Once upon a time… I was severely overweight.
And now? well… Most people don’t believe it.
When I was overweight everything was scary, I “couldn’t do it”…. meaning I was too out of shape/scared/tired to even try. Everything was hard. Walking up a flight of stairs was killer, I was the catcher on my baseball team to avoid running, I ate the worst foods ever… then had seconds… and dessert.
Now? well, clearly that’s all changed, over time I made the small changes to make me the person I am now. I eat (relatively) healthy, I workout, I take care of me. Inside and out.
Friday after my tradeshow/expo thing I had 30 minutes to kill before heading off to my gym for the night so I stopped into the running room to browse. I noticed entry forms on the table, filled one out, paid my 40$ and was officially committed to 10k at 9am Sunday morning.
For some reason I did use SOME logic, Saturday should have been leg day. I took a rest day. I was exhausted and left work at noon and went to pick up my race packet instead of going to the gym.
There was a mini expo, I walked around fast but was bored easily. I did pick up a headband from One Tooth Yoga boutique to wear for the race. I found my Lululemon one sliding, so I took my chances on a new one.
So sunday morning rolled around. I slept like garbage thinking I was oversleeping my alarm. Got up around 6, ate, coffee, more coffee, bus downtown. Dropped my gym bag off at a goodlife by the starting line and wandered over for… more coffee.
Around 8:30 I headed into the host hotel where everyone was gathering to keep warm (the marathon and half started earlier. narrow trail, staggered start), had a pee break (hello three jumbo coffees… plus water), had my typical pre-workout snack and headed to the start line.
It was a huge pack of 10 and 5k-ers and I ended up somewhere in the middle. I truly HATE running closed into a pack and therefore tend to go out kind of fast to get out of it. Once I got across the start line I started weaving in and out trying to get into my groove since well, the first kilometer or so was down main street… but then things moved onto a trail….a fairly narrow trail… which eventually has people doubling back and I didn’t want to be smooshed in somewhere.
I was feeling pretty good at the start… it was chilly and once I hit the trail the wind was pretty brisk, but hey, I was feeling good. No problems.
Then I hit the 5k turn around and all I could think was… dear sweet baby jesus kill me now… why didn’t I just sign up for the 5k, I would be HALFWAY done, but 1/4. Ugh.
But I kept going. Hit the second water stop at about the 4 1/4 K mark. Grabbed some Gatorade (… but mistake, oh well), slowed down enough to gulp it down and kept going. Still no sign of my boss at this point and I was just telling myself over and over in my head that i could slow down, but no walking. Once I started to walk it would be over and done with. I would lose my pace and be done.
Finally I hit the 5K turn around point and got a bit of a second wind. It’s all downhill from there right? Ugh. I turned and headed back with some sort of renewed energy. Just before the 6k mark I passed my boss. She didn’t see me and it’s probably for the best, I probably looked like death.
This is the time I started filling my head with possible blog posts…. most of them entitled “things I don’t get, nor do I want to get, about running” or something along those lines.
Trust me, that post is coming, but for now…. let’s stick with the race.
I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. My hands were cold. My iphone wouldnt switch songs when I told it to because the screen wasn’t registering my numb fingers. I was annoyed… then I reminded myself a few years ago I couldn’t have ran a mile, let alone a 10K with zero training and kept going.
Finally I rounded the corner and hit the pavement. Less than one kilometer to go. With about 500 meters left I was ready to stop. I was over it. Big time. A big dog on the sidewalk caught my eye, then I realized it was my brother’s rugby teammate waiting for his wife to run by. We waved and it gave me some form of “omg people I know may be seeing me. I can’t stop now”.
Let me just say, whoever thought of putting the start/finish line at the TOP of a hill can kiss my cold, cranky behind.
Death. I did manage to pass two people on the uphill to the finish though. Go figure.
As people crossed the line there was an announcer calling out names. It was kind of cool to hear it. Just a nice touch.
I didn’t check my chip time, I don’t care to be honest. As per my watch I was right around 1:02-1:03, which was just over the 60 I was going for. Oh well, no training and end of off season? I’ll take it.
When I told people i was running this race, there was a lot of “are you out of your mind?!”
You know what, maybe I am, but maybe I just (finally) believe in myself.
I always used to think these random things people did was for fit people, crazy people, people who weren’t me.
Then I decided to step on stage and compete in figure and after that first show my attitude somehow shifted from “why me?” to “why NOT me?”. I developed my “how hard can it be” attitude and took chances. I’ve now run three races (without training for any of them), competed in four figure competitions (… training excessively for them), changed my life, moved, got a badass job.
Someday this new attitude might get me in trouble, and i’m sure I’ll learn some valuable lesson about knowing my limits, blah blah blah… but until then, I’m going to keep rocking it and taking chances because taking these chances has changed my life… and me… for the better.
… and if you’re wondering, no, I am not bedridden today. In fact I feel totally normal, a bit sore in my upper body (from my workout friday), joints ached a bit last night but I woke up feeling great.
Lesson learned: Nothing can stop me.
(You can insert evil laughter here, I certainly am)