Looking for running inspiration

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I’m not sure where the idea came from or why I felt the need to commit myself to such a difficult endeavor. But sometime last year, I set a goal for myself. I decided that I would run a 5k in 2012.

Of course, when I set the goal, I was sure I would have finished my first 5k by spring and would be considering when to run my next. Running a 5k seemed easy. It’s really only a little over three miles, right? At least that’s what I told myself.

When I was in high school, I used to run three miles a day with my soccer team. But as hard as it is to admit to myself, high school was a long time ago. Running isn’t as easy now as it was back then. And I haven’t run much at all since then.


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Even so, I set out at the beginning of this year to reach my goal.

But it seemed every time I’d completed a leg of my journey — baby steps like running a whole mile, running an 8-minute mile and even hitting two miles — I would hit another roadblock. First I twisted my ankle. Then it got too cold. Then it got too hot. And since I ran that 8-minute mile — which was my average in high school — I haven’t been able to replicate it. I’ve hit a lot of challenges and made a lot of excuses for not completing a 5k.

And this weekend, while a number of Suffolkians ran 8k, a half-marathon or a whole marathon, I took another day off from running and instead bowled four games with some friends. The day after, when I laced up my running shoes, I found myself hobbling along after a quarter of a mile. Somehow, I had pulled a muscle while bowling.

So what have I learned? Pride goes before the fall, or at least the pulled muscle.

Running may have been easier when I was high school, but only because I had been running for years and not just for a few months. I regret ever thinking that running a 5k would be an easy goal to achieve.

That’s why I have such respect for the Suffolkians who joined ran in the Shamrock Marathon on Sunday, or in the other events held that day. They are all inspirations, no matter what their finish time was. And some acheived some truly impressive finishes, like 10th-place finisher and Suffolk native William Chorey Jr. But even Chorey has goals for improvement, and he’s constantly working toward that goal.

I only hope I can someday reach my goal of completing a 5k.

One thing’s for sure. Working in Suffolk has exposed me to the many opportunities to get moving available in this city alone. An opportunity is never far away. From Suffolk on the Move’s annual events to the Peanut Fest 5k, I’ve got a few chances yet to reach my 2012 goal.

Here’s hoping I’ll make a runner out of myself.