It has been an absolutely gorgeous, but busy weekend! Friday I accomplished one of my five summer goals– to run a race. The choice was slightly last minute since I had only begun to run again one week since being back from the Philippines. Three weeks without good exercise sets your further back than you think. I would not have traded anything for that trip, and endurance and stamina are always things I can get back. In my mind, it was not about my time and how fast I could run, it was about finishing the race.
It was my first 5K and Friday night was blessed with clear, sunny skies and degrees in the 80s. As everyone lined up in a huge clump as it got closer to race time my heart was already beating fast. The national anthem was sung and a moment of silence was taken in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Boston Marathon. To my right was a man in a wheelchair and I kept thinking to myself that this is quite an accomplishment for him and he must inspire so many people to push themselves beyond their limit. I put my earbuds in and set my phone to my Running Rage playlist (name intended) and once the shot was fired, I was off!
Throughout the race I would watch the mile marks and talk myself through each leg as the neighborhood people and race volunteers cheered us on from the sidewalks. Right out of the gate I was feeling good and once I passed the one mile I checked my stopwatch and it was just going on 7 minutes. I usually run 7-8 minute miles and being at the top of my time, I thought this might actually be a breeze…I was wrong. Just before the two mile mark I was getting tired and had to slow it down a little bit, I realized I used too much of my energy too fast, but was not going to let anything set me back. I kept going and going and was finally on the last mile. Little did I know the last mile was uphill and quite a killer especially at the end of the race.
In the last leg I could see the finish line and pushed myself to speed up. My phone rang as I was coming closer and yes, I answered it telling my brother I was about to cross. Some women on the sidewalks heard me and began to laugh. After that, I sprinted the last 200 feet and was DONE! It felt good to have finished. I was panting with my hands on my knees as I looked at the red clock that read 27:36. My body had stopped moving, but my heart was still racing so I quickly grabbed a water bottle from one of the volunteers and scanned the massive crowd for my parents and family as my body dripped with sweat. As I was walking along the side of the street I saw some family friends and went to cheer on runners with them as people crossed the finish line.
As I watched, I could see women bringing their children across, older couples in their sixties and seventies crossing, and even the man in a wheel chair I saw before at the starting line. We went to find my parents and headed for the party. After freshening up, the rest of the night was filled with food, music from Nik and the Nice Guys, and activities.
It was a wonderful late night with family and friends and I could not have thought of a better way to begin my summer. The rest of the weekend was filled with work and chores around the house as well as visiting with my grandparents to talk about my trip to the Philippines. This was my first time this year having corn on the cob and hamburgers on the grill–mmmhmm, definitely feels like summer.
Would I do another 5K again? Yes, I would like to do another one this summer and once I get back into running I would like to specifically work on my time. I am quite competitive with myself, especially when I know I can do it.
Nik Wallenda who crossed Niagara Falls this time last year just crossed the Grand Canyon tonight. I was in awe (and on the edge of my seat) as I watched this daredevil set a new record and read peoples’ tweets about what was happening as he crossed the Grand Canyon. Something like that does not only take luck, it takes true skills. He did it! He too is a achieving a goal, on a much larger scale, he is taking steps (literally on a two inch cable) in following and achieving his dream.
What goals are you setting for yourself this summer?
Whatever they may be, those goals may be the stepping stones to obtaining your dreams.
Here is a quote to leave you with on this beautiful summer weekend….