Eight years ago, I would have never thought that I would be running 5Ks for fun. I’ve been physically active since I was nine, but running long distance was never part of my lifestyle. And for the past 8 years laziness had invaded my body. Needless to say, every time I would feel courageous enough to go out and run, weakness would then invade my mind.
A few months ago I thought I finally overcame my fear of running. I even wrote about here. Sadly enough, I never progressed.
However, in September, my sister registered with a co-worker for Dunn’s Race, benefiting The Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Broward. She asked me to join. I hesitated. Then I asked myself, what’s stopping me? There was no answer because I know nothing was. So I went for it. We began training with only a month before the race. In four weeks, we probably trained about 2 and a half in total.
Sunday, October 7.
The race was held in Deerfield Beach – 30 miles plus away from where we live. We got there at 6:30 am. Here we are still feeling sleepy before the race.
Since we were by the beach, i decided to take in the view, meditate a bit and get myself ready.
Ok, the sun starts coming out now. And my sister’s friend showed up with a team. It was soon time to run. The moment of truth was finally here. There was no turning back. We were super nervous as you can tell by our faces!
And we began. My sister and I stayed close to each other though she was a bit behind me. I kept looking back and making sure I wouldn’t lose her. After all, we were in this together. Maybe half a mile in and I lost her. When I saw her way in the back, she signaled for me to keep going. I hesitated because I thought I should wait for her. But I kept going.
I saw the 1 mile mark. My eyes lit up. Wow, I thought, I can’t believe I made it this far. I kept going. I was trailing Chris, her co-worker’s boyfriend. He was my marker. I wanted to make sure that he was still in close view. Either that or pass him (which by the way I tried). Then we came to the turn-around point, which meant a mile and a half. I hadn’t stopped yet. I kept going. I caught up to Chris and passed him for a few seconds, but then he gained speed. After two miles I was still going. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t stopped!
People of all ages were running and walking in front, behind and next to me. They kept me motivated and distracted from my mind. Then, I began cramping, but I kept going. But the pain got stronger, and I began to feel queasy. Noooo, I thought, just what I needed. So I stopped my run and decided to walk it off a bit. I only took 4 semi-walking steps and to my surprise, because of momentum, my legs began running again. But shortly after, the cramping became worse and I had to force myself to walk fast instead. All this happened after 2 miles of running. Chris was still in site. I had to keep going. So I was running on and off.
There was a bridge coming up and I decided to run nonstop since the finish line was getting close. I mustered much needed strength to go up the bridge and ran down rather easily. I was approaching the end. I just ran for it, full force, full speed, no stopping.
And I made it! My sister came in four minutes later. I wanted to cry. For eight years I feared running, I didn’t believe in myself, I didn’t feel capable of achieving this. And I did. This 5k was a marathon for me. I never felt so proud. I still can’t believe it.
After the race was over, I looked up my time; I made it in 35:07. In my age group and gender, I was 17th place. I felt awesome.
I took one last picture of the beach after the race.
They fed us Panera Bread. And there was a Firetruck parked in the lot for free painting. So I grabbed a hat and joined the fun!
I cant wait for the next race. And not because running is fun, but because it takes me out of my element. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment that I crave now. Yay for me! 🙂
As for my shoes, I am giving them up. I’ve had them since 2006 and for the past year, i don’t how many time I’ve had to crazy-glue the sides.
But I’m glad that after all these years, my pumas were able to taste victory with me!