First of all, can I ask a favor?
I knew I could.
No matter who you are, could you just say a prayer for some people who are very dear to me?
I don't want to speak of specifics, but I just ask that you please pray for this unspoken request.
Thanks friends. :)
I, in turn, have said a prayer for you.
God is good.
Okay, so last night (Friday...whenever you are reading this) I ran the True Blue 5K benefiting the Young Alumni Association at the University of Memphis.
Of course, I had to run this race.
Did I mention I graduated from the University of Memphis with my undergraduate degree?
Did I also mention I am currently enrolled as a graduate student there pursuing my Master's degree?
So, of course, my blood bleeds blue and grey.
Coupled with the fact that I have set a goal to run 12 races in a year (from this past Labor Day...date of my first 5K)...
I had to run this race.
What also fueled my fire was the fact that they were giving a prize away for this:
TIGER Spirit Award (given to the runner who best represents the U of M Tigers throughout the entire race-costume, face paint, attitude, etc.). Winner will receive a very special Memphis Tigers gift.
I definitely had to run this race.
So, I planned.
I was going to make myself look like a fool.
I didn't care.
I know that I will never win a race in regards to time...
But I COULD possibly win this Spirit Award.
So, I made myself look ridiculous.
Yes, those are Tiger tights. I ordered them here.
I was actually very nervous to run this race.
I have been sick this past week.
To be honest, I really haven't run in over a week. (Sickness people.)
Can we say running withdrawals??!!
So, needless to say, I was nervous.
"Am I going to make it through this thing?"
"It's cold outside. Are my legs going to feel like lead?"
"Do I look like a complete idiot?!"
"What if my time is bad?"
So, I couldn't tell if my nerves were taking over right before it started...or if it was adrenaline...because my heart was fluttering.
It was probably a combination of both.
But as soon as it started, I said a prayer...
And off I went.
There weren't that many people running this race.
Well, okay, there were probably a couple of hundred.
However, compared to the Chick-fil-A 5K (2,000+ people) and the Cooper Young 4 Miler (4,000+ people)...a couple of hundred seemed like none at all to me.
So, I felt a little lonely.
And I also felt that I was at the back of the line.
Which thus caused me to think, "Man, my time is really stinking."
All the while I have a watch on my wrist keeping up with my pace, telling me otherwise.
But I wasn't really thinking clearly at this point.
I was coughing and wiping my nose.
Running in the cold, damp Memphis night air.
I stopped once for about 30 seconds to get water at the one and only water station.
And then once again to pop my ankle and stretch my Achilles Heel (it was giving me grief).
That was it.
I just kept going.
Let me tell you.
The area around the University of Memphis is quite hilly.
Me no likey the hilly.
Anywho, I try to pick one person (if not a couple) to try to keep pace with.
It's funny because there was an older gentleman who I was sort of keeping up with. Then I fell behind.
But after I passed the girl I was keeping pace with....and passed her by a long ways....I caught back up with him as we were nearing the end.
He said, "There you are! I was wondering where you went!"
(starting the race...my "running buddy" is in the khaki colored pants)
Aw. Running buds.
We ran the last 0.20 miles together.
However, as with all races, whenever I see that finish line I muster whatever strength I think I have (which I do have...WE ALL have it...) and I PUNCH it.
And I crossed the finish line at 39:46.
I was kind of bummed.
I thought I hadn't beat my first 5K time.
However, that's why I am a counselor in training. Not a math teacher in training.
When I got home, I realized I HAD beat my first 5k time by almost 4 minutes.
And I had lowered my time per minute by both my first 5K and the 4 miler.
I had run faster without even trying. Or thinking about it. I just wanted to finish.
I was pretty stoked.
However, I did not win the Tiger Spirit award.
I was beat out by a girl wearing a cape that said, "I married a Memphis grad 10-11-11", a veil, and carrying a bouquet of fake flowers.
(that's her to the right)
My best friend Sarah, who helped tape all those streamers to my back (and came to the race to support me), was really upset. She thought I got robbed.
That may be true. (Hey, I'm not bitter...not at all...not one bit...*cough*...okay, maybe a little.)
However, I did shave time off my previous race times.
Therefore, I AM a winner.
(The aforementioned statement is completely cheesy. So what? It's my blog. I reserve the right to be cheesy when I want. Boo-ya.)
And I have a whole year to plan my Tiger Spirit get-up for next year's race.
It might involve bedazzling my whole body.
Lord knows I love sparkles, glitter, and sequins.
They'll be able to see me running from miles away.
Oh the wheels are a'turning.
10K on 12/31/11.
Training has already begun.
Well, it had begun, but was put on hold this week due to sickness.
But it's back to the training grind tomorrow.
I am so happy to be hitting the pavement again. Oh how I've missed it this week.
Remember friends: don't sell yourself short.
Push yourself a little.
It might hurt.
But only for a little while.
The end is worth the push.
Much love, :)