Step 2: Mull over the price, but realize it is worth it for the cause and the motivation to get in shape while secretly knowing that when you saw “wine expo” there was never any question.
Step 3: Buy your entry ticket and have a donut to celebrate how healthy you are going to become.
Step 4: Make a training plan. Map out the next four-ish months and come up with a doable schedule, look up workouts, compile a killer playlist, attend gym classes to pump you up. Surely just the anticipation of the race is burning up those calories and helping you get in shape right from your couch.
Step 5: Begin training diligently and follow the plan for six dedicated days until Thanksgiving hits, then watch your resolve disappear faster than the candied yams.
Step 6: Travel to Michigan to visit a friend where all you do is restaurant-hop and toast to your awesomeness with homemade martinis whereafter your schedule will truly fall to bits.
Step 7: Make it to the gym sporadically until the holidays when you will indulge in a monumental number of Christmas cookies (your favorite tradition and therefore cannot be broken) and then afterwards fly to Paris and do a healthy amount of walking, but no actual running, and even less when you get sick and are couch bound for a few days. Stuff your face with croissants and french bread on the first leg of the trip because you won’t be able to eat while you’re sick, which might seem like a bonus to your training (10 less pounds to lug around for 6.2 miles, high five!), but realize you were losing strength, not fat, and gain it all back within one week of being able to eat again.
Step 8: Come home and notice you have less than two months left until the race and vow to rewrite your training plan and actually stick to it this time. Have another donut in celebration of your renewed efforts.
Step 9: Five days later, jet up to New York to check out apartments in Brooklyn, view eight, and get lost on the subway so many times that the anxiety alone has to count as exercise. After settling on a place, go back home and spend the week packing. Reassure yourself that spending the last few days sleeping in your own bed is worth skipping the gym and that running up and down the stairs looking for odds and ends for your move is worth a workout or two anyway.
Step 10: Move to New York. Bask in the glory of this life change and seven hours later freak out because you don’t know what the hell you were thinking relocating for an unpaid internship. Take this time to also note that a round trip bus ticket to attend the 10k about which you are at this point in flat out denial will cost you $50 from your already rent-depleted and job-un-supplemented bank account.
Step 11: Wake up to your first NY snowfall just two days after arriving and trudge through the blizzard to your first day on the job. Realize on the walk back home that you won’t be running outside any time soon. Do 11 or 12 crunches in your room before throwing in the towel and hoping the sun is strong enough tomorrow to melt the black ice on the sidewalks surrounding your block.
Step 12: After a few “tomorrows” have come and gone and even more snow has fallen, decide to join a mildly intimidating, albeit cheap, gym a few blocks away so you can finally use the treadmill and really get down to training for this thing which is not so far off in the distance anymore.
Step 13: Never leave your house to go to the gym because there’s still snow on the ground and Netflix to be watched.
Step 14: One week out, lay in your bed paralyzed by the realization that you haven’t run more than two miles in a row the whole time you were supposed to be training. Comfort yourself with a donut.
Step 15: Start apologizing in advance to the friend-turned-running-partner who will most likely be neither after this is all said and done due to what is sure to end in her dragging you across the finish line and, if we’re being honest, the better part of five out of the six total miles.
Step 16: The night before your bus ride home, give in to the guilt of not training and the anxiety of your pending doom and when that’s over, repeat your newest race plan to yourself: Just cross the finish line. Just cross the finish line.
Step 17: Pick up your registration packet, shirt, and wristbands, have a healthy Jimmy Johns meal the night before, and get a good night’s sleep.
Step 18: The morning of the race, carb up, don your new shirt (which looks super awesome and is sure to give you an extra boost), and pin on your number. Feel pumped, but brush away the possibility that you might actually make it out alive.
Step 19: Line up at the start, music at the ready, partner at your side. Feel the adrenaline and pray it’s still with you at mile 4.
Step 20: After the gun goes off, breeze through the first mile like it’s the simplest thing you’ve ever done. Know that this must be a terribly bad omen for the rest of the race.
Step 21: Just as you predicted, watch mile 2 creep by so slowly that you’re sure the next marker will say “Mile 3,” and when it doesn’t, bid your running buddy adieu as she sails on ahead, leaving you in her dust.
Step 22: Black out the rest of the race except for the pain and the infinitely slow progression of mile markers.
Step 23: Finally, finally reach mile marker 6 and prepare yourself for the finish line just around the corner. Get what can only be described as a heaven-sent last surge of energy and run through the finish line to meet your (still) friend who, it turns out, was only five minutes ahead of you! Grab a medal. Throw that medal around your neck while tears prick at your eyes at the embrace of only one thought: I did it.
Step 24: Choke down a cup of water and bask in the glory of that same one thought: I did it.
Step 25: Selfie it up because you just dodged what was sure to be the most forewarned yet easily-avoided demise ever.
Step 26: Revel in the magnificence of your accomplishment because against all odds, you did, in fact, just finish a 10k.
Step 27: Never do it again.