I’ve been bitten by the bug…the running bug. I know it’s CRAZY! I hate running. If you ask me, my life better be in danger before you would catch me running. But I may have to eat those words now. You see, I let my best friend Tina talk me into doing the Country Music Mini Marathon with her. I agreed, under the premise that we would walk it. But even with walking it, we had to complete it within 60 minutes in order win a medal. So we set our pace a few days ago with a run tracker Tina has, and we knew that today we would have to walk that pace at a minimum. Every time Tina said she would get me running, I rolled my eyes. Ha! No one can get ME running!
Then we went to the Health and Fitness Expo that was held the two days prior to the marathon. The atmosphere was charged. I could feel the excitement while walking through the expo. I could see the camaraderie among everyone there, and there was a feeling of excitement to it all. I thought to myself, there could be something to this marathon thing – and I can still walk them and get a medal. I may do some more after this!
Then today, the big day, came. After being up half the night at a rock concert, it was difficult to pull myself out of bed at 4 am. I slept in until 4:30 am, then slowly rolled out of bed. I got ready and left the house at 5 am. I had to get downtown to pickup Tina before the roads around her apartment were closed at 6:00 am. Smooth traffic at 5:00 am….almost. When I got closer to downtown, there it sat…..traffic that resembled rush hour! WTF! I couldn’t sit in marathon traffic! I had to get to Tina before the road closures. Our plan was for me to pick her up and drive to the start line, which happens to be near my parking lot for work. Then since she lives near the finish line, we would hop in her car afterwards and she would drive me back to mine. Perfect! Except now I faced a traffic jam. Well, one benefit of being a local and not from out of town, I know some back ways in. 😉 I was set. I picked up Tina. We picked up Starbucks (yes I failed at quitting that), and headed to the start line.
We had 45 minutes to kill before the start of our segment of the race. We wasted most of that looking for the gear check station. Then we waited at the start line. The time moved slowly. I was ready to GO! Tina asked me if I wanted to run instead of walk. I laughed inside my head and gave her that look that said she should know me better than that! Because some people behind us may be running, I told her that we would see what pace everyone around us started at so we wouldn’t get run over. 6:45 hit. We were off. Some walkers, some runners. We started with a light jog. When we got to the first traffic light I declared that was enough and we started walking. Strangely, my feet hurt more walking than running – well more specifically, my toes hurt. Apparently, the comfortable shoes I wore to last night’s concert weren’t so comfortable after all. Now my toes were in pain, more so when I walked. I suggested to Tina that we go by traffic lights – run to one, walk to one, run to the next one, etc. So we started that. The first run stretch was so easy. So then we decided instead of lights, we would walk up hills and run down hills. Even better; and it was keeping us way ahead of our necessary pace! On the first run down hill, Adele’s Rolling in the Deep started playing in my headphones. An awesome song for the run. We ran down hill. The song wasn’t over. I wanted to finish the song. I was determined to finish the song. So we ran up hill as well. We hit the half way point, the water station, and the 1/2 marathoners were starting to approach behind us. We had to change course. We ran down hill again. Then turned and had a much steeper hill. Definitely a walker – but it was a somewhat short distance. Turn – run again. Brief walk, but then we were so close to the end…had to run. It was exhilarating! I ran more than half of this mini marathon! Running through the finish line was AWESOME to say the least. I accomplished something I would NEVER have dreamed of doing in my life! No one was threatening me. There wasn’t some mass murderer with a chainsaw behind me. No hungry wild animals. Just simply an awesome friend providing me unlimited support whether I chose to walk or run, and a crowd cheering us on. It gave me the energy and momentum I didn’t know I had. We ran through the finish line – my time 38:37. OMG!! The pace we had planned should have taken us the entire hour. We beat it! I RAN!!!! Not only that, but what was supposed to be only 2.6 miles was actually a 5k run.
As if running through the finish line wasn’t exhilarating enough, there it was, my medal! I was handed this beautiful honor and then walked through to more little gifts. Food everywhere, water, Gatorade, yummy delicious snacks. Breakfast! We had our photos taken. We ate. Then we had to walk almost the same distance we ran to get back around to Tina’s car. Picked up another Starbucks and headed for my car. With every stop we made, starting back up to walk was getting harder. By the time we reached my car my legs were on fire. Even more so when I put pain relieving gel on them. OMG the pain! I got home and slept several hours.
I’m still in pain, I still feel dehydrated, I even feel a little sick, but I want to do it again. Did I just say that?! YES! I want to do it again! The plans are already brewing between Tina and I. Time to update my bucket list. I can’t wait. This is a day I will never forget.