This weekend, I did my first ever 5k. I was really excited about it and ready to hit the road running…well jog walking.
I started out really strong and ready to go, but seemed to run out of gas pretty quickly. You hear people talking about how rewarding it is to do something like a 5k and I’ve had so many people tell me how proud I should be of myself and for some reason, I’m not, in fact, I’m kind of disappointed. I didn’t feel that overwhelming pride in myself or in my accomplishment. Really, I just felt tired, sweaty and winded. Honestly, I wanted to cry. Not because I was overwhelmed with accomplishment, but because it wasn’t what I had hoped it would be.
I did shave time off from when I ran the distance the week before, so that’s good, right?
I had a long drive on Saturday and some time to think about it yesterday and to relive my experience in my head.
First, I don’t claim to be a fast runner, I never have and who knows, maybe I never will be. There were people passing me when I was jogging, who were walking! That got me in my own head thinking, why am I even bothering to “run” when people are walking faster?
My mile average time was more than 15 minutes. Really! I have walked on the treadmill and done a mile in less time than that. I couldn’t understand why; I just felt like I couldn’t get out of my own way. I felt like I was fighting to keep moving at all, when I have done the distance before.
After some reflection, I think I gave up on myself pretty early on in the race. When I saw people walking faster than I was jogging, and saw the only people behind me were walkers (making me the slowest “runner”), I gave up. Those thoughts of why don’t I just walk if people are walking faster than me took over. I spent more time walking than I should have, more time than I could have. I think that’s why when I crossed the finish line I was disappointed. I could have done better! Maybe my time wouldn’t have been much shorter, but I knew I didn’t give it all I had. I let my surroundings get the best of me. I spent too much time thinking about the time and not enough remembering why I was doing it in the first place.
I have come so far from where I was even just a month ago when I started running once a week. I have come even further than I was when I started working out and even further still than when I started losing the weight in October. I forgot all about that, and was back in high school. I was that girl in gym class, who was the last one to finish the mile run for our fitness testing, I was the girl who couldn’t do a single pull up.
That is not who I want to be anymore. I have given birth to 2 children, I have endured sleepless nights with sick babies and then gotten up to go to work the next morning, I have felt the loss of a life growing inside of me; a baby I would never hold in my arms, I have lost 2 of my very best friends (one to cancer and one to a car accident), I have stood up in front of hundreds and performed the National Anthem, I have completed a 5k! I have had my share of pain and disappointed, but I have brought memories and knowledge from those experiences that have made me who I am today.
I am strong! I am capable! I will do better next week! Next Sunday when I line up for my next race, I plan to think about ME! Not the people around me, not the timer, not the hills, or how far apart the telephone polls are. I’m going to think about all those places I have been and where I am now. I’m going to think about 45 pounds, my babies, my friends and I’m going to run.