Sunday, September 23, 2012
This has been a big, huge weekend for me, on all levels. I physically pushed it, I mentally prepared, and emotionally I rode the roller coaster and found peace. I don't want to be all cheesy, but it's hard not to be about everything that this weekend has meant to me, so you're just going to have to grin and bare it. Well, or stop reading, but how much fun would that be?
On Saturday, I did the Colour Vibe 5K event with my kids and a big group of supportive friends. It was a rainy, cold day but we made the best of it any way, laughing and dancing while we waited to get started. The atmosphere at the event was FANTASTIC! People were really friendly, saying hello, dancing with us, wishing us good luck. When my youngest and I ran by some groups, they high-fived her and said she was doing awesome. It was just a general "feel good" kind of run. My eldest sped ahead with friends, not having trained at all, and didn't walk once. My youngest did her best, but as she's also a bit OCD, was concerned about the powder going in her face, and specifically her mouth. That's Momma's little worrier! We did some walk/running and ran into the finish! I saw a bunch of people I knew coming in as we waited for our friends, about 5 minutes after we had arrived and already did some celebrating! Yes, we danced some more! All in all, it was just a great, great time.
After the event though, we had to make our way downtown to pick up our Army Race kits! I got the kids changed into dry clothes at the van, but didn't feel like peeling off my own so publicly! I took off my white shirt and threw my hoodie on top. Needless to say, I was chilled to the bone and soaking wet. We also got some interesting looks downtown, and even questions as to why we were covered in colour!
That night, I got prepared once again to run today! I packed my bag, laid out my clothes and tried to get to bed early for my Army Run 5K today. Umm, not so much. I fell asleep about 12:30am and had to be up for 5:30am! I also tossed and turned and looked at the clock a bazillion times! Needless to say, I was not well rested for today! I was, however, VERY excited.
I've been training for this run for about a solid, dedicated month now, maybe a little more. I've got my running to 45+minutes straight without walking and I have a good (slower!) pace going. I've done over 5K many times and feel comfortable doing more. I wasn't worried about that, really, but more about all the variables!
Once down at the event, I'm not going to lie, the waterworks started! I got teary watching the injured soldiers start the run. I got emotional hearing the National Anthem! Once the cannon went off, we started walking up to the Start line. The chip doesn't start measuring your time until you cross the Start, even though the race started several minutes before that! Hence why the two times : the "chip" time, and then the other time, with the chip being the accurate of the two.
I started running and realized my pace was too fast, faster than I normally go. I was worried about burning out but figured the adrenaline was pumping so I'd just go with it. I had a whole play list set up, but I ended up just playing my 10 or so power songs over and over again. It literally kept me going! I tried to keep my pace steady, even if it was a bit faster than normal and saved my tank of energy til the last kilometer. I pushed at the end but didn't sprint. My app showed me hitting the 5k mark at 32 minutes and 40 something seconds but the course was actually 5.25k and I finished by my chip at 35:12. My goal was 35 minutes so either of those times is A-OK with me!
The group I've been running with is SO uber positive and supportive and encouraging. I started my day with a ton of emails and texts and FB messages and Tweets-all giving me inspiration and belief in myself and my abilities. It's a great group of people, and I feel really lucky to have met them. We met at the end all together, full of high fives and kudos. I was literally riding Cloud 9.
Now here comes the cheese.
The whole event seemed kind of surreal to me, like I was present but sort of "out of body" as well. When I got home, I literally burst into tears that I'd been holding in since the anthem! This was a really, really big weekend for me.
One of my marathon friends (like,she does big, scary REAL marathons!) had told me that if I could run a 5k on Saturday, and another on Sunday, I could totally do a 10k. I'm not really sure that I could, yet, but I'm definitely in for giving it my all. So, next scary thing to tackle? A 10k, no walking.
The other reason this was emotional for me was because, and I wouldn't trade this for a second but, for years now I've been all about my kids. I've been centering my life and my routines and my energy around them. This year, I've started to really try and take some time for ME. I've started to look at activities that interest ME. I've taken time out of our schedules just to spend doing things that make me energized or happy. That might seem silly or obvious to many, but it hasn't been easy for me to take that time without considerable guilt. I started a Bucket List this year of activities I'd enjoy trying so that I'll actually get out there and DO them!( I'm a list maker and like checking things off!) I feel, in a way, like I've been living life on the sidelines, watching it all go by while others run and jump and play and seek interests. I've leaped back into life, and I'm pursuing it with gusto! I felt emotional today because I was OUT THERE, doing this thing! I set myself a goal, I pushed through the mind games and scheduling and rain and difficult runs, and I did it. I MADE myself do it. I achieved the goal I had set, not for anyone else, not for bragging rights, not for glory....for MYSELF.
While I was listening to power song #3 for the umpteenth time, surrounded by SUCH positivity and inspiration-soldiers with one leg, on crutches, in wheelchairs....I started to think about other things in my life that need changing and need to be released because I just can't let them tie me down any more.
I'm doing so much to try and be positive and to live a full life for myself, and for my family. I've wrestled with myself mentally and physically and continue to astound myself with what I can accomplish and how I'm putting myself out there. I'm overcoming fears and walls that I've erected. My intentions are pure, and I just keep on the path, seeking to find some inner peace.
This year is about facing things head on and entering the next phase of my life with a happier, lighter, more content and well rounded heart and spirit.
I intend on pursuing, and conquering, all of my goals. Today was affirmation that nothing can stop me from doing so. It's not for my kids, not for my husband, not for my friends, not for my enemies that hope to see me fail.
This year is for me. As my friend Claire so aptly said, "The Year of Tracey."