We definitely don’t exercise as much as we should. In fact, when I last went to the doctor he was very insistent that I exercise at least three times a week, drink less alcohol, and drink less coffee. Of course, I haven’t been following his advice as well as I should…

So when my girlfriend came home when day suggesting that we run in a 5K, I was shocked. In general, I have no problem with running (not to brag, but I previously ran a single 5K in college) but she played a sport all her life which used running as the primary form of punishment. She insists that she will never enjoy running because of it.

Anyway – the 5K was scheduled a month from her invitation. Perfect. We’d have plenty of time to train. But of course, as the month went on we skipped almost all the training sessions that we had planned. We ended up running exactly once for one mile.

Come the day of the 5K: We were not ready. My girlfriend had work from 4Am to 8AM and the race was scheduled to start at 9. Also it was supposed to rain. Somehow, this didn’t stop my girlfriend: I woke up at 8:15 to the sound of her barging some screaming “You ready to race?!” I didn’t want to kill that mood, so I got up and got ready. We shared a single apple between us on the drive over.

During the first few minutes of the race, we were miserable. Our legs were already getting sore and I thought that I felt a cramp developing. But running in a group really does help… we couldn’t fall behind! We were encouraged and we kept running.

After the first mile, the people in front of us were far away and the people behind us were far behind. It was just us two. We could take a break or leave the race altogether and no one would know. We could go get pancakes and eggs and no one would say anything.

But something amazing happened. Despite the leg pain and the cramps in the first minutes of the race, we felt no pain now apart from the heavy breathing. We kept running. Just one small break at mile 2, then we ran to the finish. No leg pain. No cramps. 33:18 and 33:19 – my girlfriend beat me by one second.

This may seem like a small feat, but we’re proud of ourselves. What surprises me most is how long it took: just 30 minutes. Surely I’ve spent more than 30 minutes doing anything else: sitting on the toilet doomscrolling, procrastinating actual exercise by working, sitting in traffic. In that time, I could have run a 5K.

So will this become a regular thing? Probably not – but atleast we got over the mountain: a 5K is easy – and we did it.

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