Before you start reading, let me tell you right off the bat that I will be speaking about distances in MILES because I’m American and what even is a kilometer??? Kidding, I know what it is- I just don’t think it makes any sense. Go imperial system!
Now, I were to make one thing clear about myself, it’s that I hate running. I always have and always will. The day we had to run a mile in school was the day I always tried to fake sick, and when I couldn’t manage to get out of it, I was usually the last one to finish. I’m slow, I’m not coordinated for it, and I think I have asthma. That last excuse is diagnosed via WebMD but I really do think it’s legit. However, I do have hopes and dreams of someday being a runner. I’m envious of those who can run for miles upon miles. I want to be able to track my runs with cool apps and an apple watch. I totally believe in all the amazing benefits of running, and wish I could also benefit from them. But alas, I run 100 meters and my feels like they are on fire.
Therefore, I stick to weight lifting and some easy, breezy, stationary bike for my cardio workout. If my current gym has a stairclimber I would be all over that. Stairclimber is my jam, and nothing gives me a better booty than stepping away for the length of one Netflix show. So, it sucks that my current gym doesn’t have one… but it does have a very cool treadmill called “The Mountain” that can be set at what feels like a 90-degree angle. So that’s a great substitute for the stairclimber! Fun fact, you can actually burn nearly the same number of calories walking on a full incline as you do jogging on a flat treadmill! So, let me remind you, I really never run. I begrudgingly do HITT sometimes (when I’m in a good mood) but even that is for only 45 second to 1 minute intervals. That doesn’t make me a runner.
And somehow, I agreed to run a 5k this past weekend.
I actually agreed to it about a month ago because my coworkers were all doing it. Without truly thinking it through, I said “sure! I can even write an article for my blog about it.” SHAKE MY DAMN HEAD. I don’t know what I was thinking. I kept saying I would train for it, but of course I didn’t. I convinced myself I would be fine wining it since I still workout daily, and I couldn’t be in that bad of shape. I even decided I would just screw the running part and walk it. I wouldn’t be the only person walking, right?
Wait, before I move on I should tell you the story of what I did the day before the big race. I found myself agreeing to run a relay race with Korean teachers and parents for our school’s sports day. I thought it sounded fun! I now realize I agree to do a lot of things without actually thinking them through. I literally have never ran a relay race before and didn’t even know how it worked or the distance it involved. Luckily three other English teachers I work with were also running the race, so I wouldn’t be alone in the misery. When the time came to run the relay, it was no joke. There were three teams, with like 15 or so people on each team, all consisting of Korean teachers and parents. It was v intimidating. Luckily, I had a nice mother help explain what was required of me. I found out it would only be half way around the track – it really didn’t seem that bad. I could run that, easy!
Alright, so the relay starts, I went like 5th or 6th in the group so I was in the middle of the team. Perfect spot. I wouldn’t be the one to start us off on the wrong foot and I wouldn’t be the person to lose for our team. Now, remember how I just said I thought I could easily run half way around the track? Ehhhhhh…. I mean, I COULD. I did it. But about 50 meters in, I found my body slowing down and my mind saying it was time to stop. You guys, this was after what seemed like maybe 30 seconds! I’m THAT BAD of a runner. But I my mind to stfu and finish. So I did, and I feel bad for the person I handed the baton to because I probably could have handed it over better, but I finished and that’s all the matters. Afterwards, I admit it was actually fun and I am happy I did it. My students cheered me on too, so that was cool. I won’t be participating in next year’s sports day though.
So if you think I sounded dramatic over having to run 100 meters, imagine how dramatic I was about having to run 3 miles! (5k = about 3 miles, because again what is a kilometer????)
To set the tone of my attitude over having to run this race, let me start by saying I only slept a handful of hours the night before, my allergies were coming for my hard, and I had a gnarly headache. I wanted more than anything to dip out on the race and stay home in bed, but I didn’t. So at 8:00AM, I packed my backpack for the day, put on a bad attitude and headed out with my coworkers to the race location. When we got to the location, there was already hundreds of people there. It was early AF on a Saturday and people were hype to run. I should make a point to say I was running a 5k with my coworker Sarah, but coworkers Beth and Shannon were running 10k – because they are crazy. There was also a half marathon option for those who really want to torture themselves. Anyways, we hung around the starting location for about an hour, doing some stretches and light warm up jogging. Since I’m really great at being a Debbie Downer, I complained nonstop all morning about how I deeply regretted agreeing to the race and how awful this experience would be. This attitude really helped pump my coworkers up with good vibes and excitement to run. Kidding, they hated me lol. I also was pulled away into a group of 10 Korean men asking me to take a picture. I thought they wanted me to TAKE the picture of their group, but no – this is Korea. The land where strangers ask Western girls to be in their picture with them. So, dudes if you’re out there, hope I look cute!
To keep driving home the point to how dramatic I was about this experience, I will also add that I threw a temper tantrum about my phone not fitting into the arm band and how upset I was that it made it too difficult to change Spotify songs. I’m just that kind of girl, YOLO.
I finally settled on a playlist station I wouldn’t have to change much right as the race was about to start. I decided to give myself a 45-minute goal. Yes, 45 minutes to run 3 miles. That was me being both realistic but also generous. The race MC shouted what must have been a lot of exciting hype things in Korean, some fireworks were set off and so began the torture. I started off next to my coworker, who is a much better runner than me, but soon fell behind within in a few minutes. Not at all surprised by that though, I figured we’d become separated pretty quickly. Anyways, I’m not going to bore you with a play by play of each mile I ran. So I’ll jump to the finishline.
I FINISHED IN 40 MINUTES. FORTY MINUTES. My goal time was 45 and I came beat it. I am fully aware 40 minutes is still slow AF and not exactly something to brag about but it was practically a miracle I finished the race to begin with, let alone under my goal time. Internally I was pretty happy about this, but for the sake of the day, I had to keep up my negative Nancy persona and make sure everyone knew how much I hated that experience. Pretty sure my coworkers actually hate me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Like other races around the world, we were given cool little finishing medals, a PowerAde, a chocolate cookie, and because this is Korea – some dried seaweed. That cookie was definitely the past part of the whole day.
So all in all, I survived. I don’t anticipate running more 5ks in my future though and the moral of this story is that running sucks.