Sunday, March 30, 2014

5KM Race? CHECK!

Today I completed in my very first 5km race. And I couldn't be more proud of myself.
The morning started off with some pre-race jitters. I was nervous about a lot of different things - mainly that I wouldn't be able to run the entire 5 kilometres, that I would come in last.

We headed to Hamilton and met a sea of people getting ready for their own race.  I say "their own race" as I told myself that I am not competing against anyone else - I'm not doing this for them - I am doing this for me.  This is my own race - my first race. Racing for me! This definitely helped my nerves.

We met my cousins Paula, Jessica and Nathan at the starting line, had a few laughs, excited about the race which would start shortly.  I was so happy to have the kids and Tim at the starting line with me - knowing they were there, cheering for me, so very proud of me was
such a huge comfort.

It was time for the race to begin - We headed over to the starting area, joining the 30+ minute racers. There were so many runners that it felt like forever to reach the actual starting line, slowly walking with the pack...but once we crossed it was GO time!

I felt as though I started off strong - was thrilled to see Tim, the kids, Mom and Dad cheering for us as we ran by.  It was a beautiful morning - perfect for running.  But into my second km, I started to get tired and hot. Remember, I hadn't trained properly for this - the weather hasn't been great for spending any length of time outdoors, in my opinion anyway. LOL  I had trained on the treadmill and felt good about my running until I ran outdoors - wow, what a difference!  I began second guessing the clothing I had chosen.  My new running tights kept falling down, I felt like I spent most of the run hiking up my pants. =D

I began the negative self talk.  "You can't do this" repeated over and over in my head.  My cousin Paula, was amazing - encouraging me to keep going, I hated that I was holding her back but she didn't seem to care one bit.  She told me prior to the race, even if we have to walk a bit, that's OK, we will make sure we run across that finish line together.  And so, I turned off that negativity and began repeating over and over "you can do this" - started picturing Tim and the kids waiting for me at the finish line and remembering all the amazing and encouraging messages friends had sent me on facebook prior to the race.   And at the 4km, when I was feeling exhausted, a police officer reached out his hand to me
for a high five and said "You got this" - that was the boost I needed to get to the finish line.

Turning that corner into Copps Collisuem, running down the ramp and into the arena, where you could start to hear the cheers of the fans waiting for "their" runners was such a rush.  As I crossed the finish line, I began to cry - not because I was sore or tired, but because this was such a huge accomplishment for me.  Not in a million years did I think I would actually complete a 5km race.

Did I run the entire 5k? No.  Am I ok with that? Absolutely.  I had set my race time goal at 45:00 minutes.  Judging my treadmill time at about 8minutes/km, I figured this was doable.  When I crossed that finish line at 43:03 and later finding out my actual chip time was 40:43, I was so proud.

I am so happy that I did this - a few thank yous.

My first medal!
First to Paula - I am so thankful that you convinced me to sign up for this race.  Your constant positivity and encouragement is exactly what I needed -  I couldn't have done this without you!

Tim - Thank you for believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself. Thank you for being my biggest fan, for cheering me on when I was ready to quit. I love you!

My fans. L, E, Mom and Dad.  Thank you for coming to the race and being my cheerleaders.  Seeing you at the start and at the finish was such a great feeling.  Thank you for your words of encouragement and for believing in me.  I love you!!!!

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