Couch to 5k

I like to imagine myself as “marathon mom,” dressed in bright workout clothes at the starting line, ready to time myself for a perfect run, but I have never raced. And on Saturday when I was preparing for my first 5K I started out all wrong.

I ate Coco Puffs for dinner the night before the race. Then I drank a coffee the morning of the 5K. Yikes!

As Mark and I found ourselves at the starting line, I wasn’t timing myself. And the only thing I was checking was to see if I still had a pulse. I did, so I assured myself that I was capable of running.

Anticipation grew as we waited for the gun shot, but all we heard was a little horn. Startled, a mob of people started running. I darted out of there running like a wild and free woman. The wind pulled my ponytail back and I felt like I could run forever. Passing several people I raced away. Running a 5K was so fun.

Of course I hadn’t trained very well because of giving birth to sweet Eleanor, sickness, and several snow days, so my initial pace was way too fast. But I was totally riding adrenaline as I flew down the first hill.  

When I got a mile into the run, my tank was close to empty when a cramp started to form. It threatened to take over my stomach. By the time I was tempted to walk and even crawl if necessary, I realized I probably needed a morale boost. I needed my mom to drive behind me in her car playing “Eye of the Tiger” or something.  

But she was waiting at the finish line with my three kiddos so it was just me and my cramp. Mark stayed with me and encouraged me to push through.

By the time we reached the water station, I was wondering where the nap station was. It would have been so lovely to crawl to a warm spot in the grass and lie down in the sun for a while.

As fleeting thoughts of rest trickled through my mind, Mark kept giving me little pep talks that kept me going. Somewhere along the way I found my second wind and was able to make it up “cardiac hill” (as I named it) and finish the race with Mark by my side.

Both Mark and my parents came and watched our kids. Elias loved looking for daddy.

Several of our friends from church raced with us.

My friend Abby got first place in her age bracket!

Here is a little proof that I didn’t crawl across the finish line.

Finishing my first ever race, I marked off one of my New Year’s resolutions.

To our great surprise Mark and I placed third in our male/female age brackets (25-30 years). That totally inspired us to want to run again in the future.      

Mark and I had so much fun! We already want to do another race.