Monday, September 26, 2011

Another goal achieved!!

My 10 K race was yesterday and though everything in my body pointed toward me NOT completing it I managed to go through.

Plagued by either a virus or just an irritated GI tract since last Sunday's long run I really wondered if it was really a smart move to run my race. On a good day I generally experience GI upset after a long run so how could I figure that there would be the remotest possibility I could do it while continuing to fight off GI issues that already existed?

I'll give it to you in one word ....


Miracle drug.

It was Saturday evening around 9:30pm Wally and I finally gave in and went to Wal-Mart and picked some up after I read on the Internet that it was ok to take for runner's 'issues'.

Generally I don't listen too closely to online diagnosis and I wouldn't recommend others too but desparate times ...

I was determined to at least TRY to run.

So an hour before the race I took 2 as directed and another a half hour later. The max you can take in 24 hrs is 4 so I really hoped that this was the answer.

It absolutely was (of course I also had multitudes praying for my guts as well).

We arrived at the race site about 45 minutes before we started and that's when I got nervous. Not about the actual run, rather about trying to run without a Depends.

I shivered and shook and wished we'd just signed up for the 5K. It occured to me that I had actually orginally signed up to do the run by myself. Wow, that was determination.

I am so thankful for my running buddy Kay who really encouraged me on.

Our first run together 6 weeks ago was rough for her as we did 5 K and she hadn't been running for a while due to not feeling well. She'd never run much past that.

I joked with her that she made me feel great as a runner since she is a stick and going through to be a trainer and struggled a bit more than myself who is rather curvy and, well ... rather curvy.

She took my joking very well.

We had met up a couple more times doing longer runs as well as running on our own while I was away recently. I'd say we were each others lifesavers in getting this goal accomplished.

Anyhow, we car pooled yesterday, along with our husbands. My mom met us there, as well as Kay's dad, grandpa and in-laws.

If you ever have someone close to you doing something monumental for themselves, here's some advice: be there.

Though a 10 K may be but a walk in the park to some, for myself it was yet another leap towards believing that much more in myself and what I can do if I choose to believe. It was so much more than a race. When you have those around you that can celebrate that leap with you it not only makes it easier, it makes it mean much more than when you are by yourself. (Hence my having parties for the 'little things').

We waited for what seemed to be an eternity for them to sound the start alarm and say 'Go!' but finally they did as we were off!

Within the first few minutes I'd wished we'd started slower and had the pace we normally would've but we were off none the less, with all of the seasoned runners breaking away from us.

Curse their beautiful runner's legs.

And belts with water bottles.

And great tans.

As we got into our stride it became clear what my goal would be (after not pooping my pants, after finishing the race): get in front of the old lady, and the tubby guy.

We would see.

As we ran I found one of my favourite things was the fact that people on the street would stop and cheer us on. They'd yell 'Thank you!', 'Good job!' and 'You can do it!' (this was a run for Parkinson's - I have a good friend with it, my great grandmother also had it).

They clapped, wove flags (not sure the connection to running but it was a good addition), and smiled.

Of course the organization also had it's arranged cheerleaders along the route and I took advantage of them too. Apparently most runners are focused and ignore them.

Not I! I waved back, smiled and gave thumbs up.

Hells yeah I can do it! Hells yeah you look ridiculous cheering me on with your oddball dance moves! Hells yeah that's what I need to see to get me through!

(I'm a novice what else can I say).

Kay and I also had our very own personal cheerleaders who followed in not 1 but 2 vehicles honking their horns, yelling out the window, and now that I think about it I think someone was waving something .... seriously what's up with the flags?

They stopped several times to take pictures and encourage us and they certainly did.

Well .... except for at one point.

When the race happened to pass by Kay's in-law's home, our whole cheer leading group were sitting on lawn chairs as we dragged our sorry butts passed. THAT was not encouraging.

I yelled at them to at least stand up.

Some of them did, the others I cursed.

About halfway through while going up a hill we passed the old lady and her parnter. I almost felt bad because she was an inspiration to me. I said almost.

As we rounded our last corner and I saw the police lights I knew the end was near. At least technically it was near. Near is relative when you are trying to keep your bowels in check, it's hot, and you think you're gonna hurl.

As Kay and I got to the finish line (which I have to point out was the same as the start line - I think that's counter productive) I felt that surge of adrenaline.

You know, the one I wished I'd had during the entire last half of the run.

Together we finished our 10 K (6.25 miles) race at a time of 1 hr 9 minutes and 9 seconds.

Last week when we ran less than 5.5 miles our time was 1 hr and 4 minutes so we definitely improved. It's hard not to wonder how much better it could have been had I not been sick ... oh well.

Once again the rush of completing such a big goal (for myself) was not realized in the finish. For some reason there weren't a hundred people there throwing confetti on our hair and jumping all over us.

Just as it was with the party last year and the 5 K in the spring, the rush seemed to be experienced most during the process.

Wait a second, I also seemed to get it when I got to throw the cups from the water stations on the ground. Seriously, I think that was one of my favourite parts of the race!!

Once we had made it to the end and were congratulated by our families and each other it was all over.

Very much like a wedding - lots of planning and hard work but over in such a short time.

The cool thing though is the fact that now I have started and I never have to stop. There are always more goals you can build onto. Shortening your time, improving your speed (yes, one in the same I suppose), going further.

As for me I have already planned my next goal to primarily focus on in my life and though it's fitness related it is not physical. I do hope to improve my running times throughout the fall and winter and do another 10 K in the spring.

I never did pass the tubby guy.

Who knows, maybe I'll try a half marathon.

Stranger things have happened.


If you think you can't .... just try!!!