February 26, 2016

The Hen's Biggest Race Ever

It's just so good.
I am done acknowledging time gaps between Hen articles that are longer than I want. Typically, this is every gap between every article because I'd love to have a new article daily. But this is not feasible with my busy schedule of part-time work, getting fingerprinted for each individual teaching job I apply to, and keeping up with American Idol. Now that that's off my breast, onward with my huge announcement! (It's not Trump-related. Keep reading.)

Tomorrow is a big day for The Hen! I won't be trying to steal an acting role from a 12 year old - I've already done that. I'll be flapping in my first 5K run!

Running is hard.
My training for this event has been 6 years in the making, since I left competitive figure skating and needed a new outlet to make my body miserable. I started with such promise to kick off the 2010 new year. I lived near the beach and Florida winters make great running weather. With the perfect setting, weather, and iPod Classic for training, I hit the sand and pavement hard. Then I got up, tied my shoe, and started running.

At one point in February, 2010, I could run over 6 miles. I was ready for the Boston Marathon! (Until I researched the length of a marathon.) I was in the shape of my life and nothing could stop me from running away from the hole in my soul that missed skating. But then life came after me just a little faster with its ugly talons to slow me from this marathon goal. I started running less with obstacles like heat, graduate school homework, alcohol, friends, wanting to ice skate again, and that time I couldn't find my headphones.

Summer 2011 was a low point in my training - I left my beach area apartment, I got full-time traveling work starting that fall, and it was hot as hell. Aside from getting on a treadmill once in 2013 and avoiding doing a "mud run" one summer with friends, my running career was on indefinite hiatus.

Fast forward to January, 2016. I had the luxury of unemployment and winter weather to rejuvenate my running career. This time, my primary motivation was to avoid becoming fat. After running a casual mile here and there through the neighborhood, I started noticing obnoxious billboards in my face for an upcoming 5K. It was even for a good cause. This was life smacking me in the beak and telling me to stop putting off this goal of organized group running.

After surviving a trial 3-mile run to make sure I wouldn't become roadkill mid-race, I signed up. There was no turning back from February 27! Since then, I have almost hated running a few times, but the scrap of an athlete still in me has forced myself to run multiple times a week. Thankfully that inner athlete scrap has reminded the rest of my body that physical feats get easier with repetition and "training." And unlike figure skating, it has been okay to have a lazy day, as long as my legs are still moving. If I showed up at the ice rink rolling my eyes, skating slowly, and only practicing tricks that I wanted to, I was scolded and kicked off the ice. (Apparently that kind of training isn't what made Michelle Kwan successful.) But, I can run as slow or fast as I choose, and no one yells at me but my inner hen. My inner hen is tired and old, so I never get scolded for trotting an 11-minute mile like a geriatric.


We will see how tomorrow morning goes. My inner athlete may claw its way out to flap for a winning time. Or I may jog with the grandmas. Either way, I'm a winner.

KEEP READING! "Bar Flies That Need Swatting!"
"I Can't Keep Turning 21."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Robbie, for this great post. I wish you a very hearty "Go, Robbie!!" from Washington State. Your Mom and I grew up together at Iceland in Tucson. You're a great writer; warm, witty, intriguing and sincere. Keep it up! Can't wait to read your next post. Again, thanks for returning to writing.