Saturday, November 5, 2011

Eleven and a Half Minutes

A year ago today I ran my first official 10K.  I referenced the run here.

Once I found out I was pregnant I stopped running, per my doc's request.  I told her I did not want to be on bed rest for 4 weeks like I was with Pman.  She said, "Don't run pregnant." I said, "Ok."

After SBG was born, in early July, and I was given the all clear to run by my doc, I did.  I started running in mid-August. 

A friend of mine, who never really ran before, signed up for the 5K version of the 10K I ran the year before.

I promised I would sign up too and we could do it together.  She had a baby 2 months before me. it was going to be a run to kick off Operation: Shed Baby Weight.  However, as I started training, I realized the runner in me was super eager to be released. 

Instead of signing up for the 5K, I signed up for the same 10K I ran just a year before.  Leading up to the race, my right leg started hurting- like can't put weight on it, hobbling around the house hurting, but I was not about to let that stop me from reaching my goal. 

On the morning of the race, my friend and I woke up early and drove to the race location to pick up our numbers and complimentary ugly race t-shirts (gray and brown- ick).  We were cold and tired, but very excited. 

As we waited for the race to start, we ragged on some of the other runners, within the privacy and safety of my MV.  We went to the bathroom-twice. Then asked a fellow runner to take our pre-race photo. Once the proper amount of photos were taken to ensure we both looked our pre-race, early morning best, we each swung our legs in a pendulum motion,in an effort to warm up. 

Then we headed toward our respective starting lines.

The gun fired and we were off.

I began the familiar trail through the woods, I thought a lot about where I was the year before.  I had an inkling of an idea that I was pregnant, but hadn't taken the test yet. 

As I ran this morning I thought of my babies.  Of my family.  Of how my running will (hopefully) keep me healthy enough to be around for a very long time, allowing me to witness the fruits of my labor, blossom.

I thought about how at that very moment a year before we were just a family of three and now we are a family of four.  Just like that.

Then I thought of one of my very best friends.  While I was running a 10K in the freezing cold, she was running her first half marathon in Georgia.  When my running got tough, I would chant to myself, "If she can do that, I can surely suck it up and get through my race."

And I did.

With nearly exactly the same time, literally within seconds, of my time last year.  I think I was probably 5th to last to cross the finish line for the 10K.  The racers who crossed about the same time I did were old enough to be my grandparents.  At first, as the finish line came into my view, and I saw who my comrades were, I was disappointed in myself. 

Then I remembered, the date of the race.  The date marked my baby's fourth month on this earth.  I ran my race with an eleven and a half minute mile. 

I am going to allow myself that victory.  I am going to celebrate it.  I am even proud of myself.

After I finished the race a woman I did not know, tapped me on the shoulder.  She said, "I just want you to know, you were my inspiration.  There were times I just didn't think I could keep running, but I could see you, so I just kept going.  Thank you."

All I could do was put my hand over my mouth, make some silly comment about my yellow shirt being very visible from a great distance and then I just simply said, "Thank you." 

We both had tears in our eyes. If you do not run, that will sound incredibly silly. Running is an emotional sport.  It's not about fashion.  It's not about competition, other than with yourself. It's just pure and simple and challenging and exhilarating.


Nancy C said...

Yeah. I'm a little emotional. Good for you, friend.

lynsey said...

I'm so proud of you! I think of you often on the days when running is a bit more of a "should" activity than a "want" activity :) love you!