Today was the big day! My first 5K race!!!
I arrived bright and early with my own cheering section :-)
And then I made all my fellow race buddies smile for pictures with me. Here is my friend Joe (a.k.a. Uncle Joe) who was also running his first 5K.
And here is my old high school buddy Dan, who is a seasoned 5K runner. This was the only time I saw him all day because I was eating his dust. Haha!
Lining up to start the race was pretty exciting. My nerves had died down a bit and Joe and I were cracking jokes like we always do. But the minute the gun went off and I saw the confetti fly into the air...I wanted to puke :-)
Starting the race was easy. Everyone is in one big clump and you are just doing your best to keep pace with those around you...
But then the passing starts. All the serious runners are bobbing and weaving all around you and what you thought was a "good pace" seems kind of slow in comparison. A woman with a jogging stroller passed me at one point so that kicked me into gear. I had a lot of adrenaline pumping at that point and I think that helped move me along too.
Before I knew it, I was rounding the corner and I could see the finish line in the distance. I'm not going to lie...I got a tear in my eye at the sight of the finish line. I couldn't believe I was actually doing this. At the start of the summer, I couldn't run 30 seconds without feeling like I was going to die. And today, I kept pace with some people who have been running 5Ks for years. I still can't believe it...
But just so there is proof that I actually finished, here I am crossing the finish line. Um...yeah...those are my hands above that guy's head...
I was clapping as I crossed :-)
And I had an AWESOME cheering section when I made it. Nana, Aunt Diana, Addie and Blake were all waiting for me :-)
When I finished, Addie said, "GOOD JOB MAMA!!!" That might have made me tear up too :-)
Now, I was pretty darn proud of myself for finishing my race even though I was up about 4 times with a certain someone who likes to party all night long. But that isn't HALF as amazing as Uncle Joe, who finished his race after working a 14 HOUR NIGHT SHIFT!! Yes...Joe worked all night and drove straight to the race this morning. And he ran the whole thing and crossed the finish line!!!
I am just on cloud nine today.
I set a huge goal for myself and I accomplished it.
Some of my friends and family are still in shock that I started running. I have always despised it and aside from dancing my whole life, I have never been a serious athlete. And to be honest...I didn't start running with the intention of becoming one. I just wanted to lose a few more pounds and since running is something I can do anytime, anywhere...I thought it was a good fit.
But what started as a weight loss plan has turned into a new passion. Learning to love something that I once hated has been a really motivating experience for me. It is one of the few things in my life that I do just for me and it feels good. REALLY good. I can see now why so many people start running 5Ks and can't stop. I already look forward to the next time I can hear that gun go off and feel the sheer excitement and accomplishment of crossing a finish line :-)
But I have to say...I could NEVER have done this without all the amazing support and encouragement I have received from friends and family. Thanks to everyone who has cheered me on the last 15 weeks. I appreciate it more than you know :-)
And finally, I just want to give one last HUGE thank you to my mom and sister-in-law Diana for coming out to my race today to support me (and help with the kiddies). It meant SO MUCH having you both there :-) Love you girls!!!! Until the next race...