That is how long it took to achieve a goal and cross it off my bucket list. 40:58 that is the length of time that it took me to complete my first 5K today.
About a year ago, I decided that I wanted to run a 5K. I am not sure why I decided this because I HATE Cardio. Love strength training, but hate cardio. But something told me that I needed to do this. But it seemed that every time I started training, something happened.My back went out, I got sick, I got bored, I talked myself out of it. ….whatever it was, I did not do it last year. This year, I started looking at races again. I found one in June. I told myself this year, I was going to do it. I started training and did not really follow the training schedule. One of my best friends, Melissa, told me that she signed up for one on April 29th. What the hell? I will do that one. She had been pretty faithful at the gym. Not me. I was not sure I could do it. So two weeks ago, I went to a place that I knew was 3 miles. I ran 90 % of it. So I figured, “Let’s do it”. I signed up. One week ago today, I lost one of my closest friends suddenly. He died of a massive heart attack. If that wasn’t a wake up call to stop putting things off I don’t know what was. He was only 50 years old and so full of life. As the race day approached, my friend Melissa told me that she understood what a tough week I had and would have understood if I couldn’t do the race. I told her that this past week was all the more reason that I HAD to do this race. It made me realize that life is too short and there are too many “ I should have… ”and “ I need to…” There need to be more “ I did…. “ Well today “ I did run and complete my first 5K!!” I definitely had an angel on my shoulder for the last mile. Today as I put my bib with my runner’s number on my shirt, I placed a picture of Scott on the underside of the bib. I told him we were doing this together and I expected him to get me through.
I did not have many goals for the race. One was that I did not want to walk any of it. I didn’t. The other was that I did not want to finish last. I didn’t. The other was that I wanted to beat my time of 44 minutes. I did. All goals accomplished. I am not much of a goal setter, but I have learned to realize that without them, we have nothing to strive for…. So goals accomplished!
As soon as the race started, My feet went numb and my breathing was heavy. Uh oh. I thought.. “This is going to be a long three miles.. The route had mile markers at mile one and two and water at mile 1.5. When we got to the first mile, I was happy that was done. Then when we got to the water station, we knew we were half way done. But then there was mile two. The hill they told us about. That was going to be tough. I decided to look down and not ahead. I slowed down my pace and just went for it. Got to the top of the hill and had a cramp in my side for the remainder of the race. This is when I started talking to my friend Scott. “Scott – come on babe we can do this” I joked with him that his face was pressed against my stomach and he needed to get rid of the cramp. The cramp stayed, but talking to my friend helped me continue. Throughout the course, there were people in their front yards clapping and cheering. Each time I wanted to give up and walk, someone shouted “Great job. You're almost there.” I remember one woman sitting on her picnic table just clapping. I high fived a child. Those people gave me the motivation to keep going..
As I got closer to the finish line, I could hear the cheers and the music. I turned on the field and entered the track. I was exhausted and wanted to stop. I could see the finish line in my sight, but my body wanted it to be over. I told Scott I really needed him and at that very moment, my speed picked up and I was running faster than I did throughout the entire race. I felt like I was being lifted and pushed to the end. I crossed the finish line and remember someone handing me a bottle of water and remember thinking, I DID IT!
It is amazing what a difference a week makes. This time last week, I was reeling from the news of Scott’s death and today he helped inspire me to stopping putting off my dreams… Thanks my friend....