Last night, I successfully completed my first 5km run. I know, I know: I hate running. But I'm trying to get fit and decided that the best and way to do it is to run. Despite my better judgement, I entered a free 5km fun run along Sea Point promenade in Cape Town and forced myself to go. So while I was trotting along, panting and puffing, getting redder and redder in the face, I'm sure you can imagine what was going through my head. Unlike those uplifting footwear ads you see with beautiful people glowing and a word bubble that reads "Love to run, love to live" or something else inspiring, instead my thoughts went something like this:
'OK, this isn't so bad. I'll just keep a constant pace and not worry about anybod– hey, they seem to be speeding up! Maybe I should speed up? No Karen, juts run your own run, they probably do this every other weekend. You're right. OK, one, two, breathe. One, two, breathe. Hey, Shereen's just stopped to walk, maybe I should stop too? No Karen, keep on going. But it would be so easy to stop. No, keep on running. Pant, pant, breathe, curse, what is this song? It's really not motivating me to run faster. Maybe I should stop and try again once I have the right musi– no! Keep. On. Running! OK, there you go, you're nearly at the turnaround point, which means you've run halfway - shit, only halfway? I have to run all of that AGAIN? Stop thinking about it and keep pushing, keep pushing. Look at that bench. It says 'respect' on it. Respect your body enough to look after it, and give yourself the benefit of the doubt to prove those 'I can't do this' thoughts wrong. Wow, that was a really good speech. I feel great, this is totally doabl– wait, you mean those aren't the palm trees that we started at? Fuck, fuck, fuck, why are you doing this to yourself, fuck, fuck, breathe, BREATHE. Come on, you've gone so far, you can't give up now. Imagine how terrible it would feel tomorrow telling everyone you ran almost 5kms. What was it Gino said? Just put one foot in front of the other, it's worse if you stop. Breathe, breathe, BREATHE!'
So, what have I learnt from this experience?
1 I still hate running
2 But it feels good to complete something I thought I couldn't do
3 Music HELPS
4 The fact that I told people that I was doing this run held me accountable and helped me keep on going - uh, people pleaser much?! But still, why do you think I'm blogging?
5 I can run 5kms if I really really want to, which is always useful in a survival situation