Last year, I participated in my first 10K. I truly thought it would be easy since I have a physical job and I am a walker. I was wrong. It was 91 degrees which is rare near the end of September in Michigan and I was okay with that for the dry cleaners can sure be toasty. I am use to concrete walking and the hills about killed me. I didn't dress properly and just prayed I could finish. I did...and it wasn't pretty. I didn't have the fan fair of the police car behind me where everyone on the social media seems to find that inspiring. Instead....as soon as i passed that barricade, the police picked up the cones and drove off to the next one ...waiting for me. How is that for inspiring?
I wasn't sure what to expect for this year...but KNEW it couldn't have been as bad as last year.
This year...I had the proper clothing. This year...I had lost even more weight. This year...I added strength training to my plan. This year...I walked outside and went to county parks that had....HILLS. This year...I hoped that it would be different. That I would be different.
This is me as we left the hotel. I was optimistic.
The Brooksie Way had the best turn out in their 11 year history of 6000 and I was one of them! Waiting in the hold tank for my wave I was mentally aware of ME. Cheryl and I waiting rather impatiently for our turn and felt such a rush once we heard...GO!
I kept up with Cheryl a lot longer than last year. She finally broke away from me and we both shared parting encouragements. I was then on my own.
Like last year....people passed me and I was okay with it.
At mile 3...it dawned on me...that I could see people ahead of me as well as behind me....unlike...last year. I was holding my own. My breathing was in check....my legs...were strong. I did stop for a bathroom break. The line was long, but..I am older now and well...better to lose time than....well...you know....
I was off again.
I had to make a decision. I had 3.1 miles to go...half way there. I felt exhilarated....My asthma was not flaring ...and I realized I wasn't thinking of dying like last year...and my face was actually tired from smiling. I decided to slow down my pace. I wanted to end strong and not feel pain. The hills were just about to start. The rest of the miles ...each had hills. I didn't want shin splints like last year. I debated...and realized...I won't PR if I did slow down.
I didn't care...I slowed down. I am not some older woman that inspire others on ...look how far I have come.....I wanted to be able to WALK once i finished......so...I slowed down...still smiling.
Then something happened at mile marker 5. I was getting close to several groups of people...they were in my sight. I passed them....unlike ...last year.
I learned from other runner friends that you lean into hills as you climb it. I know..it sounds crazy....but I tried it...and..it worked for me. My legs were strong. As I passed people ..yes...passed more people......I encouraged them that we were almost to the top.
The last hill........last year...I stopped half way up and thought about lying in the ditch that lay alongside it. I did. I remember wondering if anyone would find my body....for the police already passed me with the last of the cones. I decided against it for I didn't want the birds flying above to poke my eyes out. So...as I passed that ditch this year..I discreetly flipped it off...and laughed!
This is me as I crossed the finish line...still smiling!
It turned out ...much to my surprise......even with that long line for the bathroom...I did PR. I shaved off 4 minutes from last year.
I never felt pain......never...not even the next day or week.
I was so aware of my legs...my strength....my breathing. I felt...happy....accomplished.
I didn't realize how far I have come..but this year...showed me what I could do. I never realized...and needed the test of time. Time ....efforts do add up.
Last year...was different...but then again....so am I.
I cannot wait for next year.