Running is for Athletes that can’t… can’t catch, can’t throw, can’t hit a ball, can’t swim, can’t ride a bike… I mean there is no skill involved whatsoever, it’s just like walking, only faster… Right? Wrong! Friends, let me share something with you.

  • I am an athlete.
  • I spend multiple hours a day working out in the pool and in the gym.
  • I’m in good shape.
  • I know how to work hard and push through pain.
  • I cried on Wednesday night 3km into a 5km run.

Yep, that’s right, 3km into what felt like an all out sprint I could feel the tears rolling down my cheeks and the lasagna I had for lunch rapidly rising. I tried real hard to tell myself in that moment that it was just sweat from my eyeballs, but who am I kidding? If my good friend, housemate, and 2 x Iron Man, Steve hadn’t been there yelling at me to stay strong and pick it up, I probably would have laid down on the road and sacrificed my body to a passing car.

Steve is one of the Masters Swimmers that I have coached and tortured a couple of times. He is a great guy and a committed athlete who, when asked to pick it up will do so… Any one that has watched me coach or has been coached by me knows that I ask swimmers to “pick it up” a lot! I probably say the word “faster” more than any other word on deck. Steve always obliges to my request, often leaving him passed out on deck afterward. For this reason, and this reason only when Steve had his moment of revenge, telling me to stay strong and pick it up I did. Although I verbally abused him for doing so, and had I had just a little more energy I probably would have picked up an orange cone and thrown it at his head. I am seriously grateful to Steve for pushing me through it.

The last three Wednesdays in August,  Tri-Fusion Triathlon club has put on a fantastic 5km race called the “Hot Summer Nights Series”. The event was incredibly well organized with phenomenal prizes (yeah, I won free pizza for a year in the raffle… Say what!) I ran all three races and it has been an incredible and eye opening experience for me. At the end of my competitive swimming season in July, I decided to help strengthen my legs by running a little bit in August. I started out on my own running every other day. Then went for a couple runs with Steve, and then Steve and Roger Thompson. While these runs were fun and challenging, I now know that you don’t have any idea what running is about until you race it. Here’s how it went..

Race 1.

I decided I was cool enough to hang with the big boys… for a mile… Then as the big boys disappeared I hung with the fast ladies… for a mile… and as the lead woman left me and my dignity and pride disappeared too I crumbled to a 10 minute final mile to finish in 22.09. Ouch.

Massage from Heaven after Race 1
Carla & I after the 2nd Race

Race 2.

Lesson learned last week. Game plan – cruise the first mile. So I start a little further back in the pack and run along side a 10 year old kid and his dad. We cruise mile 1. Work it on mile 2, and then the dad says “we got to pick it up son”.  I can do that I thought, I’ll stick with them…. or not as they disappeared into the distance and finished a minute and a half a head of my 21.24. I was happy being 45 seconds faster than the previous week though.

Race 3.

Steve paces me. I run. I “sweat from my eyeballs”. I curse him. I finish. 20.42.

Running is hard core people. I have a new found respect for the sport and those that participate in it. You guys are tough and I can tell you now that I will not be fighting you for a place on the road. It’s all yours, you can have it, you can keep it. This fish has no place out of water. I’m going back to the pool.

Steve carrying my sorry behind in the 3rd Race