I Can't Run! (Road to Boston) Part 1
"....so wait, what are you doing, Ed?" I exclaimed!
"I'm going to walk around this track for 26.2 miles to see how long it will take me!" Ed repeated..
He continued on "...I'm running the OBX Marathon in November so it will be interesting to see how long it will take to walk that distance!"
"Wow! That's awesome!! I can't run because I have a bad knee that acts up when i've been on it for a long time..."
That conversation happened on the high school track during the Relay For Life in May of 2009.
Ed will NEVER let me live those words "I Can't Run" down... EVER!!
Ed and I met through a common friend under not-so-great circumstances! I was at the tail end of my radiation treatments for cancer when I was asked if I would talk with Ed about what to expect, as he just got diagnosed with the same cancer I had... Tonsil Cancer. They said it was rare, but I met two others who were diagnosed pretty soon after!
Ed and I hit it off and became good friends.. he beat his cancer and he did run the OBX Marathon that November in 2009!
I was inspired to say the least.... still, the idea of running had not even occurred to me.
Still, Ed kept running, posting his runs on facebook... and I was watching. I got the feeling that running, for Ed, brought a lot of joy.. and a sense of achievement! He liked doing it.
I kept watching Ed... and then a noticed a couple other people posting their runs. I didn't think I had any runners in my social network circle... or maybe I just wasn't paying attention... until now.
Then one day... I decided to run a mile! I'm just going to run one mile... I thought... see what happens!
I got in my car and drove a half a mile out so I would know where to turn around. I didn't own a GPS watch or even knew they existed. I was not a runner. I didn't understand pace or even knew what it meant in terms of running!
I grabbed my iPhone hit the timer and took off.. as fast as I could! I felt like a kid again!
I reached the half way mark and my lungs were on fire and my ankles were numb and warming with every stride! Well, this sucks! I thought to myself as I kept running.
I made it back to the house and took out my phone and stopped the timer!!
I've got to call Ed, I thought!
"Ed!!" "I just ran a mile!!" I blurted out, still gasping for air... and somewhat excited about what I just did!
"Man, that's awesome!" Ed excitedly replied.
"But one question... why do my lungs feel like there on fire?" I said, STILL GASPING!!
"Well how fast did you run the mile, Shane?" He asked.
"I don't know.. let me look!" "It says eight minutes.... is that good?"
"What???" "Dude, you cannot go out and run an eight minute pace for your first run!!" "That's why your lungs feel like they are on fire!" "You have to work up to that, okay.. slow down!" He said, as if I knew anything about running! Ha!!
Later, that month in 2010, after doing some research, I adopted a Couch to 5k plan (C25K), a six week plan designed to get one running for 30 minutes without stopping! It worked!
I then jumped right into the Bridge to 10k Program, designed to get one running for an hour without stopping... and holy moly... that worked too!!! I was becoming a runner.. and I was liking it, too!
I couldn't believe it! I was running an hour without even stopping!!
"But YOU can't run!" Ed would say, sarcastically! "Remember, Shane? You said it, not me!" smiling at me the whole time, he told me, one morning on a group run!
I signed up for my first 5k with the running club to take place in January 2011. Ed showed up and ran it with me. It was so much fun!
Shortly after, I ran the Leprechaun in March, an 8k race. I thought I did okay! I was really enjoying the races. I enjoyed running.
I thought about it for a while and I thought I would go ahead and train for the half marathon... however shortly after my training began, someone talked me into skipping the half marathon and just go straight to the full marathon! Okay!
The person who convinced me to do that later said he was "really good at talking people into doing some real stupid shit!"
Well it must have rubbed off because after I ran the OBX Marathon (3:48), 4 weeks later I went and ran the Seashore 50k (31.07 miles), a trail race in Virginia Beach! I loved it! It was hard though! I crossed the finish line dazed and somewhat confused! I had some more to learn about the 50k distance... but wow.. what a sense of accomplishment it was for me.
So this was my first year in the world of running! From 5k to 50k in 12 months! I would have never guessed that I would do something like this let alone think I was even capable of it!
And then fast forward a few months.. I was contacted by the Relay For Life in regards to Endurance Magazine out of Cary NC. Every year they dedicate their July issue to athletes who have gone through cancer and come out of it on the other side. They were asking RFL if they knew anyone who had turned having cancer into a positive through endurance. RLF knowing what my year had been like, I guess thought of me right away and the magazine ended up doing an article on me for their July Issue! I was super honored, humbled and grateful at the opportunity!
Little did I know this was just the beginning of my journey in my new found love for running!
Yes Ed, I know.... I did say it... "I can't Run!" :)
I'm glad I was wrong.. and I am especially glad that I decided to run that first mile!
Coming Soon: "Plugging In (Road to Boston) Part 2