That's the St. Patrick's Road Race, scheduled for March 17 in Holyoke.
Until a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't so sure I was doing it.
Too hilly, too much stress, too slow, bla bla bla.
I haven't run the hilly 10K for five years, and I just didn't think this was the year. I've been running, but I haven't gotten up to that stage where it's something you want to do. Once I get going, I like it, but more often than not I have to push myself out the door.
It's the opposite with tennis. No matter how many mistakes I made the time before, I always want to go.
Ben asked me about the race a couple of times, and I said I thought I wasn't up to it. Then he texted a couple of weeks ago that he had signed up...and all of a sudden I found myself doing the same.
Last week, I ran 5.2 hilly miles one day and three flat ones the next day. (I know the exact distance because I checked it out on MapMyRun.com.) Two days in a row was unusual for me, and after I did it, my legs felt incredibly painful and stiff.
I've gotten a little faster in general, but on a couple of the hills, I looked down at my slow-moving feet and asked myself, "Are you running or walking?" My inner coach said, "Pick up your feet!"
There's something about cancer, chemo and coma, plus muscle-weakening prednisone, that makes your feet heavier. And then of course there is the age thing.
Today I felt pretty good and went out for what I thought was around six miles. Some birds helped me along, the hills and fields looked beautiful in the late-afternoon sun, and I began to enjoy myself.
When I got home and measured it on MapMyRun, it turned out to be 5.89 miles. Pretty close!
I stretched a lot afterward and am planning on skipping tomorrow except for going to the gym, and hopefully getting out the door will be easier Tuesday.
Meanwhile, if I get nervous about the race, I have to remember what my local doctor, Ronald Berger, told me recently: "You'll probably be the fastest bone marrow transplant patient out there."
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