Today I took a step toward restitution with myself for the race I missed.
I signed up last-minute for a 5k in the same town, Rockdale. And lucky for me, part of the course was the same– a few streets. The weather was also similar- chilly and windy, but no rain. A little warmer, I think.
I began on Meadow Ave. and then up Morris St., just as I would have last time. But this time, I was healthy, rested, and ready. I had slept great the night before, I’ve been cooking vegetables and eating better.
I gave myself a full three weeks to get over my cold and recover. I ran twice this week at 5:30 a.m. with a friend from work. I rested on Friday. Those runs were slow, but today I felt great. NO KNEE PAIN! No pain at all.
It was a small race. I parked at a Catholic church two blocks away and got there in just enough time to drink a little coffee first. I stretched, and a race photographer took a picture of me.
I was slow and steady– and did actually run the majority. My estimated pace is 14:33 according to my Nike Run app, though I find it’s usually a little different than what official race times record. But I saw the clock– I finished at 45:43!! Within the 45 minute range. I hit my goal– pace under 15!!
The race was honestly pretty easy. I enjoyed the course– the hills and the space. I was confident in my outfit, too. Just 3/4 running pants and one base layer zip-up, a hat. Some light gloves, wool socks.
Near the last mile, I dropped one of my gloves. A woman who seemed close to my age was running behind me, and she stopped to pick it up. I thanked her. She brought it up to me, and then began walking. We were at the same pace for awhile– though opposite sides of the road. I tried encouraging her to run, “Come on, you can do it!” and “Let’s pick it up!”
But she was winded, really struggling. How many times have I been her? Many. She knows the limits of her body and how much rest she needs in a race. So I wished her well and passed her up.
When I saw the finish line, I went for it!! I feel like I finished strong. Volunteers were handing out medals for everyone– I was so grateful! We also were given a bottle of water.
I asked someone to take my picture! Posing triumphantly.
There was a variety of food in the tent.
I got a free sports massage, which I’ve always wanted to do at a race! He worked on my calves, it felt great.
I didn’t stick around– it was too cold! But all day, I felt wonderful.
Then I went and signed up for a three-month membership to my local athletic club. Tomorrow I get re-fitted for my new running shoes.
I can *FEEL my life getting better.
Now I’m a runner, but come tomorrow, I will also be taking some classes, hopefully swimming, and learning to cross-train.
I’m so glad I didn’t let the loss of missing that race break my resolve to run.
As I’m learning, I’m actually pretty good at it.