I know, I know..."Don't most people strive to reach goals?"
Well, I learned a long time ago not to speak for "most" anymore.
So, I hope that most do! :)
Anywho, one personal goal of mine was to run a 5K race. It has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.
I definitely have always been jealous of runners. I just never thought I could be one. Especially with my tendency to get shin splints.
Well, fast forward to the week before July 4th of this year. My friend Ellen and I were working when the topic of the Chick-fil-A 5K got brought up somehow. We both commented on how we've always wanted to run a 5K, but never had. And then like magic, we both said at the same time, "Hey, I read about this program online called Couch to 5K!"
And then and there we both decided to sign up for the race....we'd train with the program together...(well on our own time)....and then run that bad boy. It was perfect timing. The program trains for 9 weeks...and it just so happened our race was 10 weeks from then on Labor Day.
9 weeks ago I was not a runner. But thanks to this program, I can proudly say that I am!
I encourage anyone, (at any fitness level!) if you want to run, ease into it with this program. I am no athlete...and have never been. But the program is forgiving...maybe you need to repeat a week to get into the hang of things (for whatever reason). The program allows you you to do that.
I was so nervous yesterday before the race. Actually, I'd been nervous for days. I had been under the weather the week before, and my runs had been awful. I had made it through all of them, but I had to stop a lot..and it was taking way longer than it should to get through them.
So, I was worried. "Am I going to be last one across the finish line?" "Will I be able to run the whole thing without stopping?" "Am I just going to look silly?"
Ellen and I had made an agreement that we didn't have to run together because we both were at different paces. (She is a fast lady!) So, when the race started at 9am, off I went all on my own.
Or so I thought.
Actually, I felt like I was running with a big group of my friends. It was so nice to have company to run with. I mean, we didn't talk to each other, but each person helped me get to the finish line.
I stopped twice at the water stations because, frankly, I'm not that coordinated to run with a cup of water in my hand. It would have provided entertainment for those around me, however, that's not really what I was going for. And, I took about 30 seconds to stretch out at the stations, also.
From my experience, what I like to call "mind blockers" had always appeared around the 1.5 mile mark... they go a little something like this...."Ugh....My calves are burning....I am having a hard time controlling my breathing...I'm bored....blah blah blah..."
And yesterday they appeared. But you know what? Instead of stopping and giving in...I just kept going. Because people around me kept going. And then bam! There was mile marker 2....and then I could see the ballpark (Autozone ballpark was where the festivities were being held)...and then the finish line!
I had done it!
And to be quite honest, it took everything I had not to become emotional. Yes, I wanted to cry. Truthfully, I wanted to cry a few times on the run. Not because I was hurting...or out of breath...but because I passed the site of my recent wedding reception. I thought of my sweet, supportive husband who has done nothing but be the best cheerleader along this process. Then around mile 2, as I headed up the hill (oh, I did walk for about 30 seconds here, too because I wanted to save my energy for the last mile...and if any of you have seen the hill at Beale and Riverside...you understand why I took a few seconds to walk too!)...anywho as I headed up the hill, Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" came through my headphones. Okay, I know that sounds really corny, but being such a huge Memphis fan, that song holds special meaning in my heart. And thinking about how far I'd come in 9 weeks (bad days, long runs, overcoming mental blocks), started to get me teary eyed.
But, I just kept going. And pushed the tears back. And as I crossed the finish line, the tears that were trying so hard to pour out were replaced with the overwhelming sense of accomplishment. And, well, the need to catch my breath. Haha.
So, now is the time when I say thank you.
Thank you to Ellen for agreeing to start this journey with me.
Thank you to all the friends and family who had encouraging words along the way (especially on facebook!)
Thank you to Brad for being my cheerleader.
Some of my favorite Brad quotes throughout this process were:
"It's okay you're talking so much about working out. It's kind of like your hobby now."
"You look delightfully East Memphis." (said to me as I'm in my new workout gear).
This has been a such a learning experience.
I now know what people mean when they told me that soon all I'd been thinking about is running. It's true. I am constantly thinking about my next run.
And striving to improve my time and distance!
Bring on the 4 miler...and one day a 10K...and then a half-marathon!)
So, here are some highlights of my whole running adventure yesterday!
(The husband and I at the starting line)
(My friend Ellen and I at the start!)
(So many people!)
(I'm the one in the blue shirt...haha)
(Finished with a time of 43.03...what a horrid pic of me though!)
(After race smiles!)
(At Autozone Park)
(After race jubilation)
(After race place of breakfast consumption...since Brother Juniper's was closed. Does anyone else think that CK's menu looks like something straight out of 1974?!)
(My new best friends. Check out the specs here.)
(And this is my other new bff. Nike+ Sportswatch GPS powered by TomTom. Amazing. Just amazing.)
So get out there and set some goals.
It doesn't matter.
Just get out there and try.
You'll be amazed at what you can do when you set your mind to it.
Much love. :)