This weekend I ran my first-ever 5K!!!! (moment of silence, please)
I have to say--I NEVER thought I'd be saying those words. But, I am really proud of myself for setting the goal, and then accomplishing it!!
When I turned 40, I thought a good way to celebrate "middle-age-hood" was to see if I could train and run a 5K. I used the C25K program, and found it the BEST way for me to train. It can take total couch potatoes--like myself--and turn them into running machines. Okay, sorry I love to make myself giggle...I'm no running machine--but I can run a 5K!
Okay, but first I have to tell you about the 5K I chose as my first. My goal was to be able to run the entire way. I had heard horror stories about first 5Ks with killer hills, so I used the ole noggin, and picked a wonderful (read: "easy") first 5K. What is the FLATTEST course you can think of? How about an airport runway??? Oh yeah--I found a 5K on the Branson Airport runway! (The Cape 5K) Plus--mid October, the weather here is gorgeous! I believe it was about 45 degrees that morning. Perfectly cool to start out, and not the least bit hot. Flat course + cool weather = running perfection!
Here are my running friends that morning! The race was a very small one, but I LOVED the atmosphere of it. It felt intimate and friendly--which was so perfect for my first race. It was Kim's (far right) first 5K, too. I loved that we got to share this first together!
Look at my cute family who came out to support me! How fun that my girls decided to run most of it with me! Well...not actually with me...they were ahead of me almost the entire time. Don't ya just hate it that kids can outrun you--even when you've been training like crazy? Stinkin' kids. Ah, but I sure love these stinkin' kids.
I also want to say this: My husband has been so supportive during this whole training process. I love that I always have a "running expert" whenever I've had technical questions. You see, Dave is a past marathoner. Like, he ran a lot of them, including the big ones--Boston and New York. (He's going to hate me bragging on him!) In fact, Dave ran so much back in the day, he totally wore out both of his knees, and isn't supposed to run at all anymore. Anyway, he was just so sweet after the race--all day long he kept looking at me and saying, "I am so proud of you!" I mean--I know he's proud of me and all that...but it sure was sweet to have him understand what a huge undertaking this was for me, and appreciate that I was able to face my fears and insecurities and do it.
So, how was the race for me? Well...if you really study this picture, it tells the whole story. I'm the one in pink in the middle... I think if you look hard enough, you'll see that I am running alone--which is how I prefer to run. You also might see some girls behind me walking. Yep, I do believe I was the very last runner. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a small race. I'd like to think if the race had more people, I might not have been the last runner. But, I was afraid to speed up much--because I sure didn't want a nasty side stitch, and I wanted to pace myself so that I could run the whole thing.
Let me tell you something I have discovered about myself and running: I love the SILENCE I experience as I run. Even though I always run with some great music streaming through my headphones, it's as if all the world is quieted as my feet hit the pavement. My brain feels so clear--so I do some wonderful thinking while I run, as well as some wonderful prayer time. I've heard other runners talk about this phenomenon--and I really "get it" now.
My girls were running in front of me most of the time, but at one point towards the end, Sara Beth got tired and needed to walk a little bit. This is the scene I got to run behind for a while as I caught up--big sister Rebecca walking beside, and holding her little sister's hand. This made me smile so big, that I had to grab a picture with my phone while jogging (which is why the picture is a little blurry.)
WOO HOO!!!!! Here I am crossing the finish! If the picture were clearer, you could see how my face matches my red shirt.
And I just had to show this post-race pic of Carissa and me. Carissa was SUCH a huge encouragement this whole process! She actually started the C25K after I did last fall...and it was a little humbling when she completed it and ran her first 5K months and months before me. However--she was so great about the way she kept encouraging me along. It really was wonderful to have a friend there at the race with me who "got" what a huge life goal this was for me--AND to have her run the finish WITH me!!! She met me towards the last 100 yards (after she'd already finished), and ran it in with me. Isn't that a perfect picture of what friendship is? Thanks, friend!!
Okay, but let's not end on a sappy note... I don't know if you noticed my race t-shirt. I bought it ESPECIALLY for this race. 'Cause a girl's got to have the right wardrobe for special occasions, right?
Well, when I saw this t-shirt, I KNEW it needed to be my race t-shirt for ALL races.
I might should start running 10Ks, though...I'm not sure 5Ks are going to cover donuts AND Cokes...
Now--I'd love to hear YOUR stories.
Do you have any life goals--or personal goals you're working on right now?