I woke up in a panic at 8:15 this morning and quickly realized that Chris had shut off my alarm clock in his sleepy haze. I'm immune to alarm clocks, but that is a different post altogether. I had to help get all three girls ready, eat some breakfast, and get ready myself. It started at 9:30 a.m. I got there at 9:15 a.m. Next time I run a 5K, I plan on being on time. Running a bit late, left me a bit nervous.
It was so very cold this morning. Colder than either Tara, my running partner, and I had ever run in. This morning my thermometer showed 16 degrees. Brrr!!! I added a few extra layers because of it.
Before I had time to even think, we were waiting at the start with over a hundred other racers. Then, with a blow of a whistle, we were off. Up until today I had been used to doing a 5 minute warm-up walk, then a 30 minute run, followed by at 5 minute cool-down walk. When Tara decided to start out running, I decided I would too.
It was different for me from the get-go to run with other people, and in such cold weather. While my body stayed warm and I never felt cold during the run, my muscles did. They literally felt stiff from the cold. I also felt the cold in my lungs. Trying to get a big breath left me, well breathless. No matter what I did, I couldn't get a big breath of air.
It wasn't very long into it that I looked down and saw my left shoe had come untied. So I stopped, with frozen fingers to re-tie it. I kept on for a bit more before my body screamed at me to walk a bit. I tried not to walk too much as I didn't want my body cooling down at all. I walked a bit, then ran a bit, walked, ran. Then when I rounded the corner at where I thought would be the half way mark, I decided to start running full time again.
It was at that point, that I saw my hubby and three little girls waiting for me and cheering me on right before a big hill. Hearing Zoelle's little voice yell, "Go mommy, go!" helped spur me on up the hill. Up over the hill I went and ran for quite a long ways. Somwhere at the top of that hill, my podcast marked that I was half way. I was thrilled because that meant I had gone farther than I ever had before on a practice run. It was when I came to the next hill that I decided in my mind I would walk. However, when I turned the corner to walk, there was my sister and little niece India spurring me on. They ran with me up over the hill and kept me going at a time in which I thought I would walk. I continued on my own until the next hill, in which I did walk. Once I got up it though, I knew I could run and run I did.
Note: This was taken before the run, but it shows my sister with India in her sling
Coming into the last stretch was a slight uphill run. I was tired, my muscles ached from the cold, and I honestly wanted to give up and walk it. It was my plan until again, there was my sister who was wearing India and ran along side me. I thought if she can do this with India on her, I can do this by myself.
When I turned the last corner and saw the finish line I said, "Thank the Lord"! I had intended to sprint toward the finish line, but my body was so stiff it just wouldn't, so I ran it in as Zoelle came along side me and ran too.
The lady at the finish shouted "37:01" and I felt relief. Joy. Pride. I, Vanessa, a former non-runner, had run the 5K. Faster than I ever thought I could do it. I didn't place obviously, but I also didn't finish last. Instead I was somewhere in the middle of the pack at 68. Outside of giving birth to Meridian naturally, I don't think I have ever been so happy or proud. Nine weeks of work paid off. It was well worth it!
My only regret was that I walked little sections of it at the beginning. If I could do it again, I would say that I wish I would have pushed a little harder and made myself run. However, I am not going to live with regret, but instead look forward to Spring in which I plan on running another 5K, in warm weather and improve my time by hopefully a little bit!