Well, it is in the books. My first 5K in four years. The last one I ran was the Sprint for Life 5K in May of 2009. .After enduring injuries and health problems that I was sure had ended my running career forever, on Sunday I ran the Sprint for Life again. Wow.
I ran the race with my mom and my son. We headed up the night before and spent the night near the start line so we didn't have to get up too early and drive 40 minutes into the Houston Medical Center where the race was held.
I was up early to make sure I had time to eat, be nervous and walk out to the start. The three of us lined up in different spots: my son lined up closer to the front I lined up somewhere between, real runner and granny with a walker. Mom lined up with the walkers.
Standing at the start I hopped from foot to foot telling myself I was trying to warm-up. In reality it was sheer nerves.
Houston actually set a record low that morning and I was glad for my new runner's hoodie. It always amazes me how you stand waiting around for the race to begin and then all of a sudden it's already started! So now we are off! with Sara Evans singing about getting stronger.
I felt great almost the entire race. It was a little disheartening to see so many people pass me up as I plodded along, but I didn't let it bother me... too much and before I knew it, I passed the mile one marker, and Eminem telling me to Lose Myself, that I could do anything I set my mind to, yo!
I see Caleb on the other side of the course coming in for the last leg of his race! We exchange "go Caleb's" and "go Mom's" and he finishes in 23:10-taking fourth in his age group. No, he didn't really train. At. All. He works out with his wrestling team every morning at school, so I guess that was enough, because he kicked butt. I'm trying to convince him to actually spend a few weeks training and then run another race because I think he'd totally win the thing, but I'm not sure he wants to work that hard.
Still feeling good as I headed into the second mile. Had a rough second as I tried to unzip my hoodie without dislodging my race number but kept running even as people continue to pass me and now it's Kelly Clarkson who is telling me that what dosn't kill me makes me stronger.
"Head down, breathe, keeping moving" becomes my mantra as I head into the last mile. Theme to Rocky and my legs are starting to burn. My goal was to run for 35 minutes straight...no matter where that put me on the course. It actually put me about half a mile further out than I thought it would and I walked for two minutes before I told myself to stop being a wussie and, "run you fat ass! I can show a movie on your butt!" (Police Academy reference) and I'm running again.
And then I look up and there is my son, and thank goodness because I'm not feeling Sia as she tries to convince me I AM TITANIUM. Caleb encourages me to keep going and then there is...a hill! Crap. A fucking hill! I know that just over the hill is the finish line and so I push, breathe and use my arms to climb that damn hill (in full disclosure, it was more like a slight rise in the pavement, but it felt HUGE! It wasn't.) I still can't see the finish line and I almost gave up right there, but just because you can't see the finish, doesn't mean it isn't there. My son is running beside me giving me encouragement and I can finally see the finish line- and it seems so freaking far away. I thought once I saw the finish I would surge forward with some last burst of adrenaline as the Chariots of Fire theme swelled in the background. It was going to be beautiful. Yup, sooo didn't happen, but as I got closer I finally forced my feet to turnover faster, told my lungs they could breathe when we were done and crossed that finished line! YAY!
I was a little insulted when a first aid worker came up and asked me if I was okay. Did I really look that bad? Guess so. We walked back to hell hill for Mom, I'm still out of breath and slugging water so Caleb and Mom take off for the finish!
We've all made it! We celebrate by wolfing down pancakes like it is our job, and I keep saying that I can't believe I did it.
No ill effects from the race. My legs were stiff, but a nice hot Epsom salt bath in my jacuzzi tub fixed that right up. I took Sunday off from running, but Monday I was back out there. See, there is this 5K I'm training for...