The week came for the very same race I had my first DNF (did not finish). My friends were doing it again this year, one of whom had won an age groupers award and also would have their name on this year's shirt. I really wanted to get one of those shirts with her name on it, so thought to myself, hmmm, why don't I just register for the race. I thought about it for a day or two, the race was closing in and I needed to make my decision fast. Okay! I'll do it!! This is the perfect race to try coming back. If I couldn't go the full quarter mile, at least I will have tried and it wouldn't be a DNF for a different race. Going for it!
I went online to register, but it was past the deadline. I wasn't sure there were even any spots left. I contacted the running group and was informed there was still room and I could register the morning of the race. And that is exactly what I did!
I got a late start and by the time I got there, signed in and found my friends, it was just about time to start. Perfect! No time to even think about it. The next thing I know we are off and 'running'. Well, I went to the end of the group and started with a walk. Then wanted to grab some photos, so ran up to the middle to get the shot. Running felt kind of nice. Let's keep doing this. And I did. I ran. I ran more than I had been training and I walked and then I ran some more. I continued to run longer distances, well past the point I had done in training. Then came the point in the route where I had to stop last year....Buh-Bye! See Ya'!
That felt great! There were hills and it was tough even walking at a brisk pace, but I continued to change up with walks and runs. I really started to believe I just might make it! I was getting further and further back and I knew I was at the very end of the quarter mile pack, but that was okay. As the saying goes, 'you're lapping everyone still home on their couch'.
I saw that five mile marker and was feeling pretty well spent. Between the fifth and sixth mile felt like the longest mile of the race and I was convinced it hadn't been measured properly. But then there it was, mile six! Beautiful mile six! Only .55 left, I've so got this!! And of course the route ended where it began. It began with a downhill wrap, which meant...Oh no! I am so weak. Keep going, you've got this! Kick that DNF in it's butt! Come on, one step at a time...take another one....and another....THERE IS THE FINISH LINE!! Run! Running! AWESOME! I'm running across the finish line!! I did it!! I DID IT!!
I had done it!! From my first DNF to a PR (personal record). It felt so wonderful to achieve this personal victory. And now with that one on the books, I am moving forward, pursuing the 5K races this Spring and Summer and plan to be able to run them the full way through in no time.
Don't ever give up!