One day I put down on a list of things I wanted to accomplish this year that I wanted to run a 5K race, but it never occurred to me that I’d be able to do it like any other athlete could. I’ve never seen myself as an athlete, or sporty person, or even in shape. But, the last few weeks things have changed. My mind and body have gone through a transformation into this person who can put her mind to something and just do it (thank you Nike for that). And that is exactly what I did! I ran the 5K, faster then I have ever done it before, and without ever stopping to get a breath, some water, or to “tie my shoe”. I had no excuses to stop, I just kept going.
Last month I was encouraged by several friends, but one in particular to run the Shamrock run, and knowing that I was in the best shape of my life I thought about it, but was sitting on the fence. A few days later, my friend came up to me and said, “I’ll change my race to the 5K and run with you if you sign up.” Wow, that’s pretty powerful encouragement! How could I say no to that? So, there I was on the last day to sign up putting my name down as going to be running (rain, snow, or shine) in the 5K race.
About a month later I get my super cool green Adidas shirt and all the race accessories, and it all becomes a reality. I began to run outside a few times, and realize that “Hey, I can do that!” and then just days before the race I am finally able to just run a mile without stopping for anything. I’ve been pushed to become an athlete I realize, and that I am capable of running and that I am no longer the out of shape fat girl! It stirs so many emotions for me that I can’t help but cry off and on about it, but in the end I realize that I could never have changed that self image of myself without prayer and encouragement! God has blessed me with some amazing people in this journey.
The day of the race we get to the park and of course it’s freezing outside! I’m so cold I just want to run as fast as I can to get somewhere warm. We watched the 15K and 8K start, and then shuffle into the enormous 11,000 plus crowd for the 5K. I had a group of people cheering me on, and two great people to run with (as well as the Zumba party in my ears to keep me going!) I hit mile 1 and realized I did it again, just ran and never stopped, so I knew I could make it to mile 2. About a block before mile 2 I almost stopped, but all I heard in my head was “If I stop, I won’t be able to go again” because I knew I’d lose the confidence in myself, not the ability. So, I slowed a bit and then just kept going. I even passed up the water station! A huge hill (to me at least) to climb came just before mile 3, and I began to think about the finish line and wanting to find my husband. I envisioned being able to just run into a huge bear hug at the finish line, so as soon as we were down the hill I picked up my pace! I started to see people on the sidewalks, and looked up, but I had such huge tunnel vision that I couldn’t even focus on anyone’s face. I just hoped that he would see me. We crossed the finish line in a huge crowd of people and my legs were shaking, but I had this feeling that I could have kept going further. I wasn’t able to get that huge bear hug until a long search for each other, but I had high fives and hugs with my friends! That evening I found my race time and knowing that I ran faster and longer I was excited to see how I did. I ran the 5K in 36:06 minutes!
Now in my head all I can think about is how 3 miles is nothing, I’m gonna have to go longer then this next time. Jon and I joke that we’re going to do the 15K next year, so we can hear our names announced, and yes I’m going to have Jon run with me soon! No way am I doing this without him anymore, and I’m for sure going to run with great friends too! I can’t say thank you enough to everyone around me these days, life is pretty hard overall, but when you surround yourself with the right people life’s challenges can be much easier.