I wonder if I'll ever forget that number. I couldn't believe that number was mine and mine alone at the end of today's race. I ran 3.18 miles in under 40 minutes. Me. Colleen. I did that.
I started my morning early - I couldn't sleep any longer. After laying in bed awake until after 1am, I woke up around 5:30 and stayed up. I headed to my YMCA (where the race was scheduled to start) after about an hour of me saying to myself, "What have I gotten myself into?" I got there, checked in, got my swag (a new gym bag and a Subway gift card! Score!) and then headed home to get my family. My mother-in-law came over to cheer me on. My husband was getting our girls ready to see me off.
And I was nervous as hell.
On the way back to get everyone, I drove the course. I thought, "This seems a hell of a lot longer than 3.18 miles. Surely they've made a mistake." They hadn't.
So everyone loaded up and we took off to the race's start point. I stretched, pinned my number to my shirt (stomach or boobs? I decided to pin my in my general stomach area). I hoped and prayed I wouldn't come in last. I wanted to vomit. Instead, I headed to the starting line. And then....
A few minutes in, I saw my family drive away (they were headed back home so the girls could eat a quick breakfast & then were going to meet me at the finish line). Then it was truly me and the road. I was going at a decent, steady pace. I normally run on a paved trail in the park so navigating the side of a road/street was a little trickier. I got used to it and just kept going. A mile in I said to myself, "I want to quit. I don't want to do this running." But then I saw a checkpoint where we were to cross a street and it was Dee from the Y. She's a truly wonderful person. She cheered me on and then I thought, "Hell yes. I can do this. Push past the want to quit." And I did.
I ran/jogged the whole race with the exception of the two times I stopped for a brief walk of about 50 yards each. As I got closer to the finish line (I found it incredibly cool that the course took me almost past my own front door), I found myself thinking, "Already? Seriously? I can't be almost done!"
I jogged up a BIG hill. I rounded the corner and I saw it...The Finish Line. In that moment tears formed in my eyes and the following thought ran through my head - I am a RUNNER. And another thought - "Where are my people?" I couldn't see any of my people anywhere.
And when I crossed the finish line and heard "39:45" I knew why - I'd told my husband to get there about 45 minutes after I started the race. I laughed & called him. They were on their way & he was disappointed he missed me.....but I was ok with that because I finished MUCH earlier than my goal.
When he got there he snapped this anyway:
My girls kept telling me how proud they were of me. Aron congratulated me, and my mother-in-law cheered for me to.
I never thought I could do this. Ever. And I did it.
I am living proof that even a woman who is still 60 pounds overweight and who 7 weeks ago couldn't run for 39 seconds let alone 39 minutes can make herself strong enough to run a 5k....
My father's been gone for 10 years now. I kind of think he'd be proud of me. And for the record, this is the FIRST competitive sports-like thing I have done IN MY LIFE. Even as a kid, I never did anything competitively athletic.
I tweeted my time & texted it to some friends and the love literally poured in. I can not thank all of you enough for all the support you've shown me. It's overwhelming and completely amazing. My 7 year old has told me all day how proud she is of me. But the best thing I heard her say today? "Mom, I want to run of of those with you someday!"
My next 5k will be the Run The 'Hood Virtual 5k on 10/22!!