Check The Bucket List

Run for the Zoo 2017 Artwork
Artist: Sean Wells

Well, the day is almost here. Barring getting eaten by a grizzly bear or something, on Sunday we will be participating in the 2017 Run For The Zoo.

The next time you visit Misdirected, I will have crossed one of the final items off of my bucket list. I am going to have to come up with some new goals.

Why A 5K, Anyway?

To an outsider, it may look like not such a big deal. A 5K race works out to 3.1 miles. In context, someone trying to keep up with their Fitbit’s demands for 10,000 steps a day will be walking 8 kilometers a day. (Around 5 miles.) And Lor and I have already gone out on hikes that equal or exceed this amount. So, why all the hoopla?

Mainly¬†because, for a very long time, I couldn’t even walk 1 kilometer, much less race 5. My epilepsy, my weight, and my depression all contributed to an anchor around my neck. It was much easier to just sit around the house and wait for seizures or obesity to finally kill me.

But, a rebellious spark still remained alight inside me. Every Spring I would look at the billboards around town and think¬†“Man, if I could just run the RFTZ – that would mean I had accomplished something.”

Thanks to bariatric surgery, I’ve been given a second lease on life. And since surgery last year, I have kept focused on this goal. 2017 was going to be the year.

Let me put it another way. A runner may be able to run 26.2 miles. And they should be proud of that fact. But only a select few can say they have run the Boston Marathon.

The Run For The Zoo is my Boston Marathon.

To Run, Or Not To Run?

A minor hiccup in the whole proceedings is that I won’t actually be running the event. Even at my current weight, I am still a hair over my goal weight. There is still another 15 or 20 pounds of excess skin hanging in folds all over my body. And my poor, arthritic knees are just not able to support all that mass while running for half an hour straight yet.

So, we have already resigned ourselves to not “running” the race this year. We enrolled in the untimed fitness walk section of the race. But, Lor has pointed out that there is no reason we can’t treat it like our current C25K training. So, we will walk for a few minutes, run for a few. We won’t run the whole thing, but we won’t be solely walking either. It seems like a decent compromise.

We’ll still get to enjoy the ambiance of the Albuquerque bosque in spring. We will have confederates – a bunch of other people who also didn’t feel comfortable registering for the timed event. And we will still be supporting the Albuquerque Bio Park.

Even if it isn’t exactly a race, it still feels like a win.

I’ll Wear The T-Shirt Proudly

We get to go pick up our pre-registration packets tomorrow morning. I don’t know if those of us who aren’t competing in a timed event get a bib with a number on it, but both Lor and I will both get swell t-shirts.

And, though it isn’t a timed event, I am going to have Lor time us on her Fitbit. (Mine died last month.) I really want to know how long this takes us. Lor is hyper-competitive, and I am beginning to follow her example. Being surrounded by a ton of other walkers is sure to trigger our “Faster, Faster!” switches. And, I can also use our completion time for my own nefarious purposes.

It will give me a target time for completing a 5K.

The Run For The Zoo isn’t the only 5K available, after all. My sister-in-law and her family set the awesome example of running a different 5K every month last year. While I don’t imagine that Lor and I will be that motivated, wouldn’t it be cool to try again in, say, 6 months? See if maybe we could shave some minutes of our time from this event?

I know, it is like a drug. You take that first step and next thing you know you are working towards getting that “13.1” sticker on your rear windshield.

First things first, though. Let’s get through Sunday and then see how it goes.

Looking Both Ways For Grizzly Bears,

Jeremy

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