What the body can do, when you take your mind out of the driver's seat? I started the 5k today, and it was truly the first race that I have ever started and had no one with me, no one to lean on, no one to encourage me, this one was ALL up to me. I made sure my iPod was charged overnight so as to not have a repeat of the very boring, and uninspired Princess Half Marathon attempt with no tunes. I decided at the beginning to make sure I was in teh very back of the pack when the race started. You see, at the beginning of the Princess Half, I wanted to be in the front of my corral, my logic was sound (get as far ahead of the balloon ladies as possible), but the overwhelming sense of failure and solitude that rained down on me very quickly after crossing the start line was incredibly difficult to reconcile. I can remember telling the guy on the bike who was encouraging me to catch the balloon lady that I was physically fine, but emotionally devastated. That was the only way to describe how it felt to start at the front of my corral, knowing there were hundreds of runners behind me, and then get passed like I was standing still by nearly every, single one of them. I decided on a different approach for today's race, and started myself in the very back, you see, that way, I knew no one was going to pass me. I put my headphones on, and I started moving. I was the one passing folks, not many, and not at the speed that I got passed, but I was in control. I found myself jogging, and singing, and really enjoying this solitude. The fact that this race happened on a Sunday morning, in one of my favorite of God's creations, the beach, didn't hurt either. I called on God to get me strength and perserverance. I was reminded of one of my favorite scriptures, which is VERY LOOSELY about running, Hebrews 12:1 which says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." The fact of the matter is, every single person out there running was running a different race. We all had our own experiences, reasons, and justifications for what we were out there doing, but I really feel like fitness is the race that God has put before me.
The first mile went really well, and I realized fairly quickly, that it isn't my joints (ankles, knees etc) that are keeping me from the running that I want to do, but my cardiovascular endurance. My lungs are what gives out on me, each and every time. So, I plan to embark on a rigorous schedule of swimming, running and other cardiovascular exercise to build up this endurance. I felt pretty good after the first mile, and we were headed up a small hill where we got dumped back in with the half marathoners around their mile 4.5, our mile 1.5 I'm guessing. After we saw the 1 mile mark for the 5k, we never saw another milemarker for the 5k'ers on the course. I haven't decided yet whether this is a good or a bad thing, because I just kept going and thinking, "Have we really not gone 2 miles yet?!?! Seriously?!?! HOw is that possible?!?!?! The fact was, we had gone 2 miles, and honestly, before I knew it, we had gone 3 miles, and some very sweet ladies were handing myself and some of the other runners/walkers (read turtles) our tiaras and boas so that we could finish the Diva in style. I finished my 2nd 5k in 52:15, which is about 1 minute and 26 seconds slower than my last 5k, not a trend I intend to continue. THe best part of today was that when I crossed the finish line, my VERY handsome and amazing husband was there waiting for me. Probably a good thing I didn't see him until after I had my medal, my rose, my ginger ale and my bagel, because had I seen him approaching the finish line, I would have been a puddle of tears. maybe my finishing photo won't be too bad, since I was able to hold it all together...who knows!
As I said above, I am going to be embarking on a training plan to build my cardiovascular endurance so that on November 4th, I can finish my first ever half marathon. I am doing this in an attempt to get a good corral placement for the Princess Half Marathon next February. In a perfect world, I'd like to finish in under 2 1/2 hours, but in reality, it is much more likely to be around 3 1/2 hours. I am starting the couch-to-5k training plan, then picking up the Jeff Galloway half marathon training plan. The Battleship half has a pace requirement of 4 hours, and a dedicated start for those that are going to walk, and it is an hour earlier than the runners...there's a nice switch.
At any rate, another notch in the fitness journey belt...with many more to come. I told my husband this weekend that it is my plan to get myself into shape, and then do 1 destination endurance race each year. My bucket list of races is increasing, specifically, the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco (No medals in this race, just a tiffany necklace, handed to you by a firefighter in a tux), the NYC ING marathon, and the Goofy. The Goofy is a Half marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon on Sunday. Oh--and in 3 years, the year that I turn 40, rather than celebrating with a trip to a far off beach resort to drink myself into oblivion like so many people I know, I fully intend to earn my Coast-to-Coast medal at Disney, which means I have to run a full or a half at Disney Land, and Disney World in the same calendar year...in orther words, 2 races, 3 medals....I like the sounds of that!!!
Until next time!
By the way, my favorite slogan I saw on a shirt today? "A goal is nothing more than a dream with a finish line!" I like that one, A LOT!!