people talking about being fit ended with a challenge for us to participate in the Soldier Field 10 challenge held on Labor Day weekend in Chicago. We decided to walk the race. I figured, how hard could it be? I walk to and from the train station every day. That's gotta be about a mile or so. Why not go for it? As time got closer, I finally signed up for the event. I only did it because I didn't want to "fake out". But I got a little concerned when I realized that the "10" was not 10K but 10 miles! Okay, I wasn't ready for that. Still, I was going to go through and just go as long as I could go. Why not? It was an opportunity to spend time time with friends. How hard could it be?
Well, fast forward to the day. I ate well, doubled up the socks and woke up at the crack of dawn to grab my dear friend/soror/walking buddy. We were in a heap of traffic at 6:30 am trying to get into the parking lot at Soldier Field. We got there and saw many people walking, running, stretching - getting ready for the event. These people were really serious. Too serious. It's just a race, after all. We lined up in our corrals and ran into other people who we know. Before long, we were off! Excitement! The music, the encouragement. It was incredible!
I ended up walking with someone who I had just met because my other friends (the ones who made the challenge) were walking at a slower pace. The new friend was a walker and runner. I told her that I would try to hang out with her for as long as I could. When we hit mile 3, I was really wondering how in the world I was going to make it 7 more miles. Remember - no training. double socks in multi-trainer gym shoes (not walking or running shoes). No stretching. Really?
Well, we got to mile 5 and figured that we could make it. It certainly helped that we were able to run by Lake Michigan, which was absolutely gorgeous at that time of the morning, We ran a little and walked a little. Come mile 8, we knew that we were going to make it. We were so excited. And, of course, it helped that they called our names on the loud speakers as we ran across. I thought I was going to pass out when we got to the finish line but the soldier gave me my medal, I ran into more friends and sorors and I was on a high for the rest of the time! LOL!
Thus began my new found love and hobby - running! I'll be writing more about it, tips on nutrition, exercises, proper gear, etc. And I'll let you know about my upcoming events. God willing, I'll be running in the DivineNine race on July 19! I'll write before, though. Gonna tell you about my doctor's appointment, too. Hey, it's not easy picking up such a strenuous exercise at 49 years of age! But I'm going for it!
More to come!