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My Longest Run

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One month ago, I couldn’t run more than 1.5 miles without complaining and feeling like I was about to collapse.

It’s not that I’m lazy. I work out occasionally and can hold my own in workout classes. But running is a different story. In my opinion, running is one of the hardest forms of exercise because it takes just as much mental energy as it does physical.

Up until about 3 weeks ago, I hated running. It was boring. It hurt my legs. Blech. I didn’t understand how people could run miles and miles, yet I envied them. I envied them because runners seem like the toughest crew around and I wanted to be part of that. I had tried over the years to run more than a mile or so, but I just couldn’t do it.

One runner in particular that I admired was Emily. For as long as I’ve known Emily, she’s been a runner. A real runner…a marathon runner. Occasionally while working on Quarterlette together, I’ll hear her talk about an upcoming race and say: “I would love to do that! This month I’ll learn how to be a runner!”

6 months ago I even downloaded the iPhone app. “From Couch to 5K” to get my booty in gear. It was all very exciting. I was going to train to run a 5k (roughly 3 miles) in time for the Color Run in NYC. This was it!

Unfortunately, about a month into my training – with 1.5 miles under my belt – the Color Run booked up and I didn’t get to register. “That won’t stop me”, I proclaimed. ”I’m still reaching my goal of running those 3 miles even if I don’t have a race to work towards.”

Well…that didn’t happen. Without any motivation, I got bored. And busy. Bye, bye runner.

I still gazed longingly at runners on the street, but I just figured I was not cut out to be one myself.

Then, a few weeks ago, Emily sent an email to some friends asking to join her in a 5 mile (8K) run in support of Brain Cancer Research. A few years ago, Emily’s brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He underwent surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation and is now (thankfully) in remission. Immediately after reading the email, I knew that I wanted to get involved to support her, her brother and the cause, so without thinking twice, I signed up. Right after registering, however, I realized that it was a 5 mile race (not a 5k) and that the most I had ever run was 1.5 miles. The race was less than 2 weeks away.

I was pretty intimidated. I called Emily and asked her if I could run some of the race and walk the rest of the way. She said yes.

After getting her approval to run/walk, I had these visions of coming in last place, but it was for such a good cause so I didn’t even care. Game on.

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