Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The logo on my t-shirt
I ran my lifetime first 5K earlier this week on Memorial Day.  That's 3.1 miles.  I jogged the entire way, without stopping, and it didn't kill me!  The steep hill at the end was a dirty trick, but I didn't once fall on my face, get sick, or stop. I gagged on the water they gave out half way through and ended up spitting it out, but I never stopped!

I blazed the race, placing 222 out of 264.  I averaged a 15:55 mile, finishing in a glorious 49:20.4.   I have been practicing since the middle of March, when it seemed like the end of May was a long ways off.  There is a free app I downloaded on my phone called "Couch to 5K" by ZenLabs, which made learning how to run so far an attainable task.  Before I knew it, race day was here...and I DID IT.

That last 0.1mi was straight uphill.
I saw my smiling husband and children.
They are worth the extraordinary effort that it took to wave.
You know you are a slow jogger when a man in sandals with a limp walks beside you and jaws your ear off for the first mile...before dashing off to join his wife several yards ahead of you.

You know you are a slow jogger when the race-winners are on the back leg of the route, passing you on their way back IN before you even exit the property.

You know you are a slow jogger when all of the stroller-walker Mommies pass you.

You know you are a slow jogger when you have to scoot to the side of the road on your way to the finish line to avoid being hit by all of the winners driving away after the awards ceremony.

And you know what...this slow jogger did it with 100% effort and deserved success.  I had to dig really deep, and I did it.

My daughter's rendition of the events of the day.
I believe I am the one at the bottom.
You know you are loved when your half-marathoner friend says that if you do a 5K, she will run it with you. She then celebrates with you on Facebook chat every single day as you practice and check in with her on your progress.  And at the end she gives you a medal and a runner car-decal as a prize because she is so proud of you.

You know you are loved when another friend surprises you and drives over an hour to show up to cheer you at the start, and cheer you on at the finish.

You know you are loved when a precious girlfriend sends an email the night before that says, "I picture you joyous, fierce, and glorious as you glide through that 5K tomorrow. You are the embodiment of beautiful.  You put the cour (heart!) in courage. Love you, I am cheering you on until my voice goes hoarse."

You know you are loved when your husband hauls the 5-year-old and the 3-year-old to your race, and wrangles them in the rain while brandishing a camera to capture your moment of triumph.

You know you are loved when the 5-year-old and the 3-year-old are jumping and cheering "Go Mommy!" as you gasp your way to the finish line.  They then meet you with palms full of squished flowers as your award.

You know you are a winner when you can't control the laughter and tears as you cross the line.

I don't know who these doggies are, or who took the pic. I just found it somewhere
once and it amuses me to no end. I look like the dog on the right when I run.
You know you are a winner when you listen to the theme from Rocky in the car on the way home...followed by Chariots of Fire, of course, and feebly dance with what strength you have left.

You know you are a winner when you wear your new t-shirt the next day and fairly burst with pride, hoping every person you see recognizes what a cool thing you just did.

You know you are a winner when the 5-year-old says she is proud of you because she knows you worked really really hard and you did the best job out of anybody there.

The route was simple enough, mostly flat.  It was a cool, drizzly day, so the mountains that would have been visible were left to the imagination.  I chugged past several horse pastures, and that as a great deal of fun to watch the horses kick around in response to the crowd.

By the last half-mile I was toast.  I was digging deep for strength, and the face of a friend appeared to me.  He was almost tangibly present as I felt him running beside me and urging me on, beaming broadly at me.  I asked him about it the next day, and he said that at about that same time he was at his breakfast table wishing me strength and success.  Honestly, I believe we connected in a spiritual way at that moment.  What a cool experience that was!

I have another friend who runs ultra-marathons.  She loves it, but I think she is insane.  I will stick to my little races, thank you very much.  But she was very excited for me when I told her about my 5K, as if I had just broken a World Record or something.  I joked about being slow, and she said, "Speed doesn't matter.  What matters is getting to the start line.  Then you worry about the finish line."  I am a winner because I got there at all.

I am so proud of myself that I don't have the words.

I deserve BEAUTY in my life!

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