This past Saturday, I completed my first 5K – the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer. If you have seen earlier blogs, you know how important this cause is for me.
I had started the C25K program at the end of May, taking it a bit more slowly than scheduled since I am pushing 50 and, with the exception of middle school gym class, had never run (unless I was late to supper). As fall approached, I decided that I should run, not walk, the Komen 5K.
As race day approached, I was very nervous. I have only been able to complete running 3 miles for a few weeks. Would I be able to run the entire way? Would adrenaline kick in, causing me to run too fast and leaving nothing for the end? And (since I do have a bit of a competitive streak), would I come in dead last? My mind was racing all night!
As the race start time approached, I stood with the crowd, donned in my new pink shirt, socks, and shorts (no jokes about Jogging Barbie!). The weather was clear and cool for Charleston in October – perfect for running. I hit the iPod button to start my running mix as I crossed the starting line.
The energy from the crowd was phenomenal and I jogged along easily with Lynyrd Skynyrd. I began thinking of my friend who had passed away and how I believed she would have been happy at my running in her memory and in honor of my friends and family. I could almost feel her beside me throughout the run.
When I reached the halfway point, I realized I was actually passing people! Feeling encouraged, I began to push a bit harder. I was beginning to feel the run when I rounded a curve and saw the finish line. I was going to do it! I pushed just a bit harder and ran across! I ran the full 5K!
That evening I went online to see if the results had been posted. There I was – finishing 942 out of 2552 with a time of 28:43. I was so excited! I spent Sunday rethinking the race – and what I will do different next time. Yes, there will be a next time!