Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm doing a 5k tomorrow...on wheels!

my race number, 3104
My race number (3104) for the 5k at the airport
One indisputable fact about me is that I'm pretty impulsive, which is sometimes a pretty neat thing.  So when a coworker of mine posted about a 5k walk/run on Facebook with "who wants to do it with me?" I decided to jump head first into it.  First of all, the fact that the race advertises both running and walking as an option makes me hopeful that there will be a variety of abilities on the course.  Secondly, the race is at the local international airport on the tarmac, so it's going to be about as flat as a race course can possibly be (meaning this shouldn't be too bad on my shoulders since I've not actually trained for this distance).  Lastly, the event said explicitly that it's wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly.  They went out of their way to say that wheels were ok.

So tomorrow morning, I'm rolling a 5k.

It's not my first 5k.  I've done a good number of them, along with sprint distance triathlons, which involve a 5k after swimming & biking.  I've even done some wickedly impulsive races, with the knowledge that I can just walk the rest of the race and be DFL (dead frickin' last, in race lingo).  My last 5k was with a friend of mine, done at a slow walk with a walking stick as my spine wasn't behaving, but we finished nonetheless.

I really don't know why I'm so nervous.  Maybe I'm not convinced that the shuttles to the tarmac are wheelchair accessible?  Yeah, that's part of it.  Maybe I'm worried about how other people will treat me as a fat woman rolling along?  Eh, somewhat, but I've been the fat chick racing before (and even racing in spandex, due to my triathlon days).  Maybe I'm concerned that my shoulders don't have the endurance?  That's definitely part of it...while I swim laps, do water aerobics, and continue to lift weights (upper body with weights, lower body is bodyweight and balance work), this is a different challenge.  This isn't just doing casual laps through the's 3.1 miles.  In a regular, non-racing wheelchair.

I have a feeling that once I'm there, once I manage to navigate the shuttle, pin my number to my shirt, and get rolling that I won't be worrying about whether or not I can finish.  I'll have the racing buzz that I always get, the one that settles into the thrum of my heart and the rhythm of my body and just lets me go on and on and on until I see the finish line.

You know what?  Maybe this isn't nervousness, but just the anticipation of feeling like an athlete again.  It's been a while, and I think I'm just craving my endorphin rush.


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