Sunday, March 28, 2010

OK? 5K? Que?

I've always been lucky with my health; I rarely get anything worse than a cold. On the other nostril, my colds wipe me out. My throat started feeling scratchy on Monday and I was glad enough that our cross-country outing was obviated by thick snow. (This has to be the last snow of the season... doesn't it?) By Wednesday, I was exhausted and lightheaded and from my voice you'd have thought I was the lovechild of Kathleen Turner and a Canada goose. I should have called in sick, but the $400 bonus for not using any sick days all year was too tempting. Also, I only had one class to do. My fellow teacher Susan Kim went out running with the cross-country kids after school so I could go home and crawl into bed.

Every day, people asked me if I was OK and the answer was always no. I admit I showed a few movies and made a few classes into study halls to survive the week. Now it's Sunday and I feel like crap, which is better than the hammered crap of midweek. My head still feels as if it's wrapped in gauze, but... well, I'm not OK, but I'm not KO'd.

In the midst of my mummified miasma, it seemed inconceivable that I could ever again run a 5K (3 1/8 mile) race; walking to my classroom was a challenge. But the registration deadline had come for the Bundang Marathon/ Half-marathon/5K, which is being held two weeks from this moment (coincidentally, in the suburb where SPPA stood last year). There are surprisingly few races listed online for Seoul, and this is the only one I've found with a website in English, so I went for it. Susan's also going to run it, as are two or three of my CC kids. (Incidentally, I'm very pleased that I have four runners and two walkers who are apparently in CC for keeps.)

As soon as I get over this damn cold, I will have the energy to start getting psyched for the race. I ran a couple of dozen 5K's from '99 to '04, but haven't raced since the Gate River Run (15K!) in Jacksonville six years ago. My standard time for the 5K was always around 28 minutes, which was good enough to consistently finish in the 33rd or so percentile. Now I'm hoping, if the week off from training doesn't knock me back too much, to do it in 30 minutes and to not finish last in the field. I am 56 years old, after all, and I don't know if slower, older Koreans run in these things.

Unlike every race I've ever run in the States, they're not giving out commemorative t-shirts, which is blasphemous. Those shirts made up half my wardrobe for years.  But I'll be there.

If I'm anywhere.

No comments: