You know when you have an idea that sounds super fun until you actually have to put it in to action? Yeah, that was this. Several of us started the couch to 5k program. About 6 weeks in, I was getting frustrated with the run/walk set up and not feeling like I was accomplishing much (except utter exhaustion and soreness in areas that have never been sore). Out at Mahoney.State.Park this year, I stepped out on the trails for the first time (I had been training on the treadmill). That is when things changed and I ditched the program and, for the first time in my 30 years of life, ran a mile straight without stopping.
Today was full of excitement and anxiety. All of us girls had nervous tummies but were pumped to get underway.
Once the race began, I immediately realized it was going to be harder than I expected. There was extra energy in the air and that was helpful but it was tough. Right before mile 1, I had chest pain (um, yeah, never good, right?) After a little slow down to make sure I was going to drop right then and there, it was back to the road. See the little cheerleaders, below?
I'm not going to lie, 1.5 miles-2.5 miles were brutal. If you are a runner, that is probably your warm up, so don't judge. But, when I saw the State Capitol, I knew I was almost done. Hallelujah! I rounded the corner to the finish line and I saw my family and friends. What a rush! My best friend ran out, grabbed my hand and filled my ears with encouragement as we sprinted over the finish line.
Tears were streaming down my face and it hit me: I did it. The girl who avoided running at all costs while playing sports, did it. At the beggining of this year, I wore a 70+ pound fat suit that I worked my butt off to shed. This was the perfect punctuation to that journey.
Success! A plan was made, worked hard for and obtained! It is a feeling that is difficult to explain. I wish I could bottle it up and revisit it when needed.
I couldn't have even started to do this without Mark's support. He put up with my training schedule even if it meant inconveniencing his plans. Tonight, after the race, he pulled me aside and gave me a big hug and said he was super excited and proud to see me cross the finish line. Makes me choked up to have made him so proud.
And how blessed to have parents and in-laws that have cheered on the journey, too?!
So, first and only 5k? We'll see...