So this last Thursday, May 12th, I get an inbox from my MIL asking if I wanted to join her and my FIL at The Human Race 5K. Apparently the cost is $15 per person OR $35 per family… for another $5, I could run. I have been dying to run something other than a half marathon, cause I feel like with all my training I should be a bit faster.
2008 Haggen to Haggen 5K: 28:05…. 2009 Haggen to Haggen 5K: 29:04 (Che was born 2.5 months earlier)… 2010 Haggen to Haggen 5K: 26:05. This year it rained so badly that I didn’t want to push Che in the jogger (and I ran the full marathon the week before, so my motivation wasn’t exactly at an all time high), but I was disappointed as I wanted to see if I have improved. I know that I have improved with endurance and distance, but have I improved with speed?
When Hanuschka, MIL, asked me to run at The Human Race, I was eager to do it and unwilling to ask my hubby to keep Che. I wanted to PR, but I run so much that I feel like he needs a break sometimes. If I don’t offer a break, HE will get burned out from my running habit before I do. So, I resigned myself to run with Che in the jogger, but shoot for finishing under 28 minutes. I figure that’s a good goal to keep me pushing myself, but knowing I wouldn’t PR while pushing 40-50lbs. It actually worked out really well for me mentally. Most races, my stomach churns, my nerves go crazy and I have to sprint for the bathroom at least 4 times to avoid an accident. This time, there was no pressure… I was running with Che. Until… Armando showed up and said he felt cruddy from pushing hard the day before. He didn’t feel race ready. He said he would push Che so that I could run hard. Shoot. The pressure was on.
Hanna and I warmed up (something I unfortunately never do). I KNOW that warming up is soooo good to do, but I always wonder if I am spending my energy before the race even starts. We head to the starting line and it’s a small enough race that I can start at the front and not bother anyone. There may have been a couple hundred people there. I turn on my tunes, starting with Chris Brown’s “Forever” and the race begins.
Typically my mantra tells me to just keep going, slow down if I need to… I have never really run a race where I want to push myself to the point of pain and not slow down. Today was the day. I decided to see if I could actually push myself to run at a faster pace even when my lungs hurt and the finish line seemed still so far away. There were no mile markers, so I was guessing at my pace. Armando passed me with Che around 12 minutes after the start. I was disappointed… he said he was walking. BUT I was determined to not let him out of my sight. It worked in my favor. He kept getting smaller and smaller, but the only time I lost sight was when he rounded a corner and I would be able to see him again when I rounded. My lungs hurt for sure and I couldn’t get a deep breath. I looked at my watch and it read 22 minutes… the finish was around the loop. When I got to the straightaway, I was SO excited to see that the clock was still in the 24 minute range. AHHHHHH!!!!!!! When I crossed the finish line, my watch read 25:07 and Hanna said I officially came in at 24:59. I could not believe it. To make matters even more exciting, as a young man approached me, Hanna told me that I placed 4th overall for women. I didn’t believe it… the info had to be wrong. The young man asked me for my name and confirmed that I did actually come in 4th – not for my age group – for ALL women. WHAT!?!?!? After I got over myself, Hanna told me that she placed 1st and Armando placed 1st for his age group. My hubby’s cousin, placed 1st for men (overall). BRIONEZ REPRESENT!!!
Anyway, I called my mom, bawling my eyes out. She and my dad came right down to the finish to hug me before heading out of town. You know what? Had the race been bigger, I wouldn’t have placed. I didn’t even run an exceptionally fast race. I have friends who could seriously whip that time. And guess what? I DON’T CARE!!! I DID place…. I DID come in faster than the majority of the people running and walking. Even if it never happens again and I stay a mediocre runner, you can’t take this away from me.
I hope that no one ever has the nerve to tell me, “I can’t run… I am not a runner.” That’s what I said. And it’s simply not true. People think that in order to be a ‘runner’, they have to be fast. Nope. Just run. I started out overweight and hardly able to run for 5 minutes without stopping. I didn’t let that stop me. If you don’t like running, than don’t do it. But don’t say you can’t. Because you CAN. I have proved it.