I started running once school started this year. Both of my kids were going to be in school all day long, and I promised myself I'd give myself time to do something for me. Not for me like, clean the house, for me. Like giving myself time to do something FOR ME. NO ONE ELSE. So I decided I'd start running. Maybe not every day, and some days I'd run more than others, but the majority of the time I'd be running every day. Nearly two months of running in, my dear friend bought me a 5k for my birthday. Oddly enough I loved it. I absolutely LOVE a good challenge. Especially when I don't have a choice. So, when I turned 34 I had about 3 weeks to finish prepping for a 5k. I told myself I wasn't going to walk, and that I'd run the entire time. My goal was to come in under 35 minutes. So I trained for 3 more weeks, trying to time myself to come in under 35 minutes with little to no walking.
I ran my 5k yesterday. I teared up once it started. I mean, duh. Its me, guys.
"Never in a million years did I ever think I'd ever be running in a race."
"I'm so proud of myself."
"You've come a long way, Megan."
"Kick some ass."
All sorts of things rushing through my head that first 100 steps. One of which was "please don't barf"
I didn't barf. I came close about 4 times. I swore there were times that the race was never going to end. Where THE HELL IS THE FINISH LINE!?!? I swear this is NEVER GOING TO END.
I finished. At one point there was a big (huge) hill right before the finish. I kept my head down not watching how big the hill was, not paying attention to how much further I had to go. I told myself to keep my head down and work. Focus. One foot in front of the other. One. Step. At. A. Time. I couldn't let such a huge hill, a big challenge, defeat me before I was done.
Don't pay attention to anything else around you but your movement. One foot in front of the other.
About 100 yards out from the finish line, a sprinter came running by me. I synced steps with him and locked in. I sprinted the last 100 yards of a 5k. My final time was 32 minutes on the dot. I came in 26th in my division. I finished in the top 10% of the race. Not bad for my first race.
Most importantly, I finished. But the competitive side of me is pleased. I have a baseline of what to measure my future 5k's against.
One thing I kept thinking while spending 32 minutes of my life running on hard asphalt, was how much this race meant to me in my 2016 year of events. It was like a bow on my entire year. The final touch to just wrap it all up. 2016 has been AMAZING. A year full of healing, growth, challenges, hurdles, and HUGE accomplishments. There were moments where 2016 felt like it was never going to end. I didn't think I'd made it. I thought it would be easier to just throw in the towel. But I'm 100 yards out, ready to make my final push and sprint. We've got a little over 7 weeks left of the year. Who's ready to sprint?! Who's ready to finish it out and grab your medal (and a HUGE bottle of water)? Make your final 100 yards count, guys. It matters.