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Friday, June 10, 2011


On The Road Again

On the Road Again

Last week I had a “first” experience. I did a 5K.

I’m an avid power-walker on most days. If not outdoors with my IPod shuffle and cell phone in hand, then I’m on my treadmill which is sitting right next to my workstation-goading me into keeping up with my last form of doable exercise.

Years ago I read two things that made an impression on me, both of which were in my physical therapist’s office: You slump, you die AND Move it or lose it.

So, even though I have multiple degenerative discs in both the upper and lower spinal regions-I look as if I have the proverbial “rod” up my back and no matter how I’m feeling, I walk- A lot.

A friend and colleague was telling me how she was going to do her first 5K and wondered if I’d like to try it. First thing I asked was (remember, I’m NOT a numbers person) “How far is 5K?” I googled it and it said 3.1 miles.

Pish. I can do that without thinking. My friend gave me the website and the team to attach myself too and I signed up.

I was so proud that I put my endeavor on FaceBook. Within a few minutes, my sister called and asked me if I was crazy.

“No, I walk way more than that all the time-why not do some good and have some fun with a friend at the same time?”

Then she went and told my mom. Excuse me? I’m 53-1/2 years old and my baby sister tattles on me????

My mom wanted to know why I would “do such a thing?” Because I wanted to, that’s why. My son said “Go mom!” My daughter-in-law wrote on my FaceBook page “sounds right up your alley Mom.” Surprisingly, our daughter and son-in-law didn’t comment.

Why? Were they just muffling their opinions?

Anyway, I was looking forward to it.

It was being held behind Wild Rivers Water Park, which is only 5 miles from our home in an area called Lakeside Lagoon. Who knew there was a Lagoon? Breakfast, Lunch and a tee-shirt were included in our very inexpensive $10 entry fee.

I checked in, IPod shuffle attached to my body, cell phone in my pocket and car keys stuck into the waist of my sweatpants. Since “breakfast” and “lunch” were included-I was offered the first meal.

Okay. Don’t exactly know what I was expecting but I’ll tell you this much-I do not think of a mini-granola bar and a kid’s juice pocket as breakfast. I did smell coffee and pleaded for someone to share a cup.


I threw the tee over my shoulder and hunted up a restroom and put it on. Why is it that when you ask for a SMALL, it goes down to your knees-is it just me being height challenged?

As I waited for my friend I chatted with quite a few first-timers. At 8:45 2 volunteers started a warm-up. Too bad they weren’t exactly sure what warm-ups were supposed to be and decided to quit and tell us to get started.

The course was flat with a couple of decent looking views here and there, but from what I saw this former Lion Country Safari folded because none of it looked like pictures of Africa that I’ve looked at. We all looked like a herd of free cattle to me. But we were all having fun walking, talking and laughing-which is what makes the best of exercise sessions easy to live through.

After the fourth time through the course, we all started asking each other how many more times we were going around the place. Some stopped at the donut stands and others left without their “lunches”.

My friend and I hit the restroom. After all we are middle-aged women who had drunk 2bottles of water, a juice bag and a cup of coffee! I peeked at my pedometer-12,881 steps. That was enough for me-I had hit almost 6 miles. I guess somewhere we were having such a good time we didn’t realize just how many other trips around we had gone!

We grabbed our lunches-ew. 2 slider sized sandwiches with filling so slight we were all guessing that whatever was there was too meager to count as a protein, a bag of chips, 2 cookies and a hard plum (Can you spell carb overload?). My friend stayed to talk with some of the others and I decided to go home and start this story about how my very first (hopefully not near my last) 5K went.

Later on, we thought it would be great fun to get our own team together and do this again.

Next time though-I’m eating some all-bran and fresh berries with a good deal of coffee BEFORE I sign in!

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