Monday, June 4, 2012

My First 10K

When we started this new lifestyle of honoring Christ with our bodies (new to us, of course...not new to Him), I NEVER in a million years would have dreamed that I would have registered for a 10K race. But I did. And, I could NOT run a 10K at the time. A 5K - yes, a 10K - no!

It was at the end of April this year, and I saw the race on Facebook via a friend's invitation. There was a 5K too, so that helped the matter. If I can't do the 10K by then, I'll just change to the 5K (my backup plan). But, I kept running and knew I could run 5 miles by then. Then, two Saturdays in a row, I ran a 10K my neighborhood...near my know, a backup plan just in case I couldn't make it.

With the week of the race approaching, I began to feel sick to my stomach. Something wasn't right...what was it? By Thursday, I was in knots literally. I felt like throwing up and just kept envisioning myself not being able to run any of the race. I put out a cry for help to my friends on Facebook who came through BIG time. I needed advice and wisdom to help me get through these feelings. Friends flooded me with encouragement, advice, wisdom and challenges that boosted my confidence. But there was still something wrong...why in the world was I so nervous....

I prayed and prayed some more. I begged God to reveal to me the source of my fear, and He did...the nervousness stemmed from MY fear of failure. That's right...failure. I KNEW in my mind that my body could run the entire 6.2 miles. I KNEW it. But, I also knew that I could give up easily and finish but not finish well or in the time I would like.

You see, it's one thing to admit you are a ___________ (insert your own failure name here).... for me, it is a QUITTER! I quit so easily sometimes as I have shared before in a previous post. I can run 5 miles one day and not be able to make it one mile straight the next day. I begin to walk a little and find myself walking TOO much. I easily give in to the temptation to walk a LOT!

Okay, back to the's one BIG thing to admit that you are a quitter. It's a WHOLE 'NOTHER BALLGAME for others to see me QUIT! I can easily, readily, freely, begrudgingly admit that I am a quitter to the internet world. People believe it but haven't necessarily seen it. When friends and family SEE my failures, they KNOW them to be true. It becomes a totally different relationship when you SEE that person as a QUITTER. I didn't want anyone else (my friends/family) to SEE my failure.

Uuugggh....I dislike that part of me greatly. Why would I want people to only see the best of me? That's deceitful and doesn't honor God. Please forgive me my friends!

So, in the interest of full disclosure, here's the lowdown on my first 10K! First, I was thrilled that my brother David and my friend Courtney were going to run the 10K as well. It definitely HELPS to know that I had support nearby and someone else who was going through the same pain as I was! My new friend Wanda and my friend Alice also tackled the 5K which inspired me to see them at the finish line! We lined up and off we went.

Courtney and I ran together, and I felt like we were going at a reasonable pace. When we hit the 1 mile mark, my nike app told me that we had an average time of 9:20 per mile. Okay, that may be really SLOW for some of you, but for me, it was TOO fast. I am used to running between 10:30 and 11:00 per mile. So, I knew I needed to slow down. But, I wasn't sure how. No need to worry...God sent a mountain around 1.25....have you seen the hills in Chelsea, AL? Seriously, it looked like Mount Fuji to me. What was funny to me was that I could see the hill approaching from mile 1. A friend, Pam, had told me via Facebook that she thinks about "Blessed Assurance" when she climbs hills. What music came on as I approached the hill? Blessed Assurance! Kid you not people! I ran about halfway up that hill and literally gave out. I had to walk the rest of the hill. I was disappointed but I seriously couldn't climb it all. And I thought of my friend Brian's comment...your goal is to finish. So, I walked fast.

As soon as I topped the hill, I ran again and ran for a a while. When I started walking, my brother passed me and encouraged me on. I was thankful. I kept my eye on him and Courtney the remaining time. I knew that if I ran most of the way, I could keep up.

I failed to mention that when I passed the first drink station, I clearly did not practice drinking water properly enough. I immediately regurgitated the liquid but kept going. Gotta work on that one. So, I was prepared to walk through the next drink station and actually sip the water this time. When I rounded the corner, I saw my friend Barry (who was working at the event) running toward me in street shoes. He ran with me for a little bit and made sure I was doing okay as I drank a little water. That inspired me to keep going (thank you Barry). (As a total side note here, Barry was the person who held me up as I walked back into our burned down house the night of our fire. I literally sank to the ground with tears and he picked me up and told me to keep going. That, my friends, is an encourager.)

I walked up the hill to mile 4 (have I mentioned that there were mountains in this wouldn't know it by driving the course but believe me, there are mountains in Chelsea). I was able to catch water off a sprinkler and cool off my face as I ran most of the rest of the way. Miles 3.5 - 5.5 were all running, and they were either flat or downhill. Somewhere around the lake lay a deceitful looking winding path that literally went straight up for about 20 feet at the end onto another hill! I wish I was joking. I had to walk up the rest of the path and most of the hill.

By then I was at mile 6 and only had .2 to go...and it was all downhill!!! I was almost in tears at this point just thinking back over the journey that God has had our family on. He has taught me more about myself and more about relying on Him than I have ever known. I truly know what it means to rely on Him for sustenance. I rejoiced in His goodness and praised Him for His great plan. My favorite running song, "Stronger" by Mandisa, came on and I worshiped the Almighty as I ran. I crossed the finish line!

God allowed me the privilege and joy of seeing friends as I finished. What an honor to celebrate with them! And what a blessing to celebrate with others as they completed their 10K journey! We took lots of photos and enjoyed the time waiting to see results!

You are NOT going to believe this but I came in 3rd for my age group (40-49). I was awfully proud as you can tell by the ridiculous grin on my face. I got a medal, and you better believe it's hanging up in my bedroom right now!

My next goal is a half marathon which I probably won't run until February of 2013. I cannot believe I just typed that....


Becca said...

Yay! So happy for you! :)

Amy said...

I am so proud of you! And super impressed! You are an amazing inspiration to me! Thank you for doing this journey and sharing along the way!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!

Jess Elyse said...

haha love it!!
I especially love that last sentence! You are definitely an inspiration.