This past Sunday, I did something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I completed a 5K. A real 5K. In public, with an actual timer going. Not to disrespect the last runner in, but it wasn't me. I ran it, I finished it, and I now have a personal best.
I have to say I was pretty nervous that morning. I couldn't sleep and was up at 4:30am. The day dawned rather cool and I was happy I could wear my running capris. Utica is NOT ready for me in shorts, in fact, nobody is! So warmer running wear on, everything ready, I grabbed a handful of dry cheerios and just a bit of coffee, and my daughter and I were off.
As we lined up on the starting line, there wasn't a big field of runners. Great, I thought, I am sure to be dead last and hold everyone up. Kim pulled me to the front of the pack and we joked about this being the only time I would get front row billing. As they read the rules, my nerves seemed to subside. This kind of felt like my group runs. A pack of people, headphones on, ready to just run. I can do this!
We were off! I always learn something on each run I do and this one was no different. Right away I learned that you can't put your visor on over your braid. The wind will blow it off. I didn't go back for it, and didn't let this issue distract me. I got into my groove and headed up the on ramp onto North Genesee St. For a first race, outside of this ramp right off the bat, this wasn't a bad course. Up Genessee street, to the canal, down the trail. I was ok until I smelled Denny's. Greasy, Sunday morning Denny's. My stomach churned. As we ran down the canal trail, I felt like I was going to be sick. I walked just a little to work through it. I walked one other time, briefly before we hit the hill back up the ramp, then ran all the way home.
I didn't feel like I was racing anybody except myself, which was my goal. Only when I crested the ramp and saw the timer did I feel like it was a race. I looked at my time and realized I was going to reach my secret goal. My "out loud" goal was to finish. I wanted to finish in less than 40 min. The board said 38.13 when I ran under it. I didn't realize they would say my name and hometown out loud! I felt kind of accomplished at this point, even if I was 8th from last. I grabbed my water and walked around a bit before going back to talk to the people I knew. At this race were my fellow weekly running crew, past students, teachers from work, and my best friend. We finished a few min apart, but 10 years ago, if you saw either of us as younger moms busy with life, out of shape, and no time to ourselves, you would have NEVER bet on us to finish a race! WE did! I have proof! And.......I'm going to run some more.