Joshland Note: If you are behind a few posts, click on the link to catch up on all this 5K madness. You should start reading from the bottom of the page to the top. : MY 5K JOURNEY
The race is over. You're now "a runner!" my wife said as she was handing me some water.
"I'm a hurt runner." I thought to myself....
Two minutes into the run I knew it was going to be a long 3.1 miles. The crowd of runners surged past me with what seemed to be VERY LITTLE effort. To make matters worse, my body wasn't ready for this weather. My lungs felt frost bitten from the 48 degree air. It was unlike any atmosphere I'd trained in over the last two months. My leg was finished 3 weeks ago, but the chill in the air stiffened it up even more. I pushed through because I needed to finish this race, but I knew it was not going to be pretty.
Running alone among a crowd of people, I felt so lost. My legs crumbling beneath me, begging me to stop. I slowed down for them, but I knew I couldn't stop. If I did I knew I wouldn't start again. All that training would've went right down the drain. I just had to keep going. Thank goodness I'm a stubborn ass. Oh, and the mom with the kid in the stroller who was hot on my heels didn't hurt my motivation either.
For some reason I couldn't get into a rhythm. I was the running version of Steve Martin in The Jerk...always off the beat. It was frustrating and humbling because I had so many good runs in the past few days. I didn't know how to fix it, so I just kept going.
The last leg of the race I saw my wife at the top of the hill.
"You're doing great, Joshy. Just keeping going." she cheered.
"I...(gasp)...hafta...(gasp)...finish." I choked out.
"I know you do." she said as she smiled at me.
I half smiled back at her and kept moving. Just then, I noticed a "Little Brother" struggling to keep moving, so I told him to run with me. I did not know his name, I only knew he needed me. We ran side by side until just before the finish. That's when I nodded at him and kicked in whatever energy I had left to cross the finish line.
After the race I was in pain and hunched over on the side of the path, coughing my brains out with no thought of what I looked like to onlookers. I started to well up with tears because I was hurt, but I was happy. I finished in 40 minutes. That's much faster than I anticipated. I pushed myself harder than I've ever pushed myself before. Maybe that's why I was off rhythm? I guess my unorthodox running paid off after all. 2 months of training and I still don't know a damn thing about running. :-)
After a long embrace from my wife and my mother, all I wanted to do was get my well-earned race t-shirt and head home. I left there with a piece of 50 cotton/50 poly pride and that was good enough for me.
It's my honor to inform you (as I sit here still hurting from the 5K 12 hours later) that I am officially retired from running. Not from exercise, just from running. My body prefers it that way as does my doctor. I think I do too. :-)
Thank you - friends, family, CF Community, and readers - for running with me today. You were in my head and in my heart with every step. Every single one of you. Please know that I believe in you too. Try your best to achieve the goals you set for yourself. I will be one voice in your corner, just as you were one voice in mine. A special thanks to my wife, mother, and step father for coming to the race. It meant a lot to me.
This is dedicated to Angie, Conner, Katie W., and all of my friends who have passed away. You will always be in the hearts of those who loved you.
This post is also dedicated to my friends who are still running a foot or a mile:
- Emily (kick ass on your half in Motown, E!)
- Ronnie (You can totally rock your 5K, Diesel!)
- Jessica M. (Great job on your 5K!)
- Rosie the Mermaid (Running the road and runnin' STAX!)
- Big Mike from FLA!
- Colleen (Hugs, baseball buddy!)
- Rosie B (Keep pumpin' those lungs, girl!)
- Chad and Kari (Thank you for never doubting me. Love you both.)
- Kristi H. (Thanks for showing me what it takes to push yourself.)
- And the slew of others I haven't even mentioned. You know who you are!
Here is my video of my 5K experience. It's something I am very proud of and will treasure forever:
Peaceful and Goal Reaching Things,