Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My first 5K

Somehow, it's been 4 months since I last blogged. A lot of that has been that we only had 1 functioning computer, and Mark had it at school ALL day! But with Oren starting middle school next year, we thought it best to have a desktop that he could use here at home for writing essays and doing research. Harder to break a desktop than a laptop! So now, I can sit and take as long as I need during the day to fill people in on what we're up to.

As long as I can get back in the habit of doing so.

Saturday was my first 5k. Ever. For someone who couldn't run a mile in elementary school, this is a HUGE deal! (I really couldn't. Didn't even finish walking it because it was taking to long so the coach waved me back to join the class after my 3rd lap. Sad.)

I had been roughly following the C25K plan, starting out walking and gradually adding intervals of running. Mine took considerably longer than the 2 months as stated by the plan, but I was proud of each milestone. The first time I ran a full 4 laps around the track? Best day ever!

Winter hit and cut my running short. Until an awesome girl at church said she could bring a guest to her gym. And so I went to workout with someone who was pretty much a stranger, and whom now I count as a friend. I hopped up on the treadmill and did awful! But it was good to be back on, and I started pushing myself again for my goal of a 5k this summer.

I thought I had some time. I was wrong. :)

Saturday morning came and I found myself stretching and warming up with over 100 10k runners and nearly 200 5k runners. (I'm a runner! Holy cow!) Mark and the boys were on the sidelines, waiting with a camera. The boys were so excited!

 "Mommy? Are you going to run fast? I'm super fast!" - Daniel

Mommy is just going to be happy trying to make it through the whole thing in one piece!

My number pinned on, my legs stretched out... I took my place towards the back of the pack. Which turned out to be a good choice, because the front people were FAST! They took off like lightening! With a deep breath, I got my legs going. Slow and steady. One step at a time. Breath in and out. Nice even pace.

I look up, and I was already at the first water station! The mile mark already? I tried to drink out of a tiny cup without inhaling it up my nose, and without breaking my stride, and psyche myself up for the next mile. From my treadmill, I know that the first mile is "easy" for me now, but that mile 2 needs talking through. I can do it.

The first leg of any race is run with the body. The second leg is run with the mind. And the third? The third is run with your heart.

By the halfway point, I was talking to myself. "You can do this! For your kids! For yourself! Make them proud! Keep breathing! Keep pushing!" It's a good thing nobody was around me to hear, because I'm sure it sounded pretty amusing. At nearly the end of the 2nd mile, I'm praying for strength. I'm praying for the endurance that I know I'm capable of. I'm praying for the courage to keep running. I'm thanking the Lord for this chance He had given me to use this body in the way He intended it. This is my second chance to be the person He wants me to be and I'm grateful for it.

3rd mile. I'm tired. My legs want to walk, just for a minute. But I've pushed the treadmill here too and I know my legs can do it. I've eaten right so they have the energy the muscles need to push through the wall. My mind is blank beyond the "breathe and run, breathe and run" mantra that I'm using to keep my pace from lagging. Where is the finish line? There is a strong wind that was at my back, but that now I'm racing headlong into. What little bit I've got left is harder now for the extra effort the wind is taking to fight.

I can see it! Mark says to finish strong. Use everything you've got to get yourself across that finish line. So the last 100 yards, I extend my stride, pump those arms, and sprint.

36 minutes, 49 seconds. And I ran. The WHOLE thing. Blowing past my personal best! But the second I slowed down, my legs decided they were jelly and were fairly close to collapsing, so I grabbed the drink table and started in on a chocolate milk before going and finding my little family who were waiting for me at the finish.

The hug I got from my husband, who has supported me through this whole journey, was sweeter than the chocolate milk. He is so proud of me, and so were my kids. I could have walked once or twice, but the looks I got from them when I told them I didn't stop once were worth the work!

I'm signed up for another 5k in July. And have free entry into another one this summer if I wanted to. And that little voice that kept saying "Slow and steady..." is saying that maybe a 10k next year wouldn't be so bad!