I have one motto in life: Go big or go the hell home. I don’t like doing ANYTHING for the sake of just doing it. It’s all or nothing. I either want to be KING OF THE WORLD or I want you to leave me alone and let me lounge in pajamas all day. There is no “medium” in my world.
But when I signed up for the 5K a month ago, I kind of knew I wouldn’t be setting any records. As I said in my last post about running, I would really like it if I could eat whatever I want, not move too much and not gain a ton of weight. I am not crazy about running and even now I’m kind of “meh” about it.
But once race day came? Suddenly I was doing my best imitation of Usain Bolt during the pre-race waiting period. I’m jogging in place, doing what I see the other racers doing for their pre-race stretches and talking smack about how much I love running. I know my husband was like, Who is this woman?
We showed up on time to register and they give me my 5K shirt that my $25 paid for. I asked for a small and when they gave it to me, I held it up and said, “Man, this thing is huge!” Then I put it on and it fit perfectly. *insert mad face here* They also gave me my racing bib (I dunno, I guess that’s what you call it – the paper with my racing number on it) and I was looking for the adhesive. My husband just shook his head and gave me the safety pins they had available so you could pin it to your clothes. Oh. Yet another thing I didn’t know about running. LOL
My kids were there and my sister came down to watch them while my husband and I ran. She’s starting to get a little more invested in her overall health and has been working out so I’m glad I could be motivating to her. I kissed my kids goodbye and my husband and I went to get in line for the start of the race.
I decided to sneak in a spot in the middle of the pack so I wouldn’t get run over by the fast people, but I didn’t want to be trailing behind everyone either. But then I realized there were more than 500 people in the race and my claustrophobia kicked in. I felt like Simba in the gorge:
OMG, I thought to myself, I’m about to get trampled. The starter’s pistol went off and we started running. I instantly got nervous because it hadn’t really hit me that I have yet to run more than 6 minutes at time. I’d run for 6 minutes, walk for 2, run for 6 minutes, walk for 2, etc. But this was a race.
I managed to lose my husband in the crowd around 4 minutes in and I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to run this race alone. Great. People started passing me, saying, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” I’m like, “Just pass me! You don’t have to announce it!”
I kept on running, even when I felt myself hit the 6 minute mark and I wanted to stop and do my usual routine. But I kept pushing and as I passed the 1-mile marker a volunteer was standing there calling out our times. “12:33,” she said as I ran by. Did I just run a 12-minute mile? That was my best time ever, so it gave me a bit of a confidence boost. But then I realized how far I still had to run and I hit a wall. I took a minute to walk and my husband found me in the crowd (which had thinned out by then).
We walked most of the second mile as I had the worst shin splints ever – I felt like my muscles wanted to detach themselves from my bones. I huffed and I puffed and I made my way to the final mile. Until that point, I had been running with no music, but I had tucked my iPhone in my pocket. I took it out and played Beyonce’s “Countdown,” which, if you didn’t know, has the perfect beat to run to. I played that song, then “Love on Top,” then “Party” until the finish line was in sight. I saw my parents, who had driven up to see me race and they started honking their car horn and being, well, parents. I kept focused and sprinted across the finish line.
I wanted to barf. I had to really concentrate on not vomiting all over the other runners who were standing on the sidelines, cheering for the slowest of us to cross that finish line. But I did it. I couldn’t breathe for a while and my body hurt, but I did it.
I am still not a runner, but I set a goal and I did it. That means a lot to me. And I wasn’t last!! I placed 488 out of 517. LOL.
I have my eye on another race at the end of June that benefits a local women’s shelter. I’m still not completely sold on running, but we shall see how this works out for me.