So I’ve completed two virtual 5Ks and really enjoyed them. I felt relaxed, was in the moment and bursting with pride when I finished. I know some people don’t see virtual 5Ks as ‘real 5ks’, or just paying for a medal – but I took them seriously. I didn’t even HOLD the medals until I was done and my time was submitted.
I thought it was time to run my first in person 5K and thankfully our local volunteer fire station was holding their annual 5/10K. I will be honest – I didn’t do much by way of training. I did a few runs in the weeks leading up, but I knew I was doing it for fun – not to win or PR.
So this past weekend when S. dropped me off at the starting line early – I wanted to barf. Everyone looked so … runner. Running groups showed up, everyone had a friend (or so it seemed) and I was instantly transported back to middle school. No one was mean, but they had their people and routine and I did not. It was like they had this language I didn’t speak at all. Granted, I didn’t really WANT to run with anyone else – I am very slow, and typically mix in walking when necessary. I figured others would do the same.
I got towards the back of pack and we were off! Well. Everyone else was off. I was doing a pretty fast walk, but double strollers were passing me. A three legged dog passed me. I am not making that up. A three legged dog. The 5K course was a complete circle and the 10K weaved in and out of the 5K course on side streets. So even when I was dead last, there was always a few of the 10Kers behind me. Most of the time.
I pretty much spent the first hour of the run fighting my inner mean girl. She was out in full force and loud. I couldn’t even hear my music. It was to the point where I even considered calling S. to just come pick me up on the corner. I really wanted to stop and cry – I was overwhelmed and embarrassed. What made me think I could do this? I thought a group would motivate me to push myself, but it had the opposite effect on me.
Basically by mile two I was chanting ‘just f*cking finish‘ in my head. I might have said it out loud. By mile 3, I was feeling a little better emotionally, but I realized I should have Ape taped my ankle, but I was just going to ‘f*cking finish’.
The finish line was ahead and I saw Mike and S. and my MIL there waiting for me. And I kept going. M. had to see his momma finish what she started right? Even when she wasn’t in her comfort zone, even when her body hurt, even when she was mad at herself and exhausted from fighting her inner mean girl. He had to see his momma finish. And he did.
After 1 hour and 7 minutes his momma just f*cking finished.