I'm a man of wealth and taste. Just kidding. (For any youngsters that don't get it, that was a Rolling Stones reference, but I digress.) My name's Scott, I work for ACTIVE, I like bad puns and dad jokes, and up until a few months ago, I hated running.
I didn't hate all running; I played basketball growing up, so I could handle quick sprints up and down the court, but endurance was never my forte. I never built up the cardio strength for it, and I've always had what my wife now lovingly refers to as "scrawny chicken legs," with no calves to speak of. Below the kneecap I'm pretty much all tibia and fibula.
When I started working at ACTIVE in March, my boss suggested I give the company's Couch to 5K? app a try to familiarize myself with the product and be able to better relate to the audience (that's you!). I wasn't crazy about the idea, but A) I'd been wanting to establish a regular workout routine, B) I figured it might help me cope with the stress of transitioning to a new job, and C) I wasn't about to tell my new boss "no."
Coincidentally, my former employer was hosting a 5K in July, so the timing was perfect for me to work through the app's nine-week training plan (extended by a few missed workouts here and there) and then run my first 5K with all my old work buddies. So, I started running.
Surprisingly, after just a couple of weeks, I started to notice a difference. I could keep up a steady jog for five minutes (don't laugh!) without my lungs collapsing; then eight minutes; then 20; and eventually, 30 minutes straight. Who knew if I just stuck with it, my cardiovascular strength could actually improve?!
And so it was, that on July 12, 2015, I ran my first 5K with a time of 27:11. Hooray, me! I did it! End of story, shut the lights off, time to close the door on this running experiment and move on. When people would ask me if I were going to do a 10K next, I would just laugh.
"Nope," I'd say without a second thought. "Three miles is plenty enough for me."
Then a coworker sent me a link. Apparently the 5K I ran was the first in a four-race series around Dallas, and participants who complete all four receive a special medal (OOOOOH, special!).
"That'd be kind of cool," I thought. But there was a catch. The first three races in the series are all 5Ks, but for the fourth race, your choices are a marathon, a half-marathon or a five-person relay.