Incomer Musings

Jun 2016

By Louise Froggett

Well, another successful Times Colonist 10k is behind us. We watched from our balcony, and then down along Dallas Road as all these ambitious, athletic people thundered by. Way to go, everyone! Two years ago, we actually participated in the race. Well, sort of.

To begin with, let me say that neither of us is a runner. Back in his youth, my husband would go jogging (that’s what they called it back then) with his dog. I, on the other hand, was a decent sprinter but could never run distance. During the horror they called phys-ed in elementary school, this evil teacher named Miss Dunham would make us run around the school block. This was a BIG block encompassing the school building, the sports field, and several homes along the perimeter. It was ugly. I was always the kid laid out on somebody’s lawn trying not to throw up on the petunias - but having said all that, we decided to participate in the Times Colonist 10k. “Participate” meaning walking, not running.

We were pumped as we waited with all the other “runners” beside the legislature. As each heat left, we moved closer to the starting line. Then, we were off. All the people around us started to run, so I sort of jogged until I felt like I wasn’t being watched anymore, then I gasped to a more sensible walking pace - but what a pace!

We fairly flew through downtown, around corners, grunting past waving people. I felt like a fraud. Most of the time I was incognito in my sunglasses, but then it sprinkled rain and I had to take them off. I walked with great purpose, trying not to think about my hips that were going numb. As we rounded the corner onto Dallas Road, we saw people we knew. As I waved and huffed by their condo, I could see a friend making a pleasant gesture that suggested we had lost our minds. I couldn’t disagree, but on we went. My eyeballs were glued to the banners that counted down the distance. When we passed our apartment it took all my strength not to call it a day and go inside, but my husband had just said, “Do you realize little old ladies are passing us?” Well, that did it…I would finish if it killed me. We walk all the time, just not this fast, and we were almost there.

As the finish line came into sight, people were clapping, so, once again, I sort of jogged to make it look good. A woman ran over and hung a finisher’s medallion around my neck. My hair was all sweaty and I felt a wreck, but we had made it. It took us one hour and 45 minutes to do the 10k.

We figured we deserved another reward, so we trudged down Government to Murchie’s for coffee and a snack. After a while, we felt refreshed enough to walk home. We were beside Beacon Hill Park at Niagara when my husband said, “Where’s my water bottle?” Now, this is a large plastic bottle with its own insulated case and a carrying strap, so we weren’t going to abandon it. We figured it had to be at Murchie’s, so we walked back downtown to retrieve it. By the time we got home, I was bug-eyed with fatigue.

I passed the afternoon in oblivion, sleeping on the couch. When I began to rouse myself, around 4pm, my husband said, “Would you like to walk downtown for dinner?” I guess I must have been feeling better because I said, “Sure, why not?” What some people won’t do for a good meal and a glass of wine.