It was a good day…

Honestly, it was a great day.

It’s no surprise that I’m constantly in my head. If you read any of my blogs, you’ll notice a reoccurring theme, usually one that tends to put myself down because of ‘whatever reason’. Today was different. I did something today that NEVER, in my entire life, would I have had the courage to do and I’m taking the ENTIRE day as a win. I completed a 10k today.

A little background before I get into Race Day…

So, I signed up for a 10k because of Felicia, one of my plyofit sisters. It’s all her fault. Well, it’s actually Carlos’ fault because we actually wanted to sign up for the 5k, thinking baby steps, but he put his foot down and said no. Told us to sign up for the 10k. We signed up, reluctantly, but nonetheless, signed up. So, here is what I was thinking as I signed up…I was already thinking about ways to NOT do this 10k. I looked for every excuse, but with every excuse comes details. I’m a terrible liar. Unless I was hurt, there was no getting out of this and I really didn’t want to be hurt because then my times at Plyo would be limited exercise. So, I thought, I’ll figure out a way to get out of this when it gets closer. I’ll just train and see what happens. Honestly, I was scared and as this day came…I realized there was no getting out of this.

The Night Before Race Day…

I tried to leave school early to pick up my packet. That didn’t happen. I was already a little agitated because it was downtown, I didn’t know where to park, and it was far, blah blah blah. Just in my head complaining about everything. But Felicia happened to be getting her packet at the same time so we walked downtown together. That helped. We even enjoyed the expo, played some games, met some cool peeps, and ran into some Plyo buddies. My anxiety wasn’t so high. When I got home, I game planned, and I’m not going to lie to you…I was STILL straight up looking for an excuse to get out of this. There was that little corner of my brain that was whispering things like, ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘you don’t belong out there’. But I knew I worked hard for this, whether I was ready or not and I had to give myself the chance to fail at this. Carlos believed in me so I had to believe in myself.

When I got home from the expo, I game planned. I thought about what was important that I would need and figured out what I would want but wasn’t quite a necessity. I put them all in my bag that I was going to wear on Race Day. I put my Theragun next to my shoes, which were next to my folded up clothes. I made sure to have my bib, license, phone, and lacrosse ball in my bag. These were all the essentials. I went to bed knowing that I was going to get up in the morning to walk/run (because I did run a little) 6 miles into an area that I was not at all familiar with.

Race Day…

Today, I woke up knowing that I was ready. I used the Theragun before I left and did some stretching. My amazing husband got up to take me to the race. While he drove, I checked and double checked for all of my essentials. I was super nervous already. He dropped me off at Sunset Station and I sat there, not really knowing what I was doing there. I met Alicia when I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. She told me she had flown in from Chicago to do the 5k. She then explained that she was going to turn 50 in November and that she was going to complete 50 races, no matter the distance, by the time she was 50. That is amazing. She’d average at least one a week. Then I thought to myself, I can do one race. Alicia is going to do 50, I can at least attempt the one goal that I’ve had since I’d signed up. I owe that much to myself.

Then my Plyofamily showed up. These people are amazing. We are so different and lead so many different lives but really all have one goal when we show up to Plyo. Today, we got to share that goal together, even if we didn’t run or walk it together.

Start of the Race…

Getting ready for the race is unnerving. It’s like your waiting for an eternity. Nerves are just running all over me and I’m thinking, FLIGHT FLIGHT FLIGHT! But there is nowhere to go. I’m in this, whether I like it or not. One of the things I will be grateful for will be the woman I met at the starting line. She was in our corral and she mentioned how she had checked her backpack last year. This year she decided not to because she actually didn’t finish the race on time last year and they had cleaned up and she had to find the people who had her belongings. I had always been scared of this very thing but I was always prepared because I knew it was going to happen. Her story helped ease me. I knew my speed was not fast enough to get there on time. I never really doubted the ability to finish the race, but I doubted my ability to finish it in the time allotted. I knew that if you didn’t, you could still use the sidewalks so I prepared myself to do so. My goal was to walk those 6 miles in a time that I knew I could do it.

Bel, Linda, Fel, Roberta, and I are in our corrals waiting to start and you can hear the first corral go and we slowly are walking up to start our own races. As we are there, we make conversation, laugh and joke about everything. We take pictures and just get ready to take on this big feat that none of us have ever been a part of. Then Bel did something to help my nerves. She offered a prayer for all of us. We all huddled together and it was beautiful. Something that I felt was missing but maybe didn’t know it. It helped. Then slowly we get to the starting line and we take off. We all went our separate ways but with the same goal.

First Two Miles…

Things were great. For me, my pace was good. I took off and for the first couple of miles, I walked pretty quickly compared to my usual pace and even jogged a little. The end of the second mile, I could feel myself getting a little tired but still hustling. Then I got to the literal fork in the road that pointed me towards the race that I was intended to finish or the the one I could have finished, the 5k. It was so tempting to just give up and finish the 5k up. I knew I could do that one and my time was good to finish within the hour. Also, I saw a hill for the 10k. I decided to finish what I was set out to do. I said goodbye to my 5k friends I met along the way and set out for another 4 mile trek.

Beginning of Third Mile…

Actually, it was pretty good. I met this lady that was jogging and she helped me out with keeping my pace. I probably would have walked slower if it wasn’t for her. Now, I’ll admit. I was last. I had no problem with that. I was just trying to finish. I noticed that they were starting to pick up cones and stuff so I started getting on the sidewalk. Mentally, I had prepared myself for this but still hit kind of hard. The man even stopped to ask me if I was good and just wanted to make sure that I knew where I was going. He even asked me if I wanted a boost but I told him that I came to do 6 miles, so I was going to do 6 miles. I still had time, too. My two hours weren’t up but I understand that they have rules for how long they shutdown roads.

Things did get a little dicey after that, though. More than anything, it was because I realized that if I got lost, I was going to be legit lost. I panicked. I got up my map just to make sure that I was going to correct way and then kind of hit a wall. I could still see barricades up and there was very little traffic but then I kept going back and forth about all the ‘what ifs’. Now this all happened really fast. Then I let it get to me. Then Melissa messaged me saying that she couldn’t find me on the map with the tracker. (That was a whole other feeling. I panicked when my tracker didn’t work. I didn’t realize that they were having problems with them and neither did Melissa.) At that point, I told her I wasn’t going to finish. I was still walking at this point, and actually still in the right direction. Which is odd. If you know me, you know that I am no geographical genius.

When I told Melissa that I wasn’t going to finish, she asked me where I was and she said ‘I’m coming”. Automatically, I thought, ‘Oh, shit. She’s going to drive from her house to come and get me’. I told her not to. At this point, I’m still walking, calculating how long I had left and trying to figure out how long after I would get there. My goal had always been no more than 3 hours. I was still on the course. And right about mile 4.5, I see her running to me. She saved me. I told her that I couldn’t. Now, you have to understand. I could. I wasn’t fatigued enough to not be able to do it. I was just in my head and had told myself that the race wasn’t worth it. I was willing to give up. Then she told me something. She said, “It’s your first one. It’s supposed to be like this”. She encouraged me to finish. I also got a text from Carlos. Always encouraging. Always pushing. Always believing in me.

The Finish Line…

Melissa and I were on a mission to the finish line. She was determined to get me there. She is truly one of the greatest friends that I have and I’m thankful that she cared so much to come find me and help encourage me that last mile.

I’m also thankful for the Plyofam that started the race with me and those that stayed to make sure I crossed that line. I will forever be grateful for them.

I’d like to say that the finish line for this race is going to mean so much more to me than any other race I do in the future. I learned so much about myself during those 2 hours and 30 minutes than I have in a long time. I think it’s important to go through these moments in your life because they put things right where they should be. They help you grow and keep you centered. It was an experience that I will definitely cherish and reflect on for a very long time.

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