Saturday, October 9, 2010

More Race Details

If you could care less about my VERY FIRST 5K from last weekend you will probably just want to move on to another blog, because I want to fully document this race for future reference. The best way to do that is on the that's what I'm doing. I have a slew of pictures posted over on my facebook page so if you are my friend just take a look. and if you aren't my friend all you have to do is ask!! I love having friends!! It's too difficult to load all of them here...blogger is soooo slow when it comes to loading pictures (at least on my computer)!

Back when I was in high school I had several friends who were avid runners. On the high school track team and even ran for fun. I always thought they were kind of crazy for wanting to run that much but I always was a bit jealous, thinking I wish I could do that. I never did any more than run for pe class and that was just because I didn't want to fail the class. The doctors had told me due to an old injury in my right leg that I had "rough cartilege" in my right knee and needed to "be careful" when exercising. I took that to mean "don't do anything strenous". Thus the perfect excuse to be lazy! Give me a bike though and I was all over it...while my friends were running miles and miles I was biking miles and miles!

Fast forward too many years to tell you...and we are at March of 2009 when I weighed in at the doctors office at a whopping 229 pounds and he told me to "get this weight off or become a diabetic"! That was not something I wanted to become or hear so I started getting serious about changing my lifestyle. I started exercising, cut out my coke drinking habit and started really thinking about things I could/should do to make myself into the person I wanted my family to be around. About that time my brother who is 2 1/2 years younger than me started getting serious about his health again, too. He was never really obese but he had gained weight and become rather blaze' about his exercise. He is an ex-Marine, so you know he used to be in tip-top shape and he knew what he needed to do to change his lifestyle. His college degree is in a sports education field (can't remember exactly what now) and he works in a rec center as their activities director.

Anywhoooo, he started training for 5k's, half-marathons, and tri-athalons. I started getting jealous of him. Why could he do this and I couldn't? We have the same genes. He's just a little younger than me. He used to be a scrawny, little nerd! If he can do these things why can't I?

Hey, wait! All my friends from the Sisterhood are running now, too! They are running 5K's, 10K's, 1/2 marathons, tri-athalons, and on and on! That's not fair...most of them are still in the process of losing weight, too. Why can't I do this? Some of these women have had serious injuries, too. Why can't I move past this and start running too? Oh wait, my head tells me..."you have rough cartilege. You can't run." Then I read a post from ChristieO that says she has "NO CARTILEGE in EITHER KNEE" and she's out there running these amazing distances! I start thinking to myself "maybe I can do this!"

Then my brother calls me in April or May and asks if we are busy the first weekend in June. I tell him, "no, we are all just working. Nothing special going on here." He tells me he wants to sign up for a 'triathalon' in the area that weekend. I start thinking "you are kidding me, my brother is doing triathalons now!" I tell him
yes, come on down and he can stay with us and since it's on the weekend I can even watch." So he signs up, comes down, does the tri (and does well) and I start thinking I want to do something that will really PUSH me. What can I do?...I am still working full time and have such limited time. But I need to do something to push me as I feel like I am just stagnant here.

About this time I start hearing alot about the Couch25K program. Tons of people have had success with this program and it progresses to the point where you can run a 5K. I had to figure out how far a 5K was, but I decided I wanted to do this! It sounded challenging but yet doable!

So on July 29th, 2010 I started my official training for my first 5K. It is 5 million degrees out in the summer here in North Texas and I know myself well enough to know there is NO WAY I am going to do this training if I have to do it outside so I start training on the treadmill at the gym. The first couple of weeks were HARD but I managed to follow the plan. About week 3 or 4 I had to slow down and do some repeat weeks. The longer runs I just couldn't do. I felt light headed, out of breathe, etc. So I slowed down my pace...I took a couple of weeks to do 1 week of the plan. Then I told my brother to find a race we could do TOGETHER! I wanted to do a 5K with him! He found one in the town and told me that he would sign us up. Just get ready!

He started checking up on me. Encouraging me, giving me constant praise. He wasn't the only one...everyone was telling me "You are doing great", "Keep going", "Awesome job". It kept me going, making me want to improve, wanting to push myself beyond what I thought I could do. I tell ya without that encouragement there are many times I would have STOPPED and believed the demons in my head telling me I couldn't do it. So THANK YOU!!

So fast forward to the week before race day. I still had not completed the whole C25K plan and was starting to doubt myself but I was signed up and had committed to doing it. I had heard from people that "running outside was a lot easier than on the treadmill" so we had a couple of cool mornings and I decided to take a test run outside. I went to the local park with That Other Kid and started off running. OMG that was sooooo hard. No one there to encourage me. No one there to take my mind off from the demons yelling at me to I stopped. My one chance at running outside ended up being a bomb! I decided not to let it get me down. I decided it didn't matter. The race was next week and I would run what I could of it and just deal with it.

I went back to the gym and ran a couple of times (a whole mile without stopping) and I felt a lot better. I gave myself a couple of goals. FINISH the race! Aim for doing it in 45 minutes!

So, I left on my trip with That Other Kid....driving 6 hours north loaded with my LiveStrong DriFit shirt and my capris and tennis shoes. I was excited but I was nervous too. Having not run outside made me afraid that this would be a huge bomb and a big waste of time. But....we got to the race and I felt good. Excited to be doing something so good for me and others. Excited to see everyone pulling together and cheering for me. Excited to have my brother right there with me every step of the way!

The beginning of the race was on a slight down hill slope and I started too fast. By the time I had gotten to the bottom of the hill I was out of breathe already. I had to walk some. My brother told me to slow down and just breathe, so I tried. I started running again, and again, and again, and again. Run some, walk some...that was pretty much the way it went. He set goals for me with trees in the neighborhood. He pushed me, encouraged me and helped me feel like I could do this. About 1/2 way I was starting to really feel the miles on my legs. Then he told me that my best friend from high school was waiting for me at the finish line! That made me want to cry and RUN!! I can't tell you how much that meant to me to have someone like that waiting for me! So I kept going...running as much as I felt I could. Walking when I didn't think I could go any more. Then about 1/2 mile away from the finish line another one of my best friends from high school was on the side lines in the neighborhood! She called to me from the side lines and finished the race with us! What awesome friends I have!! That made me really want to finish as strong as I could (which by this time was not too strong). It was so encouraging to have that support! Anyway, we had to finish the race running UP A HILL THROUGH A PARK and right before we got to the park one of the event volunteers told us that "it was just a walk through the park and we were done", I responded with "how about a run through the park" cuz that's what I really wanted to do....I did manage to run through the WHOLE PARK, but it took every ounce of energy I had to RUN through the park and across that finish line.

I finished the race in 48:28 with a pace of 15:36. I was number 465 out of 493 runners and 22nd of 28 in the over 40 women. As you can see I was NOT the last person across the finish line! and I've already decided that next year when this race comes up I will RUN it with my friends, my brother and anyone else that wants to run it with me!

Now that I'm not working and the weather has finally cooled off here in North Texas I'm going to run outside and really train for these 5K's. There is one in May that alot of people do in Wichita, Kansas that I plan to be a part of (along with my track running friends from high school!)

I BELIEVE in myself!!! Do you believe in yourself??


Brooke said...

your finishing time means nothing (other than as a victory when you smash it next year) that last line of your blog says it all!!! :)

i can't decide if i love or hate race coordinators put hills at the end of races - they are so hard, but i feel incredible when i push through. you should too!!

Bari said...

I am so freaking proud of you! What a great testament to your own determination and how beneficial our friends are. Congrats!

Sincerely Anna said...

Yay Ann! You're such an inspiration!

Mommy Elephant Sarah said...

Awwww Ann! I just read all of this and went and looked at your previous post with the photos. I am SO proud of you. This post seriously puts a big smile on my face. I love how all these people around you encouraged you to give it a try, and not only did you try but you succeeded too. That is so awesome that you can say you did it. High five.

*Lissa* said...

Love this post!! I am so proud of you for conquering your inner destructo and making it past that finish line! I see many more finishes in your future! :)