Sunday, June 29, 2008

Running commentary (pun intended)

The long-awaited 5K was today! Yes, I finished, I had a pretty decent time for a first-time runner, and I met my goal of not walking a single step of the race. So, how did it go? There are three ways this could have played out:

1) (Upon crossing the finish line:) "Oh, I am SO excited about this race! I can't WAIT to run to my blog to post about how exhilarating this was, how I got bit by the "racing bug" the minute I crossed the finish line, how a whole new sense of purpose immediately fell over me as I realized I had met my goal. The sun is shining, the birdies are chirping, and life as we know it is a beautiful thing. Oh, glory be, what a wonderful day!"

2) (Upon crossing the finish line:) "Eh, ok. That's great. Tom's waving a camera. Yup, here I am, I finished the race. Oh, thanks for that water bottle. Where the heck do we eat? Do we go into THAT building to eat? Where is the pancake breakfast? Excuse me...Miss? Do we go into this door or that one? Where do we go for pancakes? Ok, Tom, Christine, assorted offspring and family...let's move, Becky wants pancakes. NOW. Are we going this way? Can I push a stroller? Carry a couple of kids? Where exactly do we get in line for the pancakes....?"

3) (Somewhere between mile 1 and mile 2:) "This is NUTS. What the #$*%&@ do I think I'm doing, waking up at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday to do THIS??? Who ARE these people? Are they complete IDIOTS?!?!? Aren't we done yet? Why do they call this a SPORT?!?! This is TORTURE! Aren't we done yet? Am I doing this right?? Where the hell are the mile markers?!??!? Aren't we done yet? PLEASE?!??!"

So which was the real outcome? All three of them. At some point or other, I was thinking one of those 3 scenarios--sometimes simultaneously. My biggest observation? Running this race--and it's only a 5K, mind you--is a lot like natural childbirth. The thoughts going through my head prior, during, and after the race were darn near identical to my thoughts prior, during, and after natural childbirth. Would I do it again? You betcha. I already have plans for another (a race, not a natural childbirth, that's not in the cards in the near future). I plan to enter another 5K in mid-August, for no reason other than to motivate myself to keep exercising. I'd like to have a better time in the next race, and I plan to pay more attention to pacing and all the mental stuff that goes with preparing for a race. But the main goal is to keep me running in the weeks between races.

My racing buddy, Christine...she is just too cute. Christine and I would make a tremendous "before" and "after" photo of what long-term running and good nutrition can do for your body. (And, um, I'd qualify as the "before" model, thankyouverymuch. Though I am working to change that.) In fact, I showed these photos to my mother, and her reply was, "Who's the girl with all the muscles?" Christine has run many races in her life, but she has never run a 5K before, and she did it with me. She says it's because she wanted to keep herself motivated to keep running too. And while I know that is partially true, she held herself back during the entire race so that we could cross the finish line together. (Truthfully, she pretty much dragged me across.) For that, I am very grateful. She also reminded me that it's a good for my children to see me running in and finishing this gives them positive exposure to the benefits of health and exercise. You're a wonderful mother and a good friend, Christine, and I am very blessed to have found you.

The whole family at the pancake breakfast after the race

Amalie and Ava
"Dude, cover your eyes. Your mom looks HIDEOUS."

Jakob, 5, enjoying his pancake breakfast

Julia, 3, also enjoying breakfast

What I love about Christine and her family is, besides the fact that they are all tremendously kind and wonderful people, they also know how to enjoy their food. :-) Tom and I love foodies!

Liesl and Mommy enjoying our breakfasts...and Ava is enjoying hers, too. :-)

Liesl and her new buddy, "Mr. Bear." The State Farm Insurance
mascot handed them out to the children of all the race participants.


Julieann said...

You are just adorable!!! You DID it--Yay:) I am soooo proud of you--I got goose bumps.


Amy said...

CONGRATS! I'm so proud of you! And hey, "Who's the girl with all the muscles" applies to you, too. Dang, nice legs, girl!

Robert said...

Congratulations! Now you can start training for the 10K :-P