Friday, November 26, 2010

A moment of personal pride

the morning started off early. 7am wake up call to get up, eat some breakfast, get ready and get out to Troy. Driving in went surprisingly smooth as well as did parking. Once out of the car we stripped down to race gear and made our way to find "KD", "J", and "J"'s brother and sister E & Jo. It was crowded. There were over 7,000 runners, 2,00 more than the projected 5,000.

We all met up in the atrium and started taking some pre race photos. I ran into Julie - Fitness Together's client of the year from last year. She and I always worked out during the same time slot, so it was nice to see her and have her tell me I looked good.

Our group chatted about our current pace times. "J" was with cowbell due to a calf injury. "E" was hoping for I think an 11 minute pace. Paul was at 12/13. I was at anywhere between 14-16. "KD" said she'd match what I ran, and "Jo" was looking to complete as she hadn't run since June.

We made our way to the start line corral about 10 minutes before race time. SO many people. I was excited. Nervous, but really excited. My goals were I wanted to finish and I wanted to run the whole thing. Starting the race was hard. There were so many people there and so many who wanted to run and complete with a great time. I put the earbuds in and started my music and it took about 2-3 minutes to make it to the official starting line.

KD and I had drove (what we thought was) the race route the weekend before. So I knew where the 1.5 mile turnaround point was. The large pack had started to disperse right as we traveled under the bridge on River street (heading towards the adult video store). I started to gain my pace, started to get in the zone, then someone would bump me - or get in my way - or jump to a dead stop in front of me to grab a drink with their friends in front of the ale house. As we approached the turn around point a few things happened. For a half a mile the runners ran parallel to each other. This was awesome because P passed me and high fived me, E & his girlfriend passed and high fived, and then we returned the high five to Jo on our turn around. The other moment was there was a time clock. We reached the turn around in about 16 minutes. That was crazy to me. It was the first moment where I thought maybe I could make it in 45 minutes (I actually dreamed about 30 minutes for a moment). At that point cowbells were crazy on my nike+ app.

There were moments when I was running alone, then moments where KD came out of nowhere to be right by my side again. We kept our pace and then more cowbells. But this time it was from J who was crossing the street to come over and take photos and cheer us on. It was great, I had a huge smile on my face. Then...I saw...the hill. FUCK. I hadn't trained for hills, I knew I wanted to run the whole thing but D told me it was ok to walk, catch my breath and start again. So I ran half the hill, walked to the top and then started running again. But during the hill, I kept my image in my head. My running image. I can't explain how much I relied on that image during the hill and running after the hill. Katy Perry's Firework was playing as I reached the top of the hill and started to run again."You just gotta ignite the light And let it shine" these lyrics and my image together gave me a bit of pep in my step.

There were moments of frustration as we approached .2 miles towards the finish line. 1. I know you just ran a 5k in under 30 minutes but others are still running, you and your dog get off the course. 2. I know you just ran a 5k in under 15 minutes but others are still running don't pull your car out of the parking lot onto the course.

People were lined up along the finish line area. It felt good the the finish line was approaching but I had no idea what the time was that we were at. I saw P and he was trying to take photos. Then I saw the clock. Then Florence & The Machine - Dog Days are Over came on and I heard "Run fast for your mother; run fast for your father / Run for your children all your sisters and brothers / Leave all your love and your longing behind. You can't carry it with you / if you want to survive" The clock over the finish line just turned 45 minutes. KD and I were freaking out. I shouted to P "LOOK AT THE CLOCK!" and KD looked at me and said let's get it. We sprinted. My lunges burnt, my legs felt no pain. I was euphoric. It was one of the greatest feelings of my life so far.

We got our oranges, bananas, granola bars and water and then went to cheer on Jo. Afterward we all chatted, received hugs, and then went to do everything that was Thanksgiving. I am sore but it's nothing a little stretching can't take care of after a hot shower in the morning. It is awesome to talk about the race with family members and hear them saying they want to run next year. It's been awesome hearing that other friends have started doing couch to 5K because they saw my posts. It was awesome to have E say if I wanted to work on my running he's a mentor for Fleet Feet and he'd be down with that, even down for mini triathlons. All big goals, all things to think about.

But I am really proud of myself. This one was all for me. To prove to myself that I can do anything that I set out to do. Cheesy? yes, very after school special of me I know. But it's just awesome.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

9 weeks ago...

Nine weeks ago I was enticed to actually try running a 5K. A friend who heard I was able to walk the 5K (3.1 mile) distance in about an hour assured me that I could indeed run a 5K. I already had the couch to 5K program on my phone from my previous attempts of being healthy. I had been biking on a recumbent bike in my back room since I was cleared for exercise from after my accident. I wanted to feel good again, feel healthy again, but more than anything I wanted to get back to the goal I had set for myself last August. I want to get to the right BMI for my height & age. (which is about 148lbs) I started out my journey last August at 294lbs and I've dropped 50 lbs since then - even maintaining during my recuperation from a broken collar bone.

I took my friends advice and decided to sign up for a race. I signed up for the Troy Turkey Trot. I was nervous. I have asthma. I have bad knees. I thought I couldn't do it. Yet week by week I ran three days a week with the help of the iphone app telling me when to walk and when to jog. In the middle of October I walk/ran my first 5K with a time of 53 minutes. I was still training, dealing with shin splints, side stitches, cold air breathing, and the worst thing ever - a chapped bleeding ass. I say all these things now because along the way I've had people cheering me on with every post of a run completed. I never wrote about the difficult things, the soreness, the winded wheezing, the cold rainy runs, the runs where you cry because of life, the runs on a treadmill cause it's too cold outside.

I honestly don't know what made me think about doing this. I am thankful for "D" who likes or comments on every post about running. For "MB" who gave me the encouragement and many videos when I had technical questions. To "T" who kept telling me about her experience with couch to 5K. For my brother "P" deciding to race with me and run the opposite route so we could high five during the half way marker. To "KD" who decided to take on this crazy challenge with me and get me excited about a random 5K in October the day of our show. To "J" who is an inspiration & who's running blog is nice to read and made running in a race a fun game for me.

About half way through around 1.6 miles is where I get tired, I slow down. It's right there when they tell you to get mentally tough. To have a mantra, something to keep you going. I often joke that my mantra is "vanity" - sometimes, it truly is. Other times it's the single image I keep in my head when I look up and remember to keep my head up, shoulders loose, and hands relaxed. I use that image to make me run harder. Along the way I also think of "rule #1: cardio". Zombieland got it right, the first people to be eaten are those who can't run away. I wanted a fighting chance in the zombie apocalypse. Hence our race shirt of "zombies hate fast food".

Tomorrow the race is at 9:30 and my Nike+ app will post on facebook that i've started a 5K run. If you comment or like that post it will send me sounds of cowbells and crowds cheering. It's kind of awesome. I'll need it.

Also, if you want to jam along to my run here's what I'll be listening to.

Perfect Nightmare - Shontelle
Power - Kanye West
DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again - Usher
Only Girl in the World - Rihana
Somebody to Love (remix) - Justin Bieber
If I Had You - Adam Lambert
Raise Your Glass - Pink
Teenage Dream - Glee Cast
Telephone - Glee Cast
Firework - Katy Perry
I Like That - Static Revenger
Animal - Neon Trees
Dog Days are Over - Florence + The Machine
Just the Way You Are - Glee Cast

The goal is a new personal record (PR) for the 5K. So I am aiming to beat my time of 53 minutes and to run the entire race (minus the confusion at the start line for 5,700 participants)

So thank you to my friends. Your support has meant the world to me. So much that i've picked up the couch to 10K program and will start that at some point in December to shoot for a 10K sometime in March or April.