Sunday, October 18, 2009

What A Race! 5K Recap

I could not have picked a worse day for my first 5K race!  I woke up to teeming rain and 40 degrees.  I pouted around and watched the weather channel for a few minutes.  The reality hit that it was not going to be the glorious sunshiny day I had envisioned, but I wasn’t going to let the rain stop me from doing this today!

I made sure to get up in enough time to eat a “power breakfast” of banana and PB2

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Then, took some pre-race “meds”…

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We piled in the car and headed off to the race.  In this glorious weather…

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It didn’t take long for us to get to the firehouse where the race was beginning.  This race was to benefit First Responders (police, fire and ambulance) and one of the reasons I chose this race is that the course included the street where my in-laws live!  The husband and daughters planned on camping out on their lawn to watch me run by!  My parents also were planning to be waiting at the finish line, so I had a full house to cheer me on!

When we arrived at the firehouse, I checked in and got my bib number…

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There was a flurry of activity in the firehouse.  You could feel the energy of everyone waiting to race.  I ended up seeing cousins of a friend of mine there!  They have done this race before and gave me a few pointers.  It was nice to see familiar faces!

We were called to the starting line which was about a block away and we all lined up…

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The gun sounded and we were off…

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I fiddled with my music for a second to put it on and off I went.  I was so nervous.  My heart was beating so fast;  my legs were wobbly and my breathing was labored from the start.  The rain was coming down, my feet were soaking wet within minutes and made my feet feel like bricks.

As I was trying to calm myself down,  I saw the pack of racers getting further and further away from me.   It was almost like I was in slow motion.   I really was DEAD LAST.  It was my biggest fear, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a hold of myself.  About a half mile into it, I started to cry.  I felt so weak and I was sure that I would not be able to finish this race.  I beat myself up for even trying this and couldn’t help feeling foolish for thinking I could run this race.  I kept running (okay, jogging!) while all this noise was going on in my head because even though I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish the race, I didn’t want to flat-out quit either!  So, I kept going while I was debating with myself the whole time.  It was a crazy mental game going on in my head!

Then, I realized that I was totally alone.  There was not a runner in site;  they had all far surpassed any possibility for me to catch up.  I would have had to sprout wings at this point!  Finally, at about 1.5 miles in, I was able to regain some composure and get myself into a regular breathing pattern.  That helped with my strength a little and at that point, I told myself that I CAN DO THIS!  I knew if I didn’t get distracted, I could finish running this race.  Walking was not an option for me;  I wanted to run this race and I refused to walk any of it or I knew I would be really disappointed in myself.  So, I tried my best to stay focused and breathe, breathe, breathe.

There were lots of volunteers to cheer me along the way and thankfully, direct me where to go since there was no one ahead of me to follow!  There were Boy Scouts along the side offering water/lemonade and were so excited to hand one off to me.  I made sure to grab one even though I couldn’t drink and run at the same time –LOL!

When I got to the 2.5 mile mark, I saw my family ( Husband, daughters, Mom, Dad, MIL and FIL) waiting on the side to cheer for me!  The funny (and completely lame) part was that the police from the First Responders Run came by to “check on me”!!  I guess they were wondering where the heck I was, so they had to check (so did the bike police) and ending up following me in for the rest of the race…

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You can imagine how embarrassed I was to have a police escort for my race!  This may require years of therapy to get over :|

Here’s another one of me, my police escort and my family (my Dad is on the right and actually ran a few blocks next to me!)…

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When I rounded the corner for the final stretch, my friend’s cousin came back to meet me.  He started jogging next to me, saying “C’mon Marisa…you can do it…you only have 100 yards left… you can do it… you’re going to finish… you’re almost there…look at the clock…you’re almost there…”

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And I finally crossed the finish line!  I friggin’ didn’t quit and I did it! I ran the whole thing without stopping.  Whew!  My time was 41:46 and, although sucky in the race world, it really surprised me.  I felt like I was out there for hours!  Especially with the police escort and all… ;P

The finish line was cool;  random people hugging and congratulating me and my family hugging and cheering.  It made me feel really special and I’m so thankful that they all came out in the bad weather to support me.

We headed back into the firehouse for the awards.  It was fun to cheer for the other runners and congratulate them on their times.  Now, the funniest part of the whole thing (besides the police escort)… I got an award for 2nd place in my age group!  ROTFLMAO!  It “pays” to be old!

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All in all, I was so glad that I did the race.  It was a good example for me and to reinforce in myself that I am capable of a lot more than I think I am.  I have never been competitive, never been a sports player, I have never been in shape and up until 10 months ago, have never ran.  It’s a great feeling to push yourself to do something and then do it.  It made me realize that the only thing stopping me from accomplishing something is ME.  Now, I know that I can do anything I set my mind to.  It’s a good feeling and I came out of the race feeling…knowing…that I will get to goal and keep this weight off for a lifetime :)

ONE GOOD THING:  I was able to set a good example for my daughters today.  I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone.  I ventured to do something I never thought I could do.  And no matter how badly I wanted to quit, I stuck with it and made it to the end.

Thanks so much to all of YOU for your wonderful comments and support!  YOU all helped me get through the race, too!

61 comments:

Nicci@NiftyEats said...

Great job and way to finish strong!

theskinnyplate said...

Wonderful recap of your race. You have such great family supporting you. So proud that you finished the race regardless of everything. Bummer about the weather on race day. It makes it so much harder.

Congrats on the 2nd place award too (hey an award is an award)!

Lori said...

Bravo! I think you did great and how cool to place in your age group!

Just shows what perseverence and training can do and the will to get it done.

Terri said...

Marisa- OK, I read your blog everyday but have been failing to comment like I should. But this?! I had to comment. First and foremost, I'm proud of you and way to go! It's awesome that you finished! 2nd. I had my whole family in front of the computer screen, laughing hysterically at your story. It's awesome that you finished and have such a great story to go along with it. You definitely will not forget your first race! Terri (Used to be Incredible Unorganized Mom)

The Crazy Woman Inside Me said...

Oh, Marisa, what a wonderful post! I got all teary-eyed reading it. I’m so proud of you for not giving up, even though you were last and felt embarrassed and all alone. That shows great dedication, determination and fortitude. Big hugs and congrats! :-)

superbecca said...

way to go Marissa, I'm so proud that you were able to push through and finish. I'm inspired!

Tamara said...

Well, I am super impressed. I think you did an amazing job Marissa. You overcame a lot to finish that race! Bad weather, doubts, running on your own... I think you're amazing.

I absolutely love the pic with your dad in it. How amazing that he would run a few blocks with you. That's so great.

Lara (Thinspired) said...

Marisa, I was so touched by this recap. It sounds like you had all the odds against you and it says so much about your character that you kept on going even after you wanted to stop. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes,

"Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries."

And you know what, I think the police escort is really cool! Kind of like a celebrity who needs security while jogging ;)

I hope you are not too down on yourself after struggling through this. Just think, you can only do better next time! And you should be proud! CONGRATS!

Manderz said...

I had tears in my eyes reading this!!! I am so proud of you. Such a great example you set for your daughters.

My first 5k I finished in 39 mins so you are in good company :)

The Black Kitteh said...

I am soooooo proud of you! I really want to do a 5K. Really. But, I just have not worked up the nerve! Way. To. Go! You are my hero!!!!!!!

The Black Kitteh said...

I am soooooo proud of you! I really want to do a 5K. Really. But, I just have not worked up the nerve! Way. To. Go! You are my hero!!!!!!!

Amy said...

from one runner to another, CONGRATS! :)

YOU DID IT!

TjRenee said...

You made me tear up. So proud of you, Marisa! You didn't give up and that had to be hard. Giving up is easy. You effing rock!!

Susan said...

Good for you ! You did it ! That is all that matters !

Missy said...

Congrats! It is such an acomplishment that you did not give up and kept on going. Amazing story!

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

Congratulations !!!! Consider this- winning the race is not the most important thing here, but rather that you determined you would do this, it got tough ( weather being the first hurdle) but YOU DID IT !! That makes you a winner. First place, no matter what the stats say ( time, age etc). I am proud of you !

Carolina Girl said...

OMG, I'm so proud of you! You did that in the rain and all! I would have cried too, don't feel bad. That is tough, but seriously, if you can make it through that, you can do anything!! You are my hero.

And um missy, most importantly...you look SUPER FLY in your cute little race outfit!! :) tee hee

So...any of those firemen single? Here's my number....803- jk :)

Janetha said...

wow, i can't believe you toughed it out despite the weather! i would have bailed. congrats!!

lk (Healthy Delicious) said...

thats great that you finished!!!

Jaime (Embracing Balance) said...

Congratulations Marisa!! So many of us would have just cried and packed it in...but you rallied and rocked it. Good job!!

Lillian @ LHGM said...

CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS!!!! What fantastic attitude you have. Just that weather alone would have been so disheartening to me and I'm just so in awe of anyone who can actually run(and complete!) any race. Running is the one thing that I want to challenge myself with and it's posts like yours that are becoming building blocks to get me truly believing that I really CAN do it and the only thing stopping me is me. Congrats again - you should be so very proud of yourself!!!

Lex said...

Congrats!!! This was a great post - I am so proud that you finished it when so many others (probably including myself) would have played into the head games and talked myself out of it.

Excellent work!!!

Jenn said...

Awe, Marisa - I teared up reading this post! I'm sooooo proud of you, girl! I can't imagine running a race yet. I know how you feel about being behind the pack, but you DID IT, and that's all that matters. You weren't racing anyone else except yourself, you know what I mean?
What a great example you set for your kids!!!
When's the next race?

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

YOU DID IT!!! Great job!

And aren't you glad it wasn't a boring race? You have a story to tell for years to come... ;)

I hope you are enjoying a nice, relaxing Sunday!

Chari said...

Good for you!
Actually I am totally surprised you were the last one and there wasn't more people behind you!

Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) said...

Great job! I think it's so inspiring you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and finished! :)

*Bitch Cakes* said...

OMG Marisa, reading this made me tear up! I'm so proud of you!!! I can relate to everything you said. You'll remember this day forever. You're an athlete. And a runner! Congrats!!!

Larkspur said...

Hey Gratz! That's a huge mental as well as physical accomplishment. It also says good things about you that you had such wonderful support.

fitlioness said...

Congratulations! Just started reading your blog and I love love your attitude. I look forward to following you. Best!

Sarah said...

Ah Marisa what a great recap, Congratulations!! I'm very happy for you.

THE ACTORS DIET said...

you've made an amazing mental AND physical achievement and that's something you'll never ever ever forget. way to go!

Bre said...

Congrats! I see many more runs in your future!

m i c h e l l e said...

CONGRATS MARISA!!!! You have the same idea I do: be a great example for our daughters :-)

WAY TO GO!

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

I know I'm late commenting, but am so glad I got to read this post!! Your story is inspirational to me and I absolutely loved every word.

You did great and I am so impressed that you finished, you perservered, and you won. Congratulations Marisa.

thanks for the well wishes on the swine flu we've been battling. So far everyone is on the mend. 5 of the 7 kids have had it. Only my oldest (19) and youngest (2) haven't had it. (And hubby and I)

Take care,
Diane

Janine said...

Way to go!! You go girl!!

Jess! said...

I can't believe that time put you at last - that's average 13.3 minutes a mile, not bad at all!! I'm proud of you!

Natasha said...

Congrats!!!

Family Fitness Files said...

Wow! That's awesome. I'm so proud of you!!! And you are right - not only did you prove it to yourself, but perhaps most important, you set a good example for your daughters. No one can ever take that away. Great job, Marisa!

Family Fitness Files said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

congrats. you didn't give up. that's awesome and you know what..you'll do it again :)

Amanda McQueen said...

I'm so glad that you stuck it out and finished. That is probably the best thing you could teach your children is to never give up.

kelly said...

Congratulations! I've never left a comment before but HAD to on this one. I always look for the easy out when things get difficult for me. Way to go!!! I am very impressed.

Train Mommy said...

Congrats! What an inspiration. I got a little misty eyed that your dad ran with you a little, and then the friend that helped push you through the finish line with encouragement. How did your pain/injury do with it??

Jess! said...

You totally inspired me and I started a blog!! www.healthygaleatingwell.blogspot.com. I'd love if you and your readers would check it out! Will you add me to your blog roll ;)

Jess! said...

I don't even know my own blog!! It's busygaleatingwell.blogspot.com :)

Anonymous said...

You are amazing and never forget that! You got out there and ran a race in horrible weather. You finished last, so what! at least you got out there and ran instead of staying home.

Well done!

Diz said...

Wow Marisa- I read your post and was so excited to comment, and then had to scroll down to comment behind a million bazillion other people. That's because we're all so proud! What an amazing accomplishment- I remember my first race- I totally cried when I crossed the finish line. It was a mixture of relief that it was over, and happiness and pride in myself. I was overwhelmed with the love and support that everyone showed me- and it looks like they showed to you too. Congratulations on a huge milestone in your life and in your weight loss journey. And here's to many more milestones!

Miz said...

GOOOOO YOU!!!

for all the reasons in the post and for me ESPECIALLY the rolemodeling for your daughters.

you did it!!!

Reen said...

Marisa, you did great! You are awesome! Sorry for posting a comment to your amazing story so late. I actually did post yesterday, but guess my computer went on the fritz, because it never showed up here.

Anyway, GREAT JOB!

Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) said...

You are a good example for your kids and for me! BRAVO! You did it and you did it with (more than one) smile(s)!

BTW, I'm a PB2 fan, too, but mine never looks THAT good!

Melissa said...

New to your blog and wanted to say HI and congrats!! Looks like we had our first 5Ks on the same weekend!!
And congrats on the award! :)

Janet said...

Boy the weather looked pretty miserable... kudos to you for sticking it out, you must have been cold.

Congrats on the finish! And now you have a time to beat!

Kimberly said...

Congratulations on finishing your race!

Sunny said...

way to go!! that's awesome that you ran the whole thing, there's no way i could have done that! the police escort cracked me up... :)

TJ said...

whoo hooo! Great job!! :) Loved all the pics!

Anonymous said...

I love this! You made me laugh and cry! Very inspirational!!! I too was last in line with an elderly man when I ran the Santa Cruz Chowder Chase years ago...and I finished too :).

Shhh said...

I'm so proud of you. My heart jumped when you said you started crying, and I actually teared up in empathy for you.

I've had that battle in my head. I've BEEN the last runner. I've been you, Marisa. And I finished, too. So I know the feeling you have. And I know how proud of you I am.

katecooks said...

you DID it! i bet your girls were so proud to know you crossed that finish line and you should be too!!!! you've ran one more race than me, so count me IMPRESSED!

Joania said...

You are phenomenal!! I am so pleased and proud of you. YOU DID IT!! GOOD JOB!!! Who were you running with, OLYMPIANS???? Your time was amazing!!! Hold your head up high. I love your recount of the day's events!! Excellent job Marisa..I think it's cool that you had a police escort!;)

Tania said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE 5 K! You did such an incredible job Marisa! You are definetly an inspriation for me, as i contemplate signing up for my first 5K in the spring.

Way to go!

Heather said...

((((MARISA))) You did it!!!!!!!!!! I'm so proud of you!!!!!!!!! Congrats on the award! I've never won ANY awards. I'm jealous!

I know you were super nervous, and you pulled it together when you most needed your own super powers to kick in. I love it! You are a friggin' rock star!!!!

I always end up crying at the end of the race. I'm not really sure what my deal is. When I realize I'm almost done and can see the finish line & it kicks in that I actually did what I set out to do...I cry. It makes me feel like a total doofus. Oh well! A doofus I shall be.

I've had the police escort action almost every race, and finally busted past that point just this August. So, it does get better! lol