I’m not a competitive runner. There, I said it.

I could go further in that admission. I’m not a runner. No matter how much I aspire to have the physique of one. Long, limber, toned legs capable of travelling great lengths. Full lungs. Small boobs. 6% body fat. Just not me.

What is me is a very painful knee today. My hip’s a bit stiff too. Why? 3.5 miles of road did this to me. That’s all. Not 20K, not even 10K. 5K. The JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge.

I forgot my inhaler. I remembered my knee brace.

The first half of the race, I did my 11-minute miles with bursting lungs grabbing for air. If I could just breathe easily, this wouldn’t be so hard, I thought. My body isn’t tired. The rest of my body feels good! This could almost be fun!

The second half of the race, my knee stiffened and every step became just a little bit more painful. Downhill didn’t help. But I could breathe just fine. If only my knee didn’t hurt, this could be fun! I thought. My lungs feel great! I’m not all that tired.

And then there was the finish line looming ahead and people cheering encouragements and the race organizers, bless them, playing music with a beat to put my feet to and I ran the rest of the damn thing as fast as I could. And beat my time from last year by 40 seconds.

And that’s the last time I’m going to do that. Next year? Either I’m hashing (they had a much more enjoyable time than I did) or walking. Because that’s what I am — a hasher and a walker. And I think I’m OK with that.