Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5K: 10 Days to Go

Did I mention to you that the Math Man and I running a 5K together? 

I'm sure I've at least mentioned to you how much I'm not a runner.  How running makes my lungs gasp and puff puff puff and how it makes my legs tired and ache and just generally feel like they don't want to move any more.  Oh, and sometimes I get tummy cramps. 

But I have been keeping at it.  I started with one mile.  (With some walk breaks.)  That was early February.  Let me tell you--when I finished that one mile, I called Math Man immediately to let him know.  And he (because he's awesome) told me how proud he was of me.  And then I was able to do one mile without stopping.  (Again, prompting an excited phone call.)  And then at some point, on one of our weekends together, we ran together and I went even farther than before.  Then last weekend, Math Man and I ran together and we went 2.6 miles--with only a brief perhaps 1 minute stretching break halfway through.  And then Sunday night, powered by the incredible endorphins and adrenaline from my amazing weekend, I ran 2 miles.  In a row.  No stops.  Not one. 

And in the meantime, I've been going to pilates, kick boxing, and sculpt.  Hmmm... Would you real athletes perhaps call that cross training?  I'm not sure.

But as hard as this is for me (and yes, I admit it fully, running is really really hard for me), it's nothing compared to what kids with Batten Disease have to go though.  When I've been outside running and thinking I might not even make it to the next traffic light unless I just take a rest and breath so that I can flood my leg muscles with oxygen, I think to myself, how lucky I am to have this body that works.  That I can take it for granted that when my brain tells my feet to move, they move. 

I'm no saint and sometimes I cheat and let myself quit early or cut off a few blocks that I'd planned on running when I was still inside and feeling optimistic.  And I certainly can't go out and run a marathon (well, not this month)--or even a half or a 10K.  In fact, 3 miles feels like a marathon.  It's a distance I haven't even run yet without stopping.  (well, not since college)  But I am lucky to be able to try.  Lucky to be able to work towards it.  And I did nothing to earn this ability.  This ability to work at it and improve and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I just was born that way.  I am a lucky, lucky girl.

And so, when I saw that there was a 5K race hosted by Our Boy's Journey on May 7th benefitting Batten Disease research, I knew we had to do it.  With everything that Jeremy and Brandon and Taylor overcome every single day, I can't continue to just take my luck and health and amazing, complicated human body that works for granted.  Plus, I'm sick and tired of the evilness of Batten Disease.  Sick of it.  Hate it.  Hate what it's doing to Taylor.  Hate what it's doing to other children too.  To Jeremy and Brandon.  To Tatyanna.  To Celia.  To Noah and Laine.  To Bridget.  To Jacob.  To Hayden.  And to many other children without websites.  I want it to end and I want to do my part.

Honestly, I'm a bit nervous.  I haven't run 3.1 miles consecutively in a row before without any breaks at all.  But my goal isn't any particular time.  My goal is be part of an event to bring attention to Batten Disease.  And to finish a 5K.  Preferably without stopping.  And Math Man is going to run the entire thing with me (even though 3.1 miles is no biggie to him and he could probably run the whole thing twice in the time it will take me).  And after all, if Taylor can do it, so can I. 

So wish me luck.  Even though, I know I already have it.  So, more importantly wish for an end to Batten disease.  Pray for it.  Run for it.  Give for it.

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