there is no way to describe the feeling of finishing a 5k race. there are so many phrases, adjectives, colorful words i could use to attempt to paint the picture of that sort of accomplishment. while i know most races are competitions, for me, it is not a competition with the other runners (i’ll never beat them!), but a competition with myself. it is a competition to keep going, to keep jogging, to keep moving, even if my lungs hurt, my legs ache, or i have a cramp in my side. the only object or person who will stop me is myself. so, instead of challenging other racers, i challenge myself. this week, i have challenged myself in 3 specific ways and i have, for the most part, succeeded with flying colors in every category. i ain’t no fucking pansy.
on monday, i agreed to meet my bad ass big sister, Catie, to run 3.5 miles. i would be lying if i said i didn’t dread it, simply because i knew how hard it was going to be to complete that distance. i was, at one time, highly capable of running this distance, but now, it seems just as daunting as a half-marathon. i struggled through mile one, through mile two, and finally, i made it to mile 3. i only had 7 minutes left to go in my run– i only had half a mile… until Catie told me she was going for 4 miles instead of 3.5. following her lead, and letting her motivation push me, i ran the extra distance and finished 4 miles on Monday. as cliched as it is, it has been a long time since i felt that alive.
it was a good moment. but, my lungs ultimately did not feel the same way and i spent the next couple of days trying to cough up the years of nicotine damage i’ve inflicted on them. my hip flexors also did not agree and i am thankful that the soreness has eased up. otherwise, it would have been difficult to run my race this morning.
i felt completely unprepared for my race this morning. it was snowing and cold outside, my full length running pants don’t fit right now, and i did not want to wear my good jacket to be color bombed by the volunteers of the Color Me Rad 5k. so, i wore a tiny white hoodie over a white shirt over a tanktop and my running capris. i was absolutely freezing and dreading the race. but, i got up, met Leslie in Lexington, and fucking did it anyway. not only did fucking do it anyway, but i finished in under 40 minutes, which is incredible for me, considering my last 5k time was closer to 42 minutes. my body is already responding positively to my training and to treating it well. my body already wants me to run faster, longer, and harder. i just need to keep feeding these good habits. the race itself was such a blast, though. the colors, the excitement, and the general atmosphere of fun were just so overwhelmingly wonderful. i’m so glad i did this race and even more glad i did it with good friends.
leslie let me ride with her to the race, which was very kind of her. it was also nice to have someone to get amped with before stepping into the freezing cold tundra of Lexington, KY. seriously. not a fan. leslie also ran my first 5k with me back in 2011, so it seemed wonderfully fitting to run this race with her, too.
this was trenia’s first 5k. FIRST 5k. this lady ran and finished her first 5k in the cold and snow and color bombs. i am so proud of her and so honored i got to run this race with her. i hope she had as much fun as i did.
i love this picture because of what’s happening, but i also love it because the colors are so visible on our clothing. color bombs ahoy, even that fucking liquid shit they sprayed on us. was that supposed to be some sort of cruel joke or…?
this race was a silly amount of fun and although i wish it had been warmer, it was actually a test of my endurance and commitment. i’ll be damned if i didn’t rise to that challenge and thoroughly kick its ass.
i started weight watchers again this week and it’s already helping me more than just counting calories. i need to be trained in what to eat for the rest of my life, not just by changing what i eat to fulfill a dietary need. WW has been the only program that has actually shown me results and helped me figure out the best way to eat on my own. i eat food in the real world and while it may not be the best for me sometimes, i am still trying and doing better than i have been doing in the past 6 months. with this newly revitalized motivation inside me, i have further cut back on my drinking and my cigarette habit. since monday, i have had less than 10 cigarettes and while that may still seem like a large amount, it’s actually much lower than that number would have been say, four weeks ago. i am making progress. my habits are changing. it may not be happening as fast as i would like, but it’s still happening and that’s all i can ask for, really. this is going to be an uphill battle for the rest of my life, but someday, dammit, i am going to get to to the top of that hill and shout with the voice of fucking success because i am successful and i can fucking do this.
stay healthy, y’all.