Several months ago I decided that I needed to do something to make myself more active and to get in shape. So I signed up for the Color Run 5K with my sister and her family. This is kind of a big deal because I don't run. I really dislike running. In fact I haven't run a mile since I was a freshman in high school. In 1991.
I decided to follow a recommendation and do the Couch to 5K program. It started off easy enough. But I still finished every workout thinking "This Color Run better be a lot of fun, because running sucks!"
I have not completed the 8 week program designed to train me to be able to run a 5K, and I will not complete it before the run. The run is the day after tomorrow and I only made it to week 5 of training. I should be able to run more than I walk, and that's a success in my mind.
As the workouts have gotten progressively harder, a strange thing has happened. I have transitioned from hating running to thinking that it doesn't suck quite so much. I don't like it, but I don't hate it as much now.
Also as the workouts have gotten harder, I have found a strength within me that keeps me going that I didn't know I possessed. I have made myself keep going when I didn't think I could lift my foot again. And I have been inspired along the way by my "Running List" on my phone that I compiled of songs to help keep me going. I have had a good laugh at the fact that anyone who looks at my list would instantly know that I have a young child and that I haven't been current with the music scene for quite some time. It's a mix of Linkin Park, Boney M, Taylor Swift, Glee, Lady Gaga, and random Disney and Pixar soundtracks. One moment I'll be running along listening to "Birdhouse in your soul" by They Might Be Giants, and the next is "When can I see you again?" from the WreckIt Ralph soundtrack.
Strangely enough, some of the Disney/Pixar and Broadway songs are the ones that have provided much needed inspiration when I'm in those last moments of running and just wishing that a passing vehicle would hit me and put me out of my misery. One night last week I was trying to make it to the end of my workout and I needed a fast pick-me-up song to really keep me going, and instead I get "Defying Gravity" from the Wicked soundtrack. I have some slower songs in my list for when I'm warming up, cooling down, or walking in between runs. As I was trying to decide whether it was worth losing my momentum by looking at my phone to be able to change songs, the line "I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so, some things I cannot change, but 'til I try I'll never know" came on, and that gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. Even though I was the "someone" who had always told me that I couldn't do this, I was determined to keep going and finish this.
On my next workout the running increments were even longer. As I was approaching the home stretch I silently begged my phone's random shuffle to give me something really good and fast. I got "Let it go" from Frozen. Again I faced the decision of whether or not to try to change the song or just keep going. I figured that if I slowed down even enough to be able to look at my phone, I'd stop all together and that would be it. And then I heard the line "It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through." And as cheesy as it may be, it gave me the boost I needed to keep going.
I'm sure that anyone who passed me that night probably locked their doors as a protective measure because I must have looked like an escaped mental patient, jogging along, gasping for breath, but still managing to sing along to "Let it go." Maybe it's a good thing that I usually run alone. Or maybe this is the real reason why everyone is always busy when I ask if they want to run with me? Hmmm....
So if anyone sees a news story about a clearly insane person running along the Color Run route, huffing and puffing and singing Disney anthems... it's just me.