Well, I did it.
I have officially completed my very first walking 5k. Even on a day where inclement weather was hovering over the Twin Cities and very well could have served as a believable reason to excuse myself from the race, I’m happy to report that I didn’t stand up my friends in the PriorFatPack — a very supportive group of online fitness seekers, all at different points in their weight loss journeys — for it was this group that brought me there. I only wish I’d been able to spend more time with everyone, as I was impressed with how genuine and beautiful these people are. Amazing.
The race certainly wasn’t pretty for me — I came in nearly dead last, and even though I take pride in the fact that I finished, my time makes me blush with embarrassment (1:08:17). But, I finished the mutha. And I did it in six minutes less than it took me to complete on the treadmill. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but considering the way I felt prior to the race, I am thankful I was able to finish.
I won’t kid ya… the first mile was PURE HELL. My right calf was cramping, and my knees were taking turns “giving out” as I walked. Near mile marker one I began to be lapped by ridiculously more athletic, yet very sincerely supportive people that passed with affectionate gestures and cheers of praise for Mal and I. My heart began to swell with gratitude, and my cramps began to ease. I pushed a little harder as I neared the end of the first lap of the course and found my second wind.
I wish I could say that my second wind carried me through the second lap, but it blew by me somewhere between miles 2 and 3. At that point I had no choice but to finish the race, as the Finish Line was now between us and where our car was parked. I kept pace as good as I could, and the fire in my feet and knees went numb when I passed and chatted with Angie Johnson, a 5k’er with cerebral palsy. She’s a pure rockstar, and a sincerely sweet soul.
Finishing the face was the best part (natch), surprisingly not because it was over (which yeah, was good too), but mostly because of the people that stood at the line and waited to cheer for us. They barely know me — I think maybe only a very small few have even read this journal, though some do follow me on Twitter. But they were all there — the PriorFatPack — screaming, cheering, and making me feel like a champion for maybe the first time in my life. To all of you, thank you from the bottom of my New Balance trainers for being there. You made an ol’ girl feel so special. And special thanks to James, who went back and got a hold of the race t-shirts that Mal and I neglected to pick up prior to the race since we arrived so late. Dude, you are one hell of a thoughtful man, and I’m lucky to know you! And Kris, thank you (I think?) for not letting me say no.
It is technically Wednesday Lens Day, but since I didn’t have my cumbersome camera on my person that day, I snagged this awesome shot of the PriorFatPack with the amazing Angie! Photo credit goes to the Challenge Hearts and Minds 5k website. Don’t get too excited now… we’re dead sexy! 🙂
So what now?
Well, time for me to take inventory. Any free moments I’ve had within the last couple of days have been spent working on a mental list of what I’m doing wrong, and what I’m doing right in my journey to a fitter me. It’s kind of a bad joke that my husband and I joined a gym in November, and we have both gained weight in spite of our workout regimen. I’ve got to figure this out again. Next post here will likely be a brain dump to clear my head, as there is so much I need to sort out. I will look to my new friends for accountability and advice, so I can get back to being the me I’m meant to (and WANT to) be.