Ladies and gentlemen, IT’S LOLLIPOP TUESDAY!
Man, it’s been a while since I’ve said that. I think that has a little do to with the fact that I’ve been focusing on the 5K (read: rocking myself to sleep in the fetal position while clutching my training schedule) and forgetting that the whole ‘get out of the house and try new things’ thing can’t come to a hault because of a longterm goal. I’ll do better. Really.
In the meantime, I’m sure it’s been so long that you can’t even remember what a Lollipop Tuesday is so instead of directing you to the top of this page where it says “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” as I am wont to do, I will let you stay right where you are and tell you that Lollipop Tuesdays are an occasional series here on the jackie blog wherein I challenge myself to get out of the house and try new things in an attempt to stop my hermity old cat lady ways in their tracks.
Or at least slow them a bit.
Anyway, I’m evading the point, which is that on May 4th of this, the 2013th year of our Lord, I chugga chug chugged my tubby tub tub across the great urban plains of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in an attempt to run three point one miles without stopping.
For someone who got winded a few months ago just walking to the bus stop, this is quite a feat.
This was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a while. Not only because it took several weeks of preparation, but also because there was no way to wiggle my way out of it. I signed up, I told a bunch of people; I was locked in. For weeks I’ve wanted to quit and for weeks I’ve had to tell myself to suck it up. That’s why when I was about halfway through the race and I looked longingly at the people who were taking a walk break, I could tell myself to stop being such a baby and to pedal my jelly rolls onward toward the goal.
Actually, halfway through I struck a deal with myself that if I finished the 5K, I could back out of the 10K. Because let me tell ya – after doing all that, the only thing I was certain of was that I was not, no way, ever going to run a 10K.
Unfortunately, I’ve already publicly committed to the 10K and paid the registration fee so I’m roped in, squealing and kicking and all. 5K Jackie was tricking non 5K Jackie. It was a dirty, dirty trick indeed.
When I first started the whole thing and I found out that you get a medal at the end, I was kind of annoyed. It reminded me of when I used to chair Model United Nations in college *pushes up glasses* and the organizer always made me give every kid who talked a certificate. It made me livid. Just because you talk doesn’t mean you’re contributing to the conversation. I don’t care if you’re 14 and need encouragement. You know what’s encouraging? Getting a trophy next year when you actually decide to say something worthwhile.
Okay, I’m obviously still harboring a lot of unresolved resentment about this. Let’s move on. My point is that I may have disagreed with the “everyone gets a medal!” mentality before the race, when I was finished I grabbed that thing with both hands and threw it around my neck whilst furiously gargling my spit. Because when a chubby girl with asthma runs three miles without stopping for her inhaler or a lollipop, you give her a damn medal.
Seriously though, I’m glad I did it. The whole point of starting Lollipop Tuesdays was to stop defining myself by the things I hadn’t done and start defining myself by the things I had. I couldn’t ever imagine running a 5K and now I have. So now I get to raise the stakes and try to go for the 10. It’s good for me. I hate to suck at things, and there’s nothing like watching children half my age and their parents twice my age running effortlessly ahead of me while I struggle to maintain a 12-minute-per-mile pace. It keeps me humble. And by humble I mean self-deprecating.
I think I also unearthed a nugget of self-knowledge here. Even though months ago I would have been thrilled to run for 3 miles without stopping, as soon as I crossed the finish line I started to think about how I should have been more tired and that I must not have pushed myself hard enough. I thought about how a 5K was okay, but what was actually impressive was something big like a marathon. I thought about how maybe if I did a 10K and I could shave two minutes off my mile that I would really achieve something.
In a way, that’s a great thing. The want to constantly get to the next thing keeps me moving and keeps me interested. But in a way it’s absolutely awful because no matter where I get, I fail to appreciate my arrival. Dave, who listened to me groan and moan for months about hating my body and how I was constantly tired and miserable, saw me cross the finish line, took a bunch of pictures, and took me out to celebrate. He was at least four times happier than I was. When he went on and on about how proud of me he was, I started to feel like he was mocking me.
Of course he wasn’t. He’s Dave the Great. I’m the sucky one.
So I guess my goals are now twofold. 1) Take time to appreciate the getting there before going elsewhere 2) Remember to continue to do little new things while attempting to do one big new thing.
3) Run a 10K. ♣