Aug 7, 2011

Run for the Son - My First 5K

When I was in 7th grade I, like every other girl in my class, went out for the basketball team. Now, if you have any idea about my height, that might be funny to read. I'm a little under 5 ft. tall, and was even shorter at that time. I'll just tell you right now, even though I was on the team, I didn't really get to play much. I just didn't have the height or the talent. Now, there's no doubt I had the aggression and competitive spirit. But it takes more than that to be a good basketball player.

After basketball season was over, we ran track during our Spring term. Again, my height worked against me. I was fast for my size, but not nearly as fast as the girls who were 5'5" and taller. So, the coach trained me to run a longer relay event. I remember going to a track meet and running. I thought I would never finish. It was probably only a mile that I ran, but it seemed really long. I think I came in 3rd place that day. It was a pretty good beginning to my track career. But it was also the end of it. Track just wasn't a big sport at my school. Because I wasn't chosen to continue on the basketball team the next year, I also wasn't part of the track team.

Well, fast forward about 25 years and here I was this past Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m., about to run in my first 5K race.

Don't bother trying to find me in that line up because A) I ran with my shirt ON, and B) I chose to line up toward the middle/back because I knew I was in no way going to be one of the first to finish the race.

I've always tried to maintain reasonably good health. And by that I mean I try to drink at least some water every day, unless I have a Diet Coke in the fridge, and I exercise 1-2 times a week, if I can fit it in. Seriously, I do try to exercise regularly by walking, aerobics, and some weight training. And I have tried to maintain a healthy weight throughout adulthood, even though my body hates me and does everything in its power to work against me. Well, it's not my whole body that hates me, just my thyroid. But I keep pushing it anyway.

Back to the race.

A little over a year ago, my brother-in-law started running. He said he planned to run a 5K that our church hosts toward the end of Summer. At the time, I had no idea how far 5K was, but I said, "Oh, I'll do it too." I began running a little and really enjoyed it. Oh, let me clarify right now what qualifies as running for me. It's more like a jog/shuffle. I've seen some people who run a mile in like 5 1/2 minutes or whatever. That's not me. But I can handle more than a walk. So, I began running to train for the 5K. Then, my husband and his sister decided to plan a big trip to the beach - during the weekend of the 5K. I didn't run in the event as I'd planned and really never considered running in another.

Then, earlier this Summer a program was offered at our church's fitness facility that began a training regimen for the 5K, as well as offering nutritional information for losing a little weight along the way. I signed up. And for 10 weeks on Tuesday evenings, and some Thursdays, we'd meet and do boot camp style workouts, or run, or weight train. We also met with a nutritionist who really explained the proper way to feed our body and give it the vitamins and energy it needs. I began eating more fruits and vegetables and less sugar. I began buying organic, natural foods. And I started cutting way back on my consumption of Diet Coke. I won't say I don't drink them at all. I do. But I don't drink nearly as much. And I'm hoping I can remove them from my diet completely. I've learned just how much my body needs water, and I actually crave it now. I won't say I've changed all my old habits, but I have become more educated and try to make better decisions than I ever have. And I've exercised my tail off. Not literally, because again: Thyroid = hates me. But I've seen the staff at the gym more this Summer than probably their families have.

And it all led up to this past Saturday. I ran in my first 5K ever y'all. Here I am, 41 minutes and 42 seconds after starting, about to cross the finish line.

As I came up to the finish line, Reagan and Sara Madalin were there to greet me. He picked her up and they were waving at me, so I waved back just as he snapped this picture. As I approached them, she said, "Hey Mommy." It was so sweet to see them there.

I didn't finish near the front of the pack. But I also didn't finish last. I averaged about 13 minutes per mile. I started out strong. I think I finished the first mile in a little more than 10 minutes, but then slowed down after about a mile and a half. One reason being it was a million degrees with 100% humidity. (Not really. I'm being a tad over-dramatic. But it was really hot.) The other reason I slowed down was because I'd never run 3 miles before and I was afraid I would give out too soon, so I didn't push myself. I do think that I could finish in less time and hope to do so in the next event I enter. I told my brother-in-law I didn't want to finish with a faster time because I wanted to be sure I left room for improvement. Ha.

A friend from Sunday school snapped this picture of us after the race. I don't know if you can tell it or not, but my face was so red and I was soaked with sweat. But I was smiling.

Reagan said several times he was proud of me. I'm kind of proud of myself too. Not just for training and running, but for doing it on my own. I just laced up my shoes and got out there and did it. And I loved it.

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The Glenn Gang said...

First of proud of you! I want to be a runner. My knees won't let me be. So, I tend to just eat oreos instead.

Second, I SERIOUSLY just got up and went to get a glass of water because this post made me crave it. Yep, 12:03 a.m. and I'm up getting water.

Although, I kind of wanted oreos instead!

Laura said...

You go, Girl!

Baylee's Mommy said...

I run my first 5K in September. Kind of nervous but also excited. Yay for you!!! :)

Ms. Shirley said...


Carrie said...

Good for you! Running a 5K is HUGE!!!

Stacy said...

So awesome Melinda!!