On Friday night, I was in full on panic mode.
Excuse me, but why on earth did I think I could do a 5K? What the heck had gotten into my head?
Thank you, twitter feed, facebook friends, and people who spent the evening texting with me to keep me encouraged. You want a list of my excuses? They seem super silly now, just so you know.
- I was going to embarrass myself & be the last across the finish line. [I wasn’t. I checked, and 199 people finished after me.]
- It was going to be way too cold. [It was cold, but I’ll address that in a bit.]
- I didn’t want to do it alone. [I didn’t have to.]
- Brain surgeries. [Yes, I attempted to use that as an excuse.]
Those are just a few of the reasons I didn’t want to do the run on Saturday.
I went to bed late, but that didn’t matter. My alarm was set for 6:30. M got up before me, and when he woke me up, let me know the temperature would be below freezing until about 9:30, and it wasn’t going to hit above 40 until 11 or so. That was a good enough reason to consider definitely not going.
I think my response was, “No, I want that finisher medal,” so I got out of bed, got a shower, and got dressed.
One of the debates I’d had the night before involved whether or not I planned to take my gloves with me on the course. Initially, I did. Then I planned to give them to M. I ended up only wearing them from the car to the starting line. I had on three layers under a Steelers jacket I have, and I originally planned on wearing that, too, but took it off before I ever started & passed it off to M.
I told him as we were walking to the start that I’d done a dangerous thing, wearing a Steelers jacket to a Philly run. He pointed out that the only people who would be angry with me probably couldn’t read white writing on a yellow fleece after a few beers, so I was probably fine. He was also thankful I’d decided to wear it, because he figured he could see me better that way. When I sent him a text asking him to take, I think he was a little disappointed.
Literally as we were getting ready to cross the starting line, M sent a text telling me to be on the lookout for one of our friends. I was trying to find him the crowd [5,000 people is not a small group by any means] when he came up beside me & asked if I wanted a running buddy. I’m incredibly grateful he was there. Because of him, I ran the majority of the first mile when I thought I was going to end up walking the entire course. In that first mile, I slowed down few times to walk because I wanted to take my ear covering off, and because I got a pretty nasty stitch in my side.
We separated at around the 1.5 mark and I did the rest of it on my own. There was the time I got teary because I saw a sign someone made that said, “Go Mommy!” & it made me really sad my boys weren’t there. Logically, I know it was far too cold for them to be out in that weather, but at that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be able to hug them at the finish. Just after that, I turned on my 10K running app to one of the days & got started on my run/walk intervals. Just before the 3 mile mark, I had to reset it because I’d done the entire “day.” I only had to do one of the intervals, though, because as soon as I saw the 3 mile sign, I knew I could run the rest of it.
And I did. I ran across the finish line. I caught sight of M doing a video, but I haven’t seen it. He’s not entirely sure I’m even in whatever he was videoing, and I think that’s okay with me. Our friend was waiting for me, which was awesome. I grabbed the food & water they had out for us, got a medal, and we took a victory lap around the warning track.
Was I disappointed I finished slower than I wanted to? No, not really, because I finished.
And then on the way home, I signed up for another one.
For the next day, I complained about the pain I felt in my thighs & rear end. It went away after a good soak in the tub. I am so ready to get back out there now.