I can finally cross something off my 30 Before 30 list! This morning, I ran my first 5K.
I use the term “ran” loosely, because it was probably the world’s slowest running pace on record, but it was a run nonetheless. We walked for 30 seconds at the halfway point, so I’d say that we ran a full three miles out of the 3.1.
Toward the end, I felt like I was running out of gas. I’d never run more than 2.25 miles in a practice run, and I think that was a mistake. With just a little more speed on the second half of the run, we’d have finished in under 40, since our first half was complete in 19.
Highlights of the race:
- The weather! It felt a little too cold before we started running, but absolutely perfect during the race.
- The course! Busse Woods is right in the town where we both grew up, so we could peek through the trees and see familiar houses and streets that
let us know exactly where we were and how far we had left. This was especially motivating on the way back (Look! It’s the blue house! That means we’re almost done!).
- The company! Betsie and I have been friends since we were four and have tons of memories of hellish mile-runs in grade school and high school. It was a huge victory to feel like we’ve left those days in the dust, now that we’re voluntarily running much farther distances.
- The Easter bunny! He wasn’t there to take pictures–he was there to run! (He beat us by quite a bit, proving that slow and steady does NOT always win the race.)
- The end! It was so exciting to see our husbands and Betsie’s kids cheering us on, and the race volunteers were so enthusiastic and complimenting us on finishing strong. The music was also energizing, and the free banana was a lifesaver. I felt very dizzy when I stopped, and it fixed me right up.
And now for the downsides:
- The MUD. It was everywhere. My beautiful, magical running shoes are now a solid brown. My pants have mud up to my knees. It was crazy!
- The bathrooms! Metal toilets, no toilet paper and NO STALL DOORS despite there being more than one toilet in the room. Gag. I chickened out and dealt with a semi-full bladder. Poor Betsie probably got tired of me shrieking, “Oh my gosh, I have to PEE!!”
- Being passed by a toddler and her mother, and hearing the little girl say, “Mommy, we actually passed someone!”Actually, that should go on the list of positives. It was hilarious.
I wore my medal proudly and plan to sleep with it tonight.
Just kidding. But I may frame it with a photo from the race and hang it up in the office. I’m ridicuously proud that I’ve gone from a 270-pound couch potato who couldn’t run a half mile to a 228-pound woman who can run three–in TEN WEEKS.
You know how you always hear the Biggest Loser contestants say “If I can do it, ANYONE can do it!” and you want to beat them up because they have six months away at a ranch in which they’re sequestered from all bad food, don’t have to go to work and can work out every second of the day?
Well, I do have a trainer for three hours a week, but I grocery shop, cook my own food, go to restaurants, work full time, have very little willpower, adore pizza and pasta, hate working out for the most part and deal with temptation every single day, so I am telling you, if I can do it, anyone can. It’s so hard, but so worth it.
The best part about all of this isn’t the weight loss. It’s the confidence and the strength that I feel that I’ve never felt before. I feel like I have a zest for life that had dimmed in recent years. I can’t wait to see what life holds for me! Maybe one day next year I’ll get to post about a 10K run!