Sitting here at the the doctor, I paid my 25 bucks for the race and am getting checked out. Oh crap they wanna do an X-ray of my hip. Oh crap. I was nervous as hell. Was I gonna be allowed to run after all? Of course I brought up the topic of wanting to run a 5k and getting checked out. The doctor looked at me and said ok, good for you and to take it easy. What did I really know about running anyway? Was there something I was missing in this process? It's a 5K, I walk more miles than that in a day!? My tracker tells me how great I'm doing and that is just walking, working, and of all things marching in place to get my steps in. How hard was this running stuff really gonna be? My goodness I read a few articles and updated my inhaler and got a hold of some cheap Nikes at a discount store.
Nothing would be more alarming to me when I took off at the start of the race, this is easy I thought. lol what I didn't know was that starting out I needed to pace my self and run really slow. I made the first mile and it hit me, lungs were on fire and my right lower leg and foot had cramped up so bad I wanted to yell. I had made the mistake of tying my ill-fitting shoes too tight and tried to keep up with the crowd. Not a good way to start out racing, but I persisted and kept on. I did however make the smartest decision. I tried to walk for awhile and then run. It was mostly walking by the time I had made it to mile two. You see I had heard of this method by Jeff Galloway. He is an Olympian from 1972. Of course I didn't initially heed his very sage advice. I had this weird cocky belief that "real runners" only ran. I was so wrong. I swear by his training apps now! This walk run method of his saved my butt and knees from quitting and or collapsing in the process. I also have to say the encouragement from the people on the sidelines was exhilarating. Please keep cheering for the fat chick who just wants to stop and throw up in the last two-thirds of this hell. Uh well it wasn't hell actually. My hell was letting my body get so out of shape and feeling like I was trapped in a fat suit for the past five years. This race was about to knock me on my well cushioned posterior. Then something came over me: I was starting to feel a little better. I could breathe a bit, and of all things I ceased drooling. Yes I admit that my body did some pretty weird stuff that day. No one told me this would happen, that is why I am writing this. don't be ashamed of anything that happens during a race. I was told how during a longer race, some people literally pee their pants and that wearing a tutu was pretty helpful for covering an accident. My eyes widened with a mix of horror and delight.
So more walking then running and somehow I was able to get around what I had heard more experienced runners called a "wall". My energy was coming back again. I wasn't going to actually die on a side street in Murray, Kentucky. The fire had subsided and the cramping was manageable. I can do this! "Radio Free Europe" by REM started to play on my iPod. It was on, I wasn't going to quit. Slowly I was starting to pick up pace and passed a few folks who looked like they were suffering from life to. I started to slowly pull away from people and moved on to running alone. I was still walking every so often to catch my breath and recharge. To my surprise there were these to kids running along and slacking. I yelled to them that they better hurry or I was gonna catch up to them, or better yet pass them. They took off like a shot. I had my motivation, they had theirs. Who wants to be beaten by a mouthy, out of shape old lady. Those two kids helped more then they knew. I never did catch them, but as I rounded the last corner of the race, the finish line was in view and so I ran with all my might to finish. To my absolute delight, I didn't finish last as I expected to. I got my time 54 minutes and took a puff on the inhaler in celebration. The best part of this race was that I lived to tell people about my experience and started training a little more seriously with this running stuff.
Since this race I have done three 5K’s, one was pushing a friend in a wheelchair, but that story is for another time. If you would like to donate I am running as a St. Jude’s Hero April 20th 2017 In Nashville Tennessee here is a link to my official page: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital