I’m reclaiming my fitness! Yes reclamation is a word, it’s a noun for reclaiming something, I Googled it, so I know it’s legit LOL.
Last night I laid out everything, my clothes, my sports bra, my iPod, my running shoes and socks, my Jesus tattoo everything.
My Dad called to let me know he had to work and couldn’t make it to the race, but gave me runner’s advice and my Best Friend also called to cheer me on. I got into bed before the clock rolled over to A.M. which is a challenge for this night owl.
This morning I woke up and felt completely refreshed, I was so grateful for that. I showered, ate a protein bar and got dressed. Everything was flowing so seamlessly until I realized that I forgot to pull out my camera last night. I had to not only find it, but charge it too while coaching myself not to panic about not being prepared. Everything worked out okay, I had my morning routine to keep me grounded. I didn’t even have nervous butterflies in my stomach like I normally do on race day.
I got to my Gym Cousins house on time. He of course was not ready, talking about I got there “too fast,” (I only live 2 blocks over) but eventually he came out and we made it to the park about 30 minutes before the race. My Church Friend who goes to church with me every Sunday was supposed to meet me before the race to get my camera, but she had a hard time finding a parking spot. There were about race 2,000 participants plus their supporters. So, I had my camera around my neck the whole time. I was of course a little annoyed but I definitely didn’t let it spoil my mood. Today was bigger than this camera that was insistent on causing me drama.
As they played the Star-Spangled Banner I set up my iPod with my Race Day Podcast and looked around at the diverse crowd. Black, White, young, old, male, female, juicy and fit participants were gearing up to run in the picture perfect race weather. A few minutes later I patted my Gym Cousin on the shoulder, gave him a thumbs up and he was off! I was in my own personal groove, jogging and jamming to my music when I started to feel kind of emotional. Here I was doing a 5K Race again, reclaiming my running roots. I remember a couple months ago I was walking down the street to a restaurant just two blocks with a coworker and my back hurt so bad! I couldn’t run at all. And my knees hurt, it was so difficult for me to walk down the street without pain yet today, I was about to finish 3 miles.
I could’ve given up, but I kept pushing these last few months. I had weeks here and there where I got lazy or a little discouraged, but I never gave up which brought me to today. I’m shifting my focus from perfection to excellence. About 10 minute into the race I started to have a pain in my side, which let me know I didn’t drink enough water this morning. I slowed down enough to catch my breath and took deep slow breaths. That helped a lot.
I saw another juicy girl about my size that was sweating and looked like she was struggling, I gave her a thumbs up and waved at her to keep pushing. We power walked together for about a mile, but I had to leave her when I started jogging again. I gulped down the water at the halfway point and heard my podcast say that I was 30 minutes in, I was confident that I would finish in under an hour. Right before the 2 mile mark there was a handsome young man passed out on the side of the race course. I was surprised because he looked so fit and in shape, but there were four medics there helping him. Soon after passing the guy, the race course changed and we veered to the left and not the right like my cousin and I had done two days before. This way was a little shorter, so I got excited and started to run again. I used the downhill slope to help propel me faster.
Although, I was quite winded, I called my Church Friend, and let her know to start looking for me soon. The finish line was so close that I could see it. My podcast said that I had 10 more minutes and I thought this will only take me less than five minutes to get there. And then the course changed again, but this time not for my benefit. We had to circle all the way around a huge pavilion before crossing the finish line. I felt a little discouraged, now wondering if I would finish in under an hour. And then I saw the chocolate man in the red hat, my Gym Cousin right there cheering loudly. He already had his race day finisher’s medal around his neck. He finished in 32 minutes!! I was SO incredibly proud of him and honored that I was his coach for his first 5K. This gave me that final push I needed to cross the finish line. I tossed him the camera to film a video and did one last run. As I got closer, I saw my mom holding a sign cheering me on. When I finally crossed the finish line, there was my Church Friend cheering me on as well. I crossed the finish line in 57 minutes. I was glad that I came in under an hour but even prouder that I finished a 5K close to my heaviest weight.
The nice lady handed me my finisher’s medal and I took pictures with my family and friends. My Gym Cousin’s mom came too, she’s my Mom’s sister, and they almost look like twins. At the refreshment stand, I opted for the banana and water instead of the sun chips. A 5K race means so much to me because it shows you that no matter where you are in life you can work hard and achieve your goals despite all the obstacles that come your way. Thanks for taking this journey with me and for never giving up! If I did it, I know you can!
P.S. Before we even got back home my Cousin, said “Whew, now I need to go to the gym.” I just shook my head and laughed, saying ”See, THAT’s why I call you my Gym Cousin on my blog.” “I’m going home to put my feet up!”