FYI - This is LONG!
Yesterday I had Hubs drive me two hours north to Wheeling so I could "compete" in the Debbie Green Memorial 5k. So here's how it all went down...
First of all, the number of people was astounding! I did some calculations using the race results and there were over 1200 finishers (both runners and walkers). I picked up my race packet and then headed to the car to drop it off before the race. On the way back, I stop to retie my shoe (tied it too loose after I put my chip on) and as I'm getting back up I see Hollynn (SPUNKYDUCKY) run right by me. I turn to Hubs with the biggest smile ever and say, "OMG! That's totally her! I KNOW it!" Turns out it took her a moment and soon enough her and her Hubs were turning around to say hello. We hugged like we'd known each other forever and then introduced our men.
Hollynn and I pre-race.
Reflecting on the race all the way home, it meant so much to me that not only was it my first race, but it was my first time meeting a fellow Sparkie (other than my Momma, of course). She was so sweet and her husband was amazing. Attentive, interested, funny. It was a great experience! She gave me a lot of advice about not only the upcoming race, but about future races and promised she would be there to watch me cross the finish line. We spent about an hour pre-race just chatting away, getting to know each other, sharing our experiences, and having a blast! I didn't even have a chance to get nervous before we parted ways so they could head up towards the front where the runners should be and I fell back to the walking crowd.
I loaded up my iPhone with the TIKI mix (Thanks so much STAYFOCUSEDASH!) with one addition to start me off - La Roux's Bulletproof. Before we had even started, the older gentleman at the parking lot said to me, "You walk your own race out there and don't push yourself to do what anyone else is doing." So I kept telling myself "Walk your own race." And then we were off (after a small delay due to a small house fire on the course! EEP!).
Ready to Race.
Sucks. Seriously dude. You're jammed in this huge crowd and you spend the first tenth of a mile or so trying not to step on people. Plus, they started us off with a friggin' huge hill. (WTF dude? *sigh*) Once we took the first turn people started to break up as the faster people headed ahead and the slower ones stayed back.
Like I said, it was hills like WOAH! First up half of it, then a flat patch to the right, then back up again, and up again, and then DOWN DOWN DOWN! I started noticing as we turned left after the downhill that my right foot was already getting a blister. "Oh, great!" I think. I also thought at this point of giving up. I was really starting to get frustrated with being passed by people who didn't seem to be having any trouble and I felt like even though I was keeping my steady pace that I was struggling more than usual. I thought, "I can just go home now...nobody has to know." But my Sparkie ahead of me would certainly know. And I would know. And then I put my arms back in the right position and pushed forward. "I don't care if I have a shoe full of blood at the end of this," I thought. "I am finishing. Period."
And then I take a left turn and I see one of those time clocks and it says 17 something and I think, "Holy crap! I'm going fast! Is that the mile marker?" Sure enough, I pass Ron Green (the race organizer and Debbie Green's brother) and he says, "Mile one! 18:10! Great job guys!" as I pass. 18:10? Okay...I'm doing great!!
By the time we got to the water station, I was so friggin' happy to see them! I didn't hydrate enough beforehand and was parched. I didn't get a lot in my mouth because I did NOT want to slow down...and dodging paper cups kinda blows. I thanked the little boy holding the cup and proceeding to spill half of the cup down the front of my shirt! *lol* I kept pushing through. I remembered that I had been working out to this playlist before and I knew what my pace should be. I figured I was right on if not a tiny bit ahead. It was a really, really hard mile. I kept searching for the mile marker and not seeing it. I was cursing everyone in my head...and then we walked down a street full of homes where people were outside watching the race.
Out of the corner of my eye I see this very large woman sitting on her stoop, and I see her look at me and suddenly she starts clapping and cheering...and I knew it was because of me. I knew because she kept watching me and cheering and it made me feel like perhaps I was inspiring someone...and that always makes me push through.
Around the corner I see a race worker and he says 1.3 miles left. You guys are doing great! We turn back around the block and I hear a girl behind me go, "Oh my God! Thank God we're not last...I thought we were!" I realized then that I was not last...and that made me feel a little better. And then I saw the time marker at the second mile marker. 34:10. What the crap dude? I start doing the math in my head and realize that I've done the past mile in 16 minutes! OH MY! I am MOVING! This is an excellent pace for me...the best I've ever done, and when I did it last at that pace I really thought I was going to die! But I still had something left in me...and then my blister popped.
The Third Mile:
Yeah, walking on the right foot was really starting to get to me. It hurt...it hurt a LOT. But I didn't care. I WOULD finish this race. It felt like it took forever. It was the longest mile of my life...and I kept going through the race course map in my head. When we took the next corner I realized that I was nearly there. I heard loud music and I knew that soon I'd be turning a corner to see the Finish line. I buckled down and got my second wind...and starting actually passing some people! *lol* I see the WesBanco building and realize we're almost there. And then I hear cheering! Off to the left are SPUNKYDUCKY and her husband cheering me on! LOUDLY! *lol*
I reached into myself and thought, "This is it...the final push." I could see the finish line and all I wanted was to cross it! I pumped my arms and legs up the final hill (WTF is up with the hills, dude? GRRRR!) and I pretend my foot is fine and after a bit I don't even really feel the pain anymore. And then I see that I'm about to cross that line and it says 57 something and I think...I've done it! I've done what I've come here to do.
And I pass the finish line panting like a dog on a 13 mile run. *lol* But I did it. And there's my Sparkie pulling me over to the water, cheering me on, telling me I've done amazing! (I only wish I could have seen her and her hubs cross that finish line.) "You did it!" she said. "You're done!" And I kept repeating that one word -- DONE...DONE.
Ron, Hollynn and I after our 5k!
So now for the final results:
471 661 28 Esther Hupp, 29*, Sandyville, WV 57:21 18:30
I was 661 out of 750 walkers.
I was 28th in my age class for women out of 34 (age 25-29).
My final time was 57:21 (though I'm not sure that's from when I crossed the finish line, but I'm not being picky).
And my pace time was 18:30...which is friggin' amazing for me!
So after I rehydrated with a couple bottles of water, we head down to watch the closing and (more importantly) see if we won the door prize trip to NYC! *lol* (We didn't win. :( ) There was a super long line for the free food for racers after, but it looked like nasty pasta, an icky salad soaked in some sort of oil, and pizza...and none of that looked a bit appetizing. Hollynn and Ron pulled out a big surprise when they brought out a cooler of yummy healthy food. *love* this! Totally stealing this idea for my next race! So instead we had turkey wraps and strawberries with our water. I just couldn't stop laughing -- this is a total Sparkie thing to do, bring your own food for after your race! *lol* So I snapped a picture...
Around 9:45pm, with the Hubs impatiently waiting to leave, I hobbled back to the car, changed out of my sweaty shirt and settled in for the long ride home only after checking on my foot. No blood...no real clue what happened, but it doesn't feel too good. Thankfully I brought the medicated bandaid and slapped one on immediately before heading home...then I lay back and let Hubs drive us the two hours home.
And for your viewing pleasure...or displeasure, actually...this is what my foot looked like when I got home.
Finally, because it's Sunday it's also Weigh-In Day.
Highest Weight: 466.6
SP Starting Weight: 416.2
Last Week: 369.2
Goal This Week: 366.0
Weight Loss This Week: 4 pounds!
Total Weight Loss with SP: 51 pounds!!
Total Overall Weight Loss: 101.4 pounds!!!
I did NOT expect this! Usually when I work out super hard it takes my body a week to catch up...but I did have that gain last week. So there it is...my 366...actually, I skipped that! Three hundred sixty five! Holy crap! I'm feeling pretty darn good about myself. I finished my first 5k. I've lost 100 pounds again and surpassed it. I've lost 51 pounds since April 18th, since starting SP! Ask me today and I'll tell you -- I totally rock!
Thank you Hubs!
Thank you Hollynn and Ron!
Thank you Spark Friends!
I can't WAIT to tell my kids when they come home here soon!!!