Yesterday I participated in my first 5k.
To be completely honest, running has never appealed to me all that much. If given the choice, I’d rather take long, brisk walks and lift weights to stay in shape. However, I have made some attempts at running over the years.
My biggest issue is that no matter how much I train, I can’t run long distances without having to slow down and walk for a while — it’s not physical exhaustion, it’s my lung capacity. I can only force enough air into my lungs if I yawn, which means I’m constantly yawning while I run.
I’ve mentioned this issue to my general practitioner over the years, but they’ve never considered it a big enough deal to send me for special testing. I can breathe just fine unless I’m doing cardio, and I don’t gasp for air like someone with exercise-induced asthma. I suspect part of it may have to do with my hypothyroidism; I’ve read in multiple places that being hypothyroid can cause diminished lung capacity.
I decided to participate in the Best Buddies 5k because my employer is a sponsor. Best Buddies is an organization that “creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).” My company has participated in this event for the past three years and we’ve had an IDD-girl working with us (matched via the Best Buddies organization) for over a year. It’s a great cause.
Here I am with my co-worker:
On a different note, here’s another reason I’m so lucky to have Paul in my life: He has run many races over the years (including several marathons), but he wasn’t signed up for this one since there was a large fundraising commitment involved. He had also had a rough week (jury duty, losing his cell phone, and having to go into work on a Saturday, which he doesn’t usually have to do). But even though I told him this act wasn’t required of him to retain his title of Wonderful Boyfriend, he woke up early the morning of the race, drove us close to the starting point, and stayed by my side most of the way (he couldn’t be at the starting line with me since he didn’t have a number, so he met me at an intersection about a quarter mile away).
It meant a lot to me. The event was much more enjoyable being with someone else than it would have been solo. I started off in a group of co-workers, but it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the runners and — due to my combination of running and walking — too fast to stay with the walkers.
I was a little disappointed with myself because I didn’t run as much as I knew I could. The issue wasn’t with my breathing this time — I got a horrible cramp in my side about half a mile in, so we had to walk longer than I wanted to. It was a good experience though, and an absolutely gorgeous October day.
(Note: I don’t write about my employer on my blog, but the identity of the company is apparent on my logo-infused team jacket. Please don’t mention the company name if you leave a comment — just to stay on the safe side, I don’t want it to be searchable.)