At the beginning of the year, I redeemed a gift Rasa had given me – a gym membership. To be fair, I asked for it, it wasn’t a subtle hint on her part. A couple years ago, I’d set myself the goal of losing weight, which I did (and generally, within a kilo or two – which is basically give or take 5lbs – I’ve kept it off) and now find my average weight is right where my old doctor, Beajou, had said he’d like it to be, at 150lbs (67-68kg). So now, with that done, I turned to the next goal: Getting in better shape.
Hence the gym membership.
Now, I have no idea what I’m doing in the gym, despite having gone on and off for decades. This gym said there was an initial training session included (it wasn’t) and it was within walking distance of our house (we’ve since moved) so really, the only thing going for it was it was open 24/7 (of course, you had to go and set up your membership first, and you could only do that when someone was manning the front desk, which is extremely limited and took several tries before someone was there when the hours said they should be). Anyway, I finally did it, got all set up, found a training app to help me keep track of my workouts and I was ready to go. AAron gave me some advice, which I used to alter my training slightly, but for the most part I was ready to go.
Except for one thing: Everytime I went I felt like I was wasting my time. Not that I couldn’t see progress or didn’t understand the concept, I just literally felt like I should be doing something else. I should have been working or writing or spending time with Rasa and Monki, anything but spending an hour or two lifting weights. My goal was not to compete as a body builder and I knew there was no way I was ever going to look like Chris Evans, so what was I doing? I decided that running was the way to go.
I was going to run a 5K.
Again, I’d tried this once before, using the C25K app, which is very good, but the idea of going out and running when there were so many other things I should be doing always got in the way. So now, with the gym membership paid for (and an incredibly supportive wife) I had some motivation. What I didn’t really have was a goal.
My sister has been running for a few years now, and I have other friends who run, and all of them, at one time or another, have participated in RunDisney, various races sponsored by the Mouse. And since the Mouse now owns a number of high profile geek properties, the themed races, with Star Wars or Marvel medals seemed like the way to go. Except for the fact that they all took place at the parks, which would mean getting there and that was an expense of time and money I just couldn’t even consider.
Then I learned about virtual races.
The whole deal with a virtual race is that you can run it anywhere, at anytime. You can do it on the treadmill or in a park or on a track, but you don’t have to be physically present with other runners. You merely must complete the run within a certain time period and you’re on your honor to do it. And they send you printable bibs and you still get medals so it’s really the next best thing to being there. And wouldn’t you know it, RunDisney was offering a virtual series (several different runs and if you complete them all you get a special medal) themed around the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics. How could I not?
Yes, the price was a bit steep, but the idea that I’d spent that much money, for me, meant if I didn’t complete it, honestly, it would be a waste. We all need to find our own motivation and for me, now, this was it. So I signed up a few months ago, knowing that the first of the three races was in June (with the other two following in July and August). I went to the gym dutifully and kept increasing my distance until, finally, I was feeling comfortable and ready to try it.
So here we are, in June. I wasn’t evn going to go to the gym today, but Rasa kicked me out of the house to get my exercise in. I got on my favorite treadmill (yes, I have a favorite, so what?) and hit the button for the 5k loop. I set the incline at 3.0 and the speed at 6.7km/hr. This would let me finish the run at just under 45 minutes.
And I did.
First race of the series is done! I’ll get my Captain Marvel medal, sure, but I’ll also know that 5 months ago, I couldn’t run for ten minutes at a 5.0 pace and now, I completed a 5k run.
I’m not looking to increase that, at least not yet. I have no need to run a 10k, half marathon or, god forbid, an actual 26.2 miles. I’m happy with my 5k. And I have two more to go this summer so I’ll keep up my training. Maybe one of them I’ll try and do at the track across from the new house, now that summer is here. But rest assured I’ll complete the series.
Heck, we’re going to Disneyland Paris next month…maybe I’ll do a run there, just to pretend I’m doing one of the in person races.
And if anyone wants to join me, the Marvel 80 series is still open and there are a number of other virtual races out there. If you see one you like, let me know. I’m happy to arrange a group so we can all run together, alone.