First of all, I was excited to be going to an event where the registration fees benefited a not-for-profit organization. That’s something that I always feel good about: the majority of these types of gatherings usually see any raised funds going to a good cause. I like knowing that the money I am spending on signing up for a race will benefit those who need it in some way.
I was also incredibly pleased to be there with my husband! He spent the entire day touting the run as the one and only 5K he will ever take part in so I was happy that we got to do it together. He is so glad to now be completely done with the C25K and I know that he is really proud of the way he pushed through all the times he wanted to quit. I loved being out with him this morning and seeing the culmination of the entire program for both of us!
As we were waiting for the event to begin, I overheard one of the organizers saying that there were over one hundred people registered (for two separate runs) but that she didn’t think they had quite all turned up. I would guess that there were eighty or so competitors present, but that is just a rough estimation. The people who were there for the 10K portion started right at 9:00am and then, three minutes later, the rest of us set out on the 5K. The course was covered in gravel and was very nice and flat with a few twists and turns as it ran alongside a river. The portion that we jogged went out to a 2.5K marker, posted next to a couple of volunteers, where we turned around and then doubled back to the starting line.
With stuff like this I always seem to have one goal that I am vocal about and then another ‘secret’ one that I am much less likely to advertise. I guess if gives me something additional to aim for without creating a bunch of pressure around the more lofty aspiration. For this race I knew that I really wanted to run the whole thing; my aim was to avoid walking for any of the course. My ‘secret’ ambition was to break the thirty minute mark. I was really unsure of the reality of this goal since the last time I actually checked the distance on one of my jogs I was still not quite averaging 4.5K in half an hour. Plus, while I have participated in two other such races over the past several months – during which, however, I alternately jogged and walked – my times were significantly closer to forty minutes than to thirty.
At any rate, I had both of my goals in mind as the crowd counted down the seconds for our race to begin. I kissed my husband, turned on my music, and we were off!
We started right in the middle of our group, but my hubby quickly pulled out towards the front with a lot of the men and a number of women. I settled into my pace and noticed that I was started to overtake a few people myself. I chalked it up to my enthusiasm and pressed on.
I knew almost from the start that I was going to be able to accomplish my goal of jogging the whole course! I was so excited! There were definitely still a few moments in the second half where I had to talk myself into pushing a little harder in order to avoid slowing to a walk, and I got a tiny bit of a stomach cramp at one point that I had to work through, but I knew that I had it. And I did! I ran the entire race!!!
It was at the 1K marker – set out for any kids who wanted to do a shorter course – that I checked my watch and felt relatively certain that I would also be able to beat my thirty minute maximum. I clocked that first kilometer at a bit less than six minutes and was determined to keep up my pace to reach my goal. I stayed with it, checked my time at the half way point, and felt that initial confidence grow as I continued on to the end.
When I crossed that finish line I knew I had done it! I missed the exact number on the clock display when I ran past, so I quickly found the record keeper and asked how I had done… 28:01!!! I couldn’t believe it! I think I squealed, “Really?!” before breaking into a small series of ecstatic dance-like moves! My husband had obviously finished before me and so we inquired about his time too and it was 25:06! I was so proud of both of us!!!
Then, the woman who was giving us the timing information told us something that neither of us were even remotely expecting. Both of us had placed first – in the men’s and women’s divisions – for the 5K!!! Let me repeat that, because I think this little tidbit really deserves some attention: We. Placed. First!!!
WHAT?! WOW!!!!! I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that either of us had a shot at that distinction! I know it was a smaller race – that there weren’t a ton of competitors and that we were obviously amid recreational runners with nary a professional in sight – but it still feels incredible to know that we actually both won the 5K!!!
So after I absorbed that piece of information I immediately burst into tears! The woman we were talking with kindly asked why and all I could say was that I had lost over a hundred pounds and that I couldn’t believe how far I had come. I can still hardly fathom it. I won so much more than simply that race today…
We got a couple of great prizes for finishing at the head of the pack too. My hubby walked away with an inexpensive, but nice looking, dress watch and a $20 gift card to the Running Room and I was awarded an $80 gift certificate for a massage! Not bad for less than a half hour of work! I stand by my previous statement though. The rewards that are being reaped on this journey have a much greater worth that can possibly be printed onto a piece of paper or a card and shine a thousand times brighter than any bauble ever could. What I am getting out of this new lifestyle is much more valuable than any prize I might receive – although you can bet that I am going to enjoy every single second of that massage!
My arm pump of victory as I crossed the finish line.
My husband and me after we found out we both placed first.
FOOD & BEVERAGES:
- 9 glasses of water
- 2 egg wrap on a soft tortilla shell with grated cheese, mushrooms, onion, and pepper
- 1 large banana
- 1 bite of a cheese bun
- 5 sips hot chocolate with cream
- 1 miniature chocolate cupcake with icing and sprinkles
- 1 oatmeal and apricot muffin
- 1 mug extra coconut steamed soy milk
- 2 small Mandarin oranges
- 1 large golden delicious apple with cinnamon
- 1 pear
- 1/4 cup canned corn with butter
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes with butter
- 1 cup pork with cream of mushroom soup sauce
- 3 sweet pickles
- 1 white dinner roll with butter
- 1 slice of lemon meringue pie
- 5K race completed in 28:01