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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Race Day!

I finally did it!
Warming up before the race
 Today was a fairly cold day at about 31 degrees and some light wind.  It even started to snow about 15 minutes before start time.  Once we got there, I was SO nervous about getting where I needed to go, picking up my packet and beginning the race.  Thank GAWD my sister agreed to do this with me.  She helped to ease my nerves quite a bit.  We walked around and warmed up, met our mom at the start line so that she could hold all of our crap and then it was time to start.

There were a lot of runners there but not too many that it was over whelming.  The start "gun" went off and at about the same time I could definitely feel the adrenaline pumping.  It was a little difficult picking my pace but once the crowd thinned out I was in pretty good shape.  The course was really well planned out and there were volunteers at every turn showing us where to go.  Around the end of the first mile, several people started passing me and I was getting a little discouraged.  It occurred to me that feeling sorry for myself and continuing to look back wasn't doing me any good.  I also felt a little bad about "making sure" that there were people behind me.

About 2 miles in I stopped for a quick break to catch my breath and a lady ran up behind me and encouraged me to keep going.  I nearly ran the rest of the race by her side or right behind her.  I never got to talk to her after the race but I will be forever grateful for her presence today.   The race was in a local park and the surrounding neighborhood so when I left the neighborhood and entered into the park again I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the snow and the lake. 
Miller Park

I finished the race in 39:59.  This was about 2:30 faster than my practice time.  I couldn't be happier with that accomplishment.  This probably sounds silly but Miller Park is always a part of town thats dear to my heart.  I grew up in that park, going to the zoo with my grandpa, fishing with my husband and  going to various events throughout the years.  I'm proud to live in Bloomington-Normal so chosing to run my first race here made perfect sense to me.  I loved crossing the finish line by the zoo and the pavilion.  The best part was seeing my husband, my mom and my sister as I crossed the finish line.

  In the last couple weeks, every time I imagined crossing that finish line, I thought I was going to cry.   It surprised me that I didn't.  I was extremely proud of myself but I think I was just completely overwhelmed with my surroundings that I didn't have a whole lot of time to "take it all in".  I also had a fairly negative interaction with a race volunteer at the finish line.  In the moment, it took away from being proud of what I had accomplished.  BUT, I'm choosing not to let her "steal my thunder."  Also, next time I run a race I will make a good music playlist so that I'm not distracted by Pandora and her silly music choices. 


I'm in the red.

 The lady in pink was my encourager.  I'd like to think that she's probably a fellow fit camper.  Lady in pink, if you see this, thanks for the encouragement today!  I didn't think my husband was going to make it either, so I was really happy to see him.  He stayed with me at the Pavilion for lunch after the race. 

My husband and I after the race, eating Avanti's. 

I signed up for the couch to 5K program merely as something to keep me exercising after I stopped working out with my trainer.  It was a way to stay motivated, since that was (and remains) something especially difficult for me.  I've said this before, I never thought I would call my self a runner.  I never thought I would run a race.  In fact, I actually remember telling several people that I had NO intention of running a race at all.  Running 1 mile seemed near impossible and 3 miles...FORGET IT!  This is an accomplishment that remain one of my proudest moments.  Forever.  I really do doubt that I will run races longer than a 5k in the near future but no matter how far I take my running, my first race will be my proudest.

When I'm feeling discouraged I like to refer back to this post by one of my favorite bloggers, Mama Laughlin. Today I feel like I am finally able to say I am a Runner

Happy Running!
Mrs B