Saturday, March 1, 2008

I did it!

The race is over! It was a great experience and I had very respectable result for a first attempt. I'm chomping at the bit to tell you all about it, so let me start from the beginning.

First of all, I could hardly sleep last night because I was so excited. I dreamed about running and racing the whole night. I must have run 20 miles in my dreams, which makes sense, because when I woke up and weighed myself I was 3 pounds lighter than I was yesterday. I'm only ONE pound away from a total of 100 lbs lost so far.

Angie and I got up at 6:00 AM like we always do and watched the morning news for a while. It was about 40 degrees at the time and kind of breezy. I ate one piece of toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Angie had a peanut butter sandwich and an apple. We got our running clothes on and we were out the door by 7:45. At about 8:00 we arrived at Johnson County Community College and saw the sea of cars. Luckily, my dad was just arriving as well and we were able to spot each other without too much trouble. He seemed really excited too. Here is a photo he took of Angie and me:

I jogged around for a bit to warm up, and did a couple half-assed stretches. I'm not big on stretching, which will probably come back to haunt me some day. It was really windy at this point, and I was getting cold, so I was glad to get things started.

Angie and I positioned ourselves toward the back of the pack and before we knew it, it was Ready, Set, GO. We both started out jogging. It was an exhilarating feeling running with that huge group of people. Here's a nice Where's Waldo shot of us taking off.

Angie and I parted ways soon into the race. I ran ahead and must have gotten a little overzealous, as I got tired much more quickly than I'd anticipated. I tried to pick people near me who were going at a steady pace and mimic them. There was an older gentleman, probably 65 or 70 years old, who I paced myself with the majority of the race. I will begrudgingly admit I had to stop and walk three times, but I each time I recovered within a minute and picked right back up with the running.

Angie says she saw the mile markers on the course, but I didn't see them. I really have no concept of how long it took me to do the first, second, or third mile. There were cheerleaders lining the trail every few hundred feet, shouting out stuff like You're doing great! and You're my hero!, which was wonderful, but I was hoping they'd have them stationed at each mile marker, calling out the current time so we could gauge our pace. I should have just worn a watch. Oh well. It's probably better that I didn't know how far I had left to go.

My dad walked from the start/finish line to another point on the trail so he could take our photos part-way through the race.

Since I really had no bearing on, bearings...I had no idea how much longer I had to go, and I was getting extremely tired. The wind was blowing hard and my breathing was embarrassingly loud and huffy, but I kept going. I just stayed with that old dude. At one point, under my breath, I muttered, I'm going to beat you. I was getting sick of not knowing where I was on the course, so the next time I saw a cheerleader I managed to spit out How much farther?, and she said there would be a water station and then I'd see the finish line shortly thereafter. When I got to the water station, I kicked it into high gear. I rounded a corner and saw the finish line, and I started booking it as fast as my legs would carry me. I saw my dad snapping my picture. If I look like I feel like I'm gonna puke, that's a very accurate assessment. I felt like I was gonna puke.

It's hard to tell from the picture on the right there, but the time on the clock was 32:50. My goal was to come in under 35 minutes, so I accomplished that. I don't know what my "official" time was, but as soon as it's on the race web site I'll let you know.

I went over to my dad and he gave me a big hug and said he was proud of me. I got kind of choked up and almost started crying. I thought about my life not even a year ago, and how running a 5K would have been laughable at the time. Now I almost consider myself an athlete. It was a very emotional moment for me.

I sipped some water and cheered the other runners on as they came through the finish line. I saw Angie coming around the bend and started snapping pictures and yelling for her at the top of my lungs. She ran her heart out across that finish line. Her goal was to walk the race in under an hour, and she blew that goal out of the water. I'm really proud of her.

That's my dad in the foreground in the picture on the right. You can see on the clock that Angie's time was 48:47, which beat her goal by over 10 minutes.

After the race we got some food. They had bananas, oranges, bagels, and donuts. I opted for half a banana, a couple segments of orange, and a donut. It was a Krispy Kreme donut, but it still tasted delicious after working so hard to earn it.

I hope this is just the first of many races to come. Now that I know I can do it, I'm ready for the next one. Bring it on!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You go girl!!!!