Two of my amazing friends, Elaine and Marti, had contacted me about a race for which they had both registered. It was not too early, was only a few miles from my home, and was on a Saturday. They were running the 10k, but there was also a 5k. Well, I almost felt like this was just too good to pass up and registered for the 5k with the intent to walk ALL of it if I felt I needed to, I just wanted to take some action. Do something!
When I arrived, I didn't see either of the girls and the 10k had already started. I wandered around and picked up my packet, met people and talked, took photos, then eventually wandered over to the 5k starting area. This was a very new race, I believe maybe the 2nd annual one they had held. It wasn't large, but I like it that way. There would be some country roads and I loved that!
|The little B & O Train|
I felt a little anxious just because I always feel a little bit that way before a race, but I was calmed by reminding myself I could start out walking and didn't need to run at all. If I felt good once I warmed up I could run, but it wasn't a requirement. I was here to enjoy myself.
There were quite a few mature women, not so many heavier gals though. Before we knew it, they had us all moving up and positioning ourselves for the start and in the blink of an eye we were off and running? Running? Yes, looking around and down, I realized I had taken off running! What was I doing? And I was still doing it. Hmm, I guess that's okay, I can stop and walk when I feel like it.
The pack began stretching itself out, the faster runners off in the distance ahead of me and the rest of the pack in the distance behind me. It felt odd, like I was in my own little world and I was thoroughly enjoying myself and my music! I was running comfortably at a steady pace I felt I could continue, so I did.
Getting to that second mile, I was warmed up from my first mile, so I decided to keep going. There were a few people here and there that I would pass or that would pass me and I would pass again later. I really liked the route and it was very well organized, so running alone for quite a bit of the time wasn't intimidating, they had my back.
By the time I got to the third mile, there was no way I was going to walk. I had come this far and I knew I could bring it on home at a run as well. Setting my mind toward my goal I was thrilled to see we would be running down a very nice hill! Yaaaay!! Then we rounded a corner and it was one of those long gradual and at times not so gradual, continuous uphills climbs. Now, WHO would put the hill at the END of the race?! I'm about out of get up and go juice!! I grabbed a cup as I passed the water station and dug in. I AM going to do this!
Heading up the hill, I slowed my pace intentionally and had a few sips periodically and continued to climb. The 10k people were coming into the same turn as well from another direction and I saw many fast and graceful runners going by me at this time, just taking the hill by storm. I looked over and realized that one of the people passing by me right now was Marti, one of my girlfriends that had talked me in to doing this race. She was flying! She also gave me a big smile and a wave and I was encouraged to continue.
|Marti post race|
And I did too!! I came in and found Marti and waited by the finish to get Elaine's photo as she crossed. I was absolutely thrilled to have run the complete distance. Especially knowing I went in with the intent to walk, and also knowing I hadn't gone three complete miles in a row for quite some time. The fact that I was able to do this even with all the extra weight was just icing!!
|Elaine crossing the finish!|
When we were all settled in, eating and drinking post race, they announced overall winners and age group winners. This was a really cool race in that they didn't just award 1st place age groupers, they also awarded 2nd and 3rd place winners in age groupers!! Maybe, just maybe I stood a chance??
|Here we are: Elaine with her 1st place age grouper metal, Marti with her 2nd place age grouper metal, and me with my first 3rd place age grouper metal!!|
I have gained additional weight and lost it and regained it since this race, and I haven't been running for quite a bit, but I haven't given up. I am registered for a quarter marathon in March and a half marathon in May, (which my cousin has grudgingly agreed to do with me!). Since this photo was taken Marti and Elaine have completed their very first full marathon and kicked it's ass! And me, well, no matter how many times it takes, I'm going to keep getting right back up on that proverbial horse and try again. This morning I hopped on my treadmill and starting slow, began my journey back.