Wednesday, July 10, 2013

the one where I ran!

Every year, a group from our church sponsors a 5k and a kids' run.  Kade and Ky have run in the kids' run 3 years prior to this one.  It's such a fun event every year.  Last year, Ky won 1st place in his age division, the year before that, Kade did.  The first year they ran, when they were three, they both thought they won because they got a Popsicle at the end.
My favorite part is that the boys take it so seriously.  They practice (a bit) at home the week or two before the race, they warm-up once we get there, and they run their fastest, and don't stop!

Two very handsome spectators

Look at them go!
After the kids finished their 1/2 mile, it was time for the 5k.  Bart ran it last year, and this year he decided to run it while pushing Krew in the jogging stroller!
And, the biggest shock of all (you might want to sit down for this part!), I ran it too!!  Me!  Running!  Who would have thought that would ever happen?!  I have always HATED running.  I like exercising, as long as I don't have to run!  But, every year I watch the 5k, and I think, next year I'm going to do it.  Well, I've been going to the gym 3 times per week since September (not running), so I thought it would be easy to just use my gym time to start training.  Now, I know there are lots of people who laugh that I'm making such a big deal out of a 5k, but up until about a month before the race, I had never run more than a mile at a time in my whole life!  And the few times that I did run a mile, at the end I thought I was going to pass out, or throw up, or probably even die!
So, I found a free app, called Couch to 5k, and it promised that if I followed their plan, and trained 3 days per week, I would be able to run a 5k in 8 weeks.  Well, the first week you start out running 60 seconds at a time, followed by a couple of minutes of jogging, repeated a few time.  No big deal.  But by the second week, I had to run for a full two minutes without stopping, and I thought, there is no way I'm going to be able to make it 3 miles without stopping!  It was embarrassingly hard to run for even a couple of minutes at a time.   But I didn't give up.  I wanted to several times, especially as it got harder and I noticed that not only did I have a hard time getting enough air as I ran, but that I was wheezing too.  Asthma is everywhere in my gene pool, and though I've never been diagnosed with it, it would make sense that I would have it.  I could have used my self-diagnosis as an excuse to give up, but I didn't.
As the race got closer, and my app was telling me to run much longer increments without stopping, I decided that my goal would just be to finish and not die.  If I was still alive at the finish line, I would call it a success!  Then, as I could see myself getting better, I decided that my goal would be to finish without stopping, even if my pace was super slow.
The week before the race, I ran 3.1 miles for the first time.  It took me a little more than 34 minutes.  But, it was inside, where there are no allergens (the only time I trained outside, I could hardly breathe through my nose because my allergies were so bad!), and it was on a flat treadmill, and the race course is very hilly!  So I was pretty nervous, but I decided to make my goal 36 minutes, to account for the hills and the pollen.
But look, you can tell by the redness of my face, and the finish sign beside me that I finished my first 5k, and I didn't die!  Unbelievable!  And, I finished in 30:46, quite a bit faster than my fastest time, and way faster than my goal.  And it was good enough for 2nd place in my age division, only behind some crazy fast lady who ran it in 19 minutes.  And yes, I know there are lots of people out there who could beat me in a 5k while running backwards, but this is a huge personal accomplishment and I'm not going to apologize for feeling proud of myself!
Plus, Ky and Kade were at the finish line cheering for me, and several minutes later when Bart and Krew crossed the finish line (see how I subtly mentioned that I beat Bart?), I was happy to have my little family there with me to share in my personal triumph!  And Krew is good at helping me listen to my music too!

The awards ceremony was held after everyone finished the race, and we were excited to see that Kade finished in 1st place in his age group again!  Ky was in second place, and handled it much better than he did last time he took 2nd behind Kade.

Way to go everyone!
Okay, and if I haven't completely bored you all with my rambling, I have one more funny story about running.  A few moments after I crossed the finish line I thought, I never have to run again!  I'd met my goal and that was all I cared about.  But a few days later, I was listening to music on my Ipod while I made dinner, and a song came on that I had purchased as "running" music and had only listened to it while training.  But, as I was listening to it this time I thought, this makes me feel like going for a run.  My very next thought was, What?!  Who am I and what has happened to me that I would even think that?!
Oh, and I just signed up to run another 5k in September!