Today, I got to pull off my second respectably-sized surprise of the calendar year. In late January, I was told by some people on my floor that I should sign up for the Chi Town Half Marathon, to which I sensibly said, "Ha, no." At this point, I made a deal with one of those people to run as far as I could one afternoon, and if it was more than six miles, I would consider the Half Marathon. And thank goodness, it was not. But it was a good effort at 4.1 miles of a running/walking combo. So I signed up for the 10K instead (6.2 miles instead of 13.1). But for someone with such an impassioned lifelong anti-running streak as I have had, what would make this more fun? Keeping the whole thing a secret from my family, of course. All this for a few reasons: first, because surprises are fun; second, because I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out; and third, because it's just nicer not to have to deal with all the questions about how "training" is going (snerk) and whether I'm nervous about it and whether it was really a good idea.
So I ran just a wee bit at first, taking off for the orchestra tour to Texas, the two colds I had (still not sure how that's fair), and a weekend in Memphis. And although I never really got the hang of running more than about half a mile without walking some, running a mile became not nearly as big of a deal.
And then came the fun part: race prep! Secret trips to Target. Free ("free" meaning "included in the price of registration") quarter-zip meshy shirt thing with snazztastic thumb holes to feel like a real runner. Stealing applesauce, granola, and Chia seeds (wonder-seeds that gel when mixed with water) for breakfast the morning of.
We set out for Lincoln Park on a rather chilly, wet morning at the very early hour of 6:30, and after much to-do about parking, riding the bus, using the port-a-potties, and dropping off bags at the gear check tent (even though I might ask why you would leave your "gear" at the start line when, theoretically, any gear you would have brought would have been for the run anyway). We lined up, started the race, finished the race, kablam.
And at this point, my need for energy is kind of taking over my desire to give you a very factual account of this event. My condolences. Maybe later. But I'll leave you with this thought: peer pressure has never had such positive effects.