What was I going to do? I had said I would, and these girls thought I would! Even though, they knew it would be challenging because of my schedule changes, they knew I could, and they thought I would. After soul-searching and praying, my response was, “I WILL DO IT!”
I didn’t know how, but I knew I would!
I took care of a few things I had to do before lunch, and then headed on up to the Runner’s Expo at the convention center. The Marathon that is held this weekend every year is a very big deal, and there are runners from all over the country here to run a marathon on February 14. There is a “Family Fun Run” and the “Neon Night 5K” held the night before.
At the Expo, there were over 100 vendors along with information, course maps, and the final opportunity to register. I wanted to get a feel for the event before making my decision. As I walked around and looked at the memorabilia, souvenirs for successful runners, water bottles, nutrition bars, glow gear and more, I played out scenarios. Scenario 1 saw me running across the finish line, arms in the air, with a victory cheer from the spectators. Scenario 2 was me walking alone in the dark arriving at the Finish Line just as they were taking it down, and no one to be seen anywhere but my loyal husband and son.
Scenario 2 held a lot of power over me because of the fiasco of the last run. True, this was a better organized run involving hundreds more people, but I was aware that these people were definitely more experienced runners and could very easily all finish ten to twenty minutes before me. Success to me would be completing the distance in any amount of time because I had done next to nothing in 7 weeks. So I decided that my definition of success was not equal to those who would be my running companions.
Hence, Sharon’s It’s Possible Daylight 5K was born.
After not registering at the Expo, and not buying the t-shirt that said,
“If you’re behind me, you probably didn’t train, either,”
I drove around plotting out the best course for my run. I decided on the 1.5 miles around Broadway at the Beach
that the other runners would begin with. Their race would start at 7:00 pm. My race would start at 5:00 so I could finish before dark. Keep in mind, I had never trained to walk/run in cold temperatures. It was 30 degrees, and I am much happier when it is 70.
I was not sure if I could endure the cold or the distance, but I was prepared to slow my pace as much as needed to cover that distance because I said I would! I decided my course would end at my gym, Planet Fitness which was located .7 miles from Broadway at the Beach cutting through parking lots at Target and Lowes. If I was frozen or fallen, I could be picked up by my son, Jay who was circling around keeping an eye on me for safety. He would then whisk me over to the gym where I could go in and finish the distance on the treadmill because I said I would. I laid out the course so an extra half lap around Broadway would get me to the 3.1 (5K) mark at the door of Planet Fitness!
Here’s how it turned out:
We got to BATB at 5. I found out my phone was dead or near dead so I would not be able to keep contact with Jay, nor would I be able to check my speed (which is the motivating factor, as I like to beat my speed along the way). The solution was to use Jay’s phone. We took some time downloading an app for me to check my distance and speed. By this time, it was near 5:30 and the runners for the Family Fun Run were gathering. There were hundreds of them from ages 4 to 94, it seemed.
“My people!” I exclaimed. Jay and I both got caught up in the excitement, and I decided to blend in with them and go the first mile with them. Their run was only a mile to accommodate the little ones and older ones. As they took the short cut through Broadway, I continued the long route I had planned and made the loop in time to meet Jay at about the 25 minute mark. During that 25 minutes, his phone died because I had been running two apps to track my mileage. By the time I tagged with Jay, I was way into this 5K and knew I could do it. It was invigorating! I was falling in love with exercise again!
It was getting dark, but I pressed on. I crossed the street, passed some walkers, and met Jay at the next checkpoint. After passing Lowes and Target and going a little further to be sure I covered the 5K distance, I crossed the parking lot and met Jay at the Finish Line in a respectable time of about 53 minutes with an average pace of 3.5 mph. True, there was no official Finish Line, and my only spectator was Jay (Larry was still working,) but there was victory, just the same! This was my very first full outdoor 5K. I know I can do better. I know I will do better, but I did it! I said I would, and I am a better person for it.
This success story is the story about the value of a group coming together to encourage and to believe in one another and hold one another accountable! Thank you is not enough, ladies, but Thank you!