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Adrenaline - the best thing since water

Sunday, July 4, 2010
And another one... and another one... and another one bites the dust. :) I am definitely talking about my list items here. Because today I accomplished my list item to run a 5K. Yep... the item that kind of started this whole list insanity and made me realize the power that comes with telling people what you want to get out of life... all your hopes and dreams... you know... all that jazz. :) I finished that one. And I know I sound like I'm arrogant or cocky or just plain bragging, but I'm not. I'm totally excited. Utterly excited. I can't believe I'm this excited. 

I have to tell you all about it. I know you are just sitting on the edge of your seat to hear/read it. :)

We went to the drive-in movie theater last night, despite the fact that it meant I would probably not get home until after 2 a.m. Probably an idea that most people would think is stupid before a big race day, but for me, it was the right thing. For one, I don't require much sleep (thus the blogs that I post in the middle of the night sometimes), and for two, I had to think about something other than the next morning or I would totally convince myself that I could not do it. So, we watched Toy Story 3 and I dozed in and out of sleep during Grown Ups. I got in bed at like 3 a.m., set the alarm for 6:40 and was up on time. As soon as the alarm went off, I jumped out of bed, totally excited. And then... it hit me like a ton of bricks. My nerves. When I get nervous, I usually feel like I'm running late. So, I made Brad get up and I rushed through getting the kids dressed. We had to be on time. :) 

Deep breathing. That's about all Brad kept hearing from me on the way to Frankfort. I'd sigh, tell him I thought I would puke, breathe in really deep, and then give myself a pep talk over and over. I'm surprised the batteries on my MP3 player weren't dead from me checking them 100 times. I asked Brad repeatedly if I should wear the tank or the t-shirt. It was, to my delight, a wonderful 61 degrees when we left home, so I should have been fine with either. But, that just panicked me more. I always run in a tank, would the t-shirt throw me off mentally? I KNOW... like the t-shirt would really make a difference... :) 

Brad was great... he usually isn't all that great at pep talks because he doesn't ever freak out. It's hard for someone who doesn't understand freaking out to relate and say the right things. But, he did. He just kept reminding me that this was a trial run and that it was just like any other morning run that I've been doing. That helped. It actually really helped. So, thanks honey. 

When we pulled into the parking lot and I saw people running the course to "warm up," I felt like puking again. Then, I saw all the cars and people. More thoughts of puking. But, fortunately, no puking happened. I shook it off, let my adrenaline rush me, found the registration area, found Rebecca, and together we nervously made our way to the group of people massing the area. I have no idea about actual head counts on the race, but I have to think there were about 300 people there. Once we found a "spot" in the group, we started sizing up the competition, trying to figure out who would walk it so that we could feel confident we would not be the last place finishers. :) Speaking of the walkers, I was a little frustrated by the ones that lined up in the front of the race, knowing good well that they weren't going to run one step. No offense to the walkers out there, but it's hard to run around you. :) Please move to the back. It was all part of it though... figuring out how it all works, seeing how much adrenaline would rush through me, finding ways to navigate around people, and finding out that I was actually better off than I expected. 

The race started and I kept my adrenaline and speed in check, despite the constant urge to sprint through the beginning. OMG adrenaline. It is amazing. I was so excited to run past Brad, Paul, Bailey, Jake, and Joseph the first time. They were all so cute cheering us on, especially Bailey who had already figured out how and when to yell, "Go, mommy, go!" So adorable to see them becoming so excited to find us. :) Through the first mile, well whole race, really, I was playing a balancing act. I had so much energy that I was dying to use, but I was trying to pace myself, trying to not to feel the urge to sprint away, and trying to remember to chant all the good advice that Dawn Pigg had given me about how to run these things and finish. I think I was thinking so much that I didn't really realize that I wasn't concentrating on breathing. And, I was OK. I wasn't breathing hard, just normal. I didn't feel winded during any of the race, parched a few times, but not winded. And, I think it was all because I was thinking about everything and nothing all at once. I don't know what songs played on my playlist, but I am pretty sure that they didn't repeat or anything, so maybe I was just on mental auto-pilot in that sense. When we got lapped before the 1 mile marker, I was so impressed. The guy was just zooming past us without any struggle for air and he was already at his 2.5 mile mark (the race was 3.1 miles for those of you wondering). But, instead of ever feeling down and out, it was exciting to see people running that fast... to be a part of it, I guess. Maybe to hope that I could increase my speed... not even close to where that guy ran it (I think it was probably like 14 minutes or something insane), but to run it faster. Adrenaline... again. Fascinating stuff. 

When we rounded the halfway point and I saw the kids all cheering us on, I couldn't help but get the biggest smile on my face. They were so adorable and I was so happy they were there. And, so happy that I wasn't panting or crawling at that point. :) We kept running, throwing water on us, and kept running some more. When we hit the 2.5 mile marker... the point in the race that I was terrified of... the place that I hadn't surpassed yet in my training... the wonderful drug adrenaline rushed me again and I wanted to barrel through that last .6 miles. In some ways, I regret not just picking up the speed and killing myself to get there faster. I probably could have and probably should have, but I was so nervous that I'd run out of steam and have to walk. So, I kept my pace, speeding up at the 3.0 mile marker, knowing we were in the homestretch. Rebecca and I sped up, having run the whole race together (she's going to run circles around me once her leg is back, so I'm enjoying our run together now ;)). We pushed through the last tenth of a mile crossing the line together. Sweetness, complete sweetness when I saw the time. 


All you big time runners, laugh hard now and hopefully I'll laugh hard later too. But that time will forever be etched in my mind. I would have been satisfied with anything near 34 minutes. Thirty-three minutes was the time I had hoped for and talked to Brad about for weeks, as my pace always tended to be around 11 minutes per mile. I was really expecting to come in at 34. Under 33 minutes to me was huge. No records, I realize, but a record in my book. :) 

It was an awesome experience that will always remain in my heart. I was so happy to share it with Rebecca and so happy that we stuck it out together. I know we'll be at different places in our training along the way and at some point she'll run off and blow past me, but until then, it is and will be a blast. :)

And I have to thank Brad and the kids for coming out to support me. You guys have encouraged me to run and train and made it so easy for me to go. I love you all more than words can express and I appreciate you being in my corner. Brad... want to do that run with me now? I'm not going to be all mad if you beat me. Well, I might be a little mad, but not all mad, especially if you win the whole thing and some money. :) Bailey - you are totally up in the fall. We are going to do a run/walk focusing just on her. No big races, just one for her to get to do this with me. Jake - you are waiting a while. Sorry, bud... if you can't walk to the car from the ball park without wanting to be held, you aren't ready to race. :)

I love you guys so much and hate it for you all, too. Now, the addiction to running is going to step up to the next level. Sorry to my family in advance for my upcoming constant need to run... and sorry the running blogs will not be ending. lol. Bluegrass State Games is next... July 17. Let's beat that 32:58. Dawn - we need to talk about my goal-setting. :) I'll be e-mailing you this week for pointers and training suggestions. After that, there's a whole slew of races in the fall, including a possible 10K in October. Half-marathon in the spring? Duathlon-time? Hmmm... let's work on this speed. But, as if you can't tell, my adrenaline has me entirely too pumped about this and I am totally up for the next one. I told myself I'd take a few days off, but I'm not sure I can keep myself from going out and running now. It's a drug...  

And, to all of you who have given me pep talk after pep talk and encouraged me after hurting my ankle, and just been there for me through it all... thank you. I love you all for holding me accountable and making me make myself do this.