10K to zero

Five years ago, I declared that the only way that I’d ever go for a run was if someone were chasing me. I remember saying this, and then taking a drag on a cigarette and cackling.

So much has changed since then, and I am so mortified by that statement now.

I don’t know if it’s the threat of more weight gain after quitting smoking, or a determination to live just a little bit longer, but guess who runs like their a$$ is on fire? It’s not only the sudden realization of my mortality or my consternation at my ever-expanding caboose following quitting smoking that keeps me running. I also like the slightly light-headed feeling I have after a particularly satisfying run outside in the fresh, car-exhaust enhanced air. I like the feeling of accomplishment after running 5K without stopping. I like listening to a running list that contains songs that are actually embarrassing to own otherwise, but it’s OK, because they’re good for running. No judging.

It’s now been three weeks since we had a dump of snow that created slippery patches of death on the sidewalks, and I’m staring longingly outside. Even though Snowmaggedon is over and the sun is shining brightly today, this is the reality outside:


It will probably stay this frigid more or less until spring now. I’ve already got cabin fever. Also, although I’m pretty sure this is just my imagination, I feel myself blowing up and expanding. The pounds are catching up to me, grabbing on, and I’m afraid they’ll never let go. I’m afraid I’ll become like my friend Charmie’s dog Hammy who has no survival instinct. When he goes outside in the winter and it’s too cold, he doesn’t try and save himself.  He lays down in the snow, and is all like, “Well, I’ve had a good run” and waits to die. My friend has to rescue him frequently by carrying him the one metre to the back door. Like Hammy, I feel like the pounds will jump on, and I’ll lay down in the metaphorical snow.

How do I train for a 10K run if I can’t actually run?

There are options of course and I know I’m being a little melodramatic but my cod, I hate running on treadmills. I really hate stepping off the treadmill after the workout is done, and walking diagonally because my treadmill-induced vertigo prevents me from walking a straight line. The alternative to walking diagonally would be to pay $6.00 every run to use a nearby indoor running track. Running every second day at $6.00 is $90 a month, not to mention time lost by commuting to running track and gas. Winter here lasts about six months, so let’s place the grand total at $750. That’s enough for a back alley liposuction by a doctor with a printed medical degree from a university I’ve never heard of!  And there’s no car-exhaust enhanced air at the indoor running track —just recycled body odour from the hippies who use ineffective deodorant as well the mild gaminess from everyone else because their stank is trapped.

I will have to opt for one or the other, however. I really have no other choice but diagonal walking or gamey people if I want to meet the challenge.


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