The Mason State Bank 5k Run 2016:
Mindy – Age 38 – 39:42
Luke – Age 8 – 31:07
People, people. My son’s and my first 5k was a huge success. I achieved my goals and then some. And Luke, not knowing at all what to expect, ran an amazing race. He said aside from the day he was born, which of course he doesn’t remember, this was the Best. Day. Ever. He was over the moon excited, and is already talking about his next 5k. I think we have ourselves another runner in the family.
What an amazing experience this was. I had no doubt that I would finish the race, and without much walking even. So there was no surprise there. The best part about this race though, was that I felt immensely supported by my family and friends. My brother and sister, who are both rock star runners and have been such motivation to me personally, were both there. My sister-in-law, my two nephews, my father-in-law, a couple dear friends even. All of them came. I even had one friend who told me just hours before the race that she was going to run it too! And even those who couldn’t make it wished me well beforehand and I truly felt them there in spirit. And while my husband was not there at the end (he was helping our daughter start her one mile race), he was there to give me good luck kiss at the starting line. He’s been my biggest fan through this whole process. He helped me find good running gear, like breathable shorts and shirts, and decent running shoes (my slip-on Sketchers were laughable for distance running). Just hearing him say how proud he is of me helps to keep me going. After all, I’m doing this for him and the kids. I want to be healthy, and I want to be around for them as long as I can.
The actual race was fairly uneventful. I think I must have been a little nervous, but I held onto my cookies (mostly). It really helped having a friend running beside me (at least until I left her in the dust after the first mile lol). I kept a good pace the whole time, and only tripped on my toes once, but recovered gracefully with a skip and kept on plugging away. At mile 2 (I think) my sister was waiting to take a picture, and then joined in and jogged beside me for awhile. That was nice because when you feel sluggish, like a tortoise crawling through molasses, it’s nice to have a distraction. My sister is one tough broad and she is an enthusiastic supporter. It was really, really, fun to run beside her, even if it was only for a portion of the race.
The final stretch of the race was up a major hill, and when I got to the top I was not only taxed, but couldn’t see where the finish line was. I knew it was near the end because of all the people standing around (and the smell of food from the local vendors) but the actual finish was just far enough out of my visual field that I wasn’t sure. So I decided to walk just then, to rest my legs and give myself time to gain a better awareness of my surroundings. After a few steps though, I looked to my right and I could see what I assumed to be the finish line, so I started running again. As I ran I started to recognize the banner reading “FINISH” and I started to get a smidge emotional. Not wanting to be a bawling mess at the end, I covered my face and tried to breathe as slowly as possible. As I crossed the line I saw my brother and Luke running towards me to congratulate me and bring me a water bottle. And, of course, to make sure I made it safely to a sitting position. My left leg was genuinely out of commission for a good 10 minutes. I did manage to withhold most of the tears, and just enjoyed the moment. I did it. I ran a 5k, all the way. And I can’t wait to do it again.