I have never ever been one to run anywhere. I've told you all before that I grew up hating running and I never thought it would change. But this last year it did, and I wanted to test this new body and see just what it could do!
If I was going to do it, I was going to run the whole way, no walking! That was my one condition if I was going to do it, and I would not give in no matter what. But my problem was, I wasn't sure if I believed in myself enough to keep that promise. I had been really tired the last few weeks and couldn't even run a mile the week before I was so tired... so 5K (3.11 miles) without walking... well, I felt totally unsure of myself.
But, the night before the race, I knew I was going to give it a go. Just do it! Right?
Ben and I woke up at 5:30 am, got dressed, and had my mom give us a ride down to the park to register. I was literally shaking I was so nervous. My dear husband held my hand and told me I would do fine and not to give up. He just KNEW I could do it!
I have to admit I felt a little weird signing up for a race with people who do it every year. With people who knew me when I was a lot bigger. I got a few thumbs up and words of encouragement, which made me feel a bit better, but at the same time afraid that I would let people down... and let myself down.
At 6:30 am, they had all 150 or so of us line up on the start line, instructed us on the course, and then honked the horn to start.
Off we went.
I saw Ben for a second, and pretty much ate his dust as he took off through the crowd... show off.
But I didn't let it bother me... not at all... in my mind I was really thinking: I hope Ben kicks some serious trash today! That's my man!!
I started out steady, putting my earbuds in and turned on some music, and kept my breathing in sync with my steps (this keeps me from getting side cramps). I went into my own world, blocked everyone out, and just ran. It got hard pretty quick, and got a little tempted to walk a little with some of the people who sprinted really fast at first and then stopped to walk. But I told myself, the first mile is the hardest because you are warming up your body... just keep going, Cat! Slow and steady wins the race!
About a mile and a half into the race, we hit the dirt road. Now, when I found out that about a half a mile of the race was on a dirt road, I got a little nervous. I had never run on that sort of ground, and I didn't know what to expect. It was actually a little hard because I tensed up my body as to not slip on some of the rocks. I was so focused on my steps and keeping pace that I didn't notice that my mom was on the side cheering and snapping pictures.
|Click on picture to see larger view and read my little captions!|
There were a few turds in the race that took pleasure in playing the "Tortoise and the Hare" with me -- which was REALLY rude and annoying. They started off with a fast sprint, and then when they got ahead of most of us, they walked. For some reason, there were about 10 of them that took it as a personal insult when I passed them. So they would take off on a sprint and go about 20 yards and then stop and walk again until I once again caught up. The whole race was like this and it really bothered me that they kept looking back at me... I mean, why me? Why should they care? What? Don't want to be bested by the chunky girl? Were they put out because I didn't stop to walk when they had to?
I don't know...
A couple of them did it to me at the finish. But there was a couple that tried to catch up to me in the end and I put on a little speed and it through them off... I finished before they did. No, that wasn't an evil laugh you just heard!
There I am getting ready to cross the finish line. I was really happy, I had a little cheering section: Ben waiting for me and mom taking the pictures. (You can even see the two "Hares" behind me trying to catch up).
I ran my first official 5K in a little over 37 minutes. I came in 56th place over all out of around 150, and placed 2nd in my heat (compared with the other women racing in my age division) And I didn't give up! I didn't walk once! Woo Hoo! Not bad for someone who looked like this EXACTLY to the day one year before:
(Enjoy these pictures of me with no makeup, because you aren't going to see it again!)
If you want it bad enough, ANYTHING is possible!