Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hills. Hurt. Hope. Happiness.

This past Saturday was the Great North Race here in Indy. My sister-in-law Jen and I pledged a month ago we were going to run the 5K. Run, no walking. Sounded good to me...just a mere year ago I was running 11 minute miles without a problem. Well needless to say "taking a year off" (if that is what you call having a baby - ha!) has seemed to make that 11 minute mile not sooo...wellll, lets just say 11 minutes anymore.

Over the past few weeks, it has been very trying to find the time in our crazy schedule, and sometimes sleepless schedule, to even think about running. But somehow, and someway, it slowly began to happen. Amazingly enough I found myself running a couple practice 5K's in our neighborhood. I finished, but not gracefully nor quickly. However, I finished. Game on.

So here it is, March 12th and we are ready to roll. Jen and I are set out to run the 5K while the rest of our families are running in the 1K.
A few pre-run photos...

It was a pretty nice day for March...or should I say for a March day in Indiana. Brisk, but not freezing and sun shining. Our race began at 9:20 and off we went. As I was settling into my pace and trying to persevere I was thinking:
1. Getting passed. A lot. But still passing a few what if they are walking?
2. (as I turned the corner near the end of the first mile) Holy smokes look at that hill ahead, are you kidding me??!!?
3. Wonder how Emma is doing in her 1K....I'm so crazy proud of her.
4. (second mile) So is my knee acting up because my foot hurts, or does my foot hurt because my knee is acting up? ugh.
5. (turning the corner in last mile) Wind?!?! Crap, where did this come from? This is going to slow me down. Or should I be thanking God for using this wind to push me the first 2/3's of the race!

Before the race began, Jen and I agreed we would both be happy to clear 45 minutes, making slow but steady 15 minute miles. When I rounded the corner to the straight away and could see the timer above the finish mark, I was ecstatic. 37:20, 37:21,! I crossed that line at 37 minutes and 34 seconds, averaging 12:04 miles. That felt good. Still a ways away from being where I would like to be on the fitness scale, but what an encouragement. Awesome.

And of course our post-run "we-are-number-one" photo...

As for Emma and her Dad (Hope in stroller)....they did outstanding. I hear that Emma was slowing down a bit and her Dad said he could tell she was getting tired, until he announced to her that they could see the finish line. She looked up at him and said, "Well lets go!" and she then sprinted off passing people.

My nephew, Grover and his Dad also ran the 1K. Speed demon Grover took third place in the friendly noncompetitive race. As for his dad? I guess you can say he came in first for his age division....just keep in mind the dozen of 10 year olds that he watched cross the finish line in front of him.

What a great start and good feeling to be back on track. Back where I left off a year ago. Getting serious about my health then has changed my life forever. Forever.

I am reminded that even though running a race where the hills can hurt, there is still hope. And let me tell you my Hope is happiness. Pure happiness.

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