Day 1 – Reality Check

January 31, 2010 at 11:36 am 2 comments

Day: 1
Time: about 28 minutes

“The temperature right now is 17 degrees.”

I must be crazy.

It’s about 7 a.m.   The radio is keeping me company as I drive to Brown University’s track. In about an hour, I’ll be joining roughly 25 other runners to begin Day 1 of Team in Training.

Last week, I committed to running a half marathon and raising $1,500 as a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. And considering I have run exactly once in 2010, if I can drag myself across the finish line when I kick that marathon’s tail, it’ll be a major accomplishment.

I pulled into the parking lot at Brown and looked around, looked around. I didn’t see my coach, or anyone in a purple jersey (the uniform for participants). I shrugged off my pea coat and prayed that the running pants, under armor, earmuffs and running jacket would be enough to keep me from catching hypothermia.

There were, however, two equally lost-looking women in a SUV next to me. I get out of my car and walk over.

We went inside and there were our team mates — all geared up and ready to run. First came the introductions and stories though.

I never knew much about leukemia or lymphoma beyond the fact that I normally heard about cases of it in children and that it is life-threatening. As we went around the circle, people told stories of their loved ones who had been diagnosed and recovered, and of those whom they lost to the disease. There were a few tears, but afterwards, I felt even more motivated to complete the run because all the fundraising was going toward such a good cause.

They tell us the route. Up the street, left at Elton, and circle round. I assemble myself with the slower paced runners and we head outside with our coach

The first mile, I’m straight serviceable. My stride feels good, if a little rusty.I run it in about 11 minutes, without stopping. It’s faster than normal, but I chalk it up to group momentum.  I loop around and begin start mile 2.  I get maybe a block before I have to stop.  It happens about four more times as I struggle to make my way back to the starting point.

I look up ahead and see the women I’d started with running at a steady clip a LOT further ahead of me. I know somewhere behind me, another group of runners is coming up at a slower pace. But for all of mile 2, I’m alone. And it starts to get to me.

I feel my fingers going numb as the wind cuts through my thin gloves. My upper shoulders and back get tight. I plod along, feeling more like a rhinoceros than a gazelle. I’m a little disappointed at my performance, but grateful that I at least finished the first mile nonstop.

I drag myself across the starting point, thankful that I’ve finished, and determined to do better next week.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Hello, Legs

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jameil  |  February 1, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Don’t beat yourself up! It’s day 1! Ask me how many miles I can run w/o stopping. Don’t know b/c I haven’t tried in a very.long.time. You can do it!

    • 2. taliabuford  |  February 1, 2010 at 5:25 am

      I know, but Lord was my ego bruised! I’m actually pretty excited about our next group run on Sunday — by then I’ll have a whole week of running under my belt, so it should go a little smoother! Thanks for the support!


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