When I first signed up for the Cellcom Half I thought, “Okay, I’m crazy but I can train, I can probably do this.” Then after the first few runs in the cold, with snow and ice everywhere my tune changed to, “What in the name of all that’s good was I thinking? I can’t do this; 13.1 miles is just too far for my tired old body to run.” As the training runs get longer, now into the double-digits, a strange transition has taken place, not only in my thinking but in me.
RUN if you can, WALK if you will, CRAWL if you must. My daughter Erin mentioned that saying to me at the same time I started running, though she didn’t know at the time what I was doing. I say it to myself many times every day.
There are days when walking, much less running, is a task onto itself; but once I get moving and my body remembers what to do we’re okay. When those days coincide with scheduled runs I’m a little apprehensive, especially as the distances become longer. I am fortunate to have the support and encouragement from the coach and pacers of Fleet Feet Sports Fox Valley and everyone else in our training group to pull me through these days. It doesn’t replace the adrenaline of race day but it’s really close.
Fueling and hydration is important for everyone, but of extreme import for me. One of the symptoms of Parkinson’s is that you tire quickly and suddenly, almost like someone turns off a switch. When this happens I can’t recover so I have to be ahead of the game. I know that I can’t run the entire 13.1 miles; I’m realistic on that point. BUT, I do know that I can run/walk for 10 miles, fuel and hydrate as I need, and run the last 3.1 miles.
I’ve changed from, “What in the name of all that’s good was I thinking? I can’t do this; 13.1 miles is just too far for my tired old body to run”, to, “I know how to do this, I can do this, I WILL do this”.
RUN if you can, WALK if you will, CRAWL if you must … but above all … enjoy the experience.
– Tim Riley