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Sunday, April 17, 2011

My First 5K

I admit it.

I was the last one picked in gym class and I still haven't gotten over it.

It's true. I have always been the overweight child and going into high school, I was not exactly eager to take Gym class. Unfortunately for me, the government sort of mandated that year that everyone had to take ninth grade gym class. I was not amused.

I was teased incessantly, ridiculed about my weight and of course, was indeed the last one picked in gym class.

Today I had my first 5K. I still felt like the last one picked in gym class. As the runners were all gathering, waiting for the race to begin, I couldn't help but feel like I was out of my league. I didn't belong. I was the one who was sorely out of place.

And unfortunately, I really wasn't prepared. When I set my sites on this 5K, I was in the middle of doing my Couch to 5K program online that told me that I would do well on a 5K and be able to run it straight by the time I was done. Unfortunately, in the middle of a long, cold Canadian winter, I was training on the treadmill and found out later, that baby, it's a whole different thing on the treadmill.

Once done my Couch to 5K training (google it if you want to for the program), I was sure that I would make the treadmill to transition rather easily. I could now run a straight 30 minutes on the treadmill and so it would be easy? Right?

Not on your life.

My goodness! I couldn't even do a straight 2 minutes on the pavement! Eek!

Luckily, I signed up to do a Running clinic where once a week everyone begins at their level and runs together accordingly. I had the option to start at the beginning level which offered running/walking intervals (much like I'd done with the Couch to 5K program on my treadmill). Luckily, I signed up in advance because I couldn't back out. I was ready to completely throw in the towel on my running, feeling so super frustrated that I was starting right back at the very beginning yet once again!

So that's where I stood until I remembered that I'd also joined up for my first 5K this weekend. (some friends had said they'd do it - but no one ever really said that for sure they were going to do it was looking like I wouldn't have to be accountable...and maybe, just maybe, I could bow out....).

On Friday, my coworker came to me and said "Hey good luck on your 5k this weekend!". Oh Yah. I forgot. How did she remember? (As I'm thinking: I can just back out, no one will remember...."). It happens that my race coincided with the weekend of the Boston Marathon (which she was doing as well) so she couldn't forget.

*ugh*. Someone would keep me accountable?

So of course, Saturday's forecast predicted rain, rain and more rain. And oh yah, some pretty heavy wind action as well.


Even the morning of the 5K, I was not exactly sure if I was still going. The original plan also called for my hubby to go with me, but having started a new job he was working this day, so no hubby support either. No friends that I knew of doing it as most had put on their facebook that they were going shopping or some other clearly not running-related activity.

So yes, I dragged my butt to the racing site. Started chatting with a lady near me who said she was the world's slowest runner. She'd been running for 2 years. She was super nice and kept the boredom factor low.

Then all of a sudden, Joanne comes into the pavillion! It's like an angel appearing with the ray of light. Joanne is in my WLS support group and she and her boyfriend Bill have been super supportive with my running. (Bill has gone hardcore after losing his WLS weight as well - now gearing up for triathalons even!). Joanne is a soft runner. She tells me that she's still fighting an injury but she decided to come out and even if she "has to take it slow. It is still better than sitting on the couch!".

She keeps me company the whole race. She stops when I stop. She walks when I walk. The rain stays away. It's cold and windy. It's miserable but we keep plowing through. I clearly suck at running. I am not able to get my breath when I am running. I walk alot.

But I still do it.

I am the slowest runner/walker in the race. I am still trying though. Joanne stays at my side the whole time, talking to me, encouraging me, pausing when I pause. The wind is killing me.

I finish in 43:40. Embarrassing slow. I could literally WALK faster. But Joanne is still by my side and hubby is at the very last turn of the race, encouraging me as well. It's a good day and I can see the finish line and it's done.

Definitely not marathon type standards but I can say that I did it. I have a starting place. I know what I can do. I know where I can go from here. I know that I am capable and that I can better. I am trying not to be discouraged, but hopefully. Everyone starts with one small step.

This is only the beginning of my next journey.


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