February 25, 2012

The Cowtown

11:15 AM Friday
Picking up the packet for The Cowtown 5K that is tomorrow. I’m checking out the place to arrive in the morning and where the starting line will be. I am glad I came by today. I would have been nervous if I didn’t know all of this in the morning.
7:00 PM Friday
I had hoped to go to sleep early tonight but I am taking my Sonshine to a party. I will be here until after 9:00 PM.
Race Day
2:00 AM
I just had a great phone call from T. He's an inspiration for me in fitness. We talked almost an hour. I feel very encouraged!
4:00 AM
I am awake. Ugh.
5:00 AM
I am awake again. Not yet. It isn’t time.
I’m awake again. Okay. Going with it.
6:00 AM
I am convinced I left my ear warmer thingy in Austin last weekend. I'll just use the cat burglar hat. My head is gonna sweat. Oh, well. Sweat means I'm working. Have to pee. Nervous!
6:05 AM
I am just going to go. Too nervous. Who cares if I feel cute? I feel anxious, excited! Let's do this!
7:00 AM
Just arrived. Have to pee. Cool. The vendors are selling Ear warmer things. Hope they've got pink. Pink makes me feel girly. I have to pee.
7:30 AM
Starting in 45 minutes. Really nervous. So many people here. Maybe excited more than nervous? I need to pee again! :0 Found a pink ear warmer thingy. What a cool saying!
7:41 AM
Everyone is stretching inside. I guess I should, too? Oh brother. They're doing half marathons. I'm doing a 5k. Oh well....stretching. Yes, I need to pee.
7:45 AM
Excitement is moving from inside to outside. I'll join them. Why did I do this by myself again? Oh, that's right. I have something to accomplish. It's mental and emotional. Not physical. I don't have to pee. I wish my Sonshine was here.

8:00 AM
Standing in the line to begin. So much excitement around. Everyone looks normal. Few bionic types in this part of the line. I can do this. I don't want to be with the fast runners. But ahead of the walkers. I'm going to be alright. My nose is running. The cold doesn't help. No worries. I don't have to pee. But I gotta run!
8:15 AM
(I am not writing as I go, of course, this will be from memory)
The gun apparently sounded. I didn’t hear it from where I’d positioned myself. I wanted to be in the middle. Not with the fastest starters but not with the walkers. When everyone started moving, so did I.
I looked at my clock as soon as I crossed over the starting line. I knew the chip I had on my shoe would get my time but I was watching for something else. I started running. I had my ear buds in but no music on. I could hear all the cheering. The adrenaline I felt from the crowd of runners and those cheering pushed me to run farther than I ever had before beginning to walk. I timed it. Wow. I did that. And I am doing it.
We walked through a beautiful neighborhood. I didn’t want to miss anything so I took time to notice some of the beautiful homes. But I also noticed that everyone was moving at a different pace. I also took note of the fact that I wasn’t over-invested in anyone around me. I was in this race. Just me. This was a race against myself.
Passing the one-mile marker was great. I remembered from the elevation the first mile was mostly uphill. Great. So I started to run again.

Now, I learned a valuable lesson during mile 2. I used a little talcum powder before the race. That is a real "doughn't" for the future.

The rest of the race was a time for thinking. With each step I took I could feel my life moving forward. I was leaving some of the past behind. And I was moving headlong into the future. One that I will own.
After crossing the finish line, I sent this text message to someone who probably understands where I am better than anyone, "I finished. I'm in a port-a-pottie weeping. I had no idea how emotional this would be".
I had no idea I would be as emotionally impacted by that 5K. I go 3 miles on the treadmill or around the park several times a week. I didn't know how paying $30, getting a T-shirt, a bib number and doing it with 5000 other people possibly make it different. It did.
I wasn't a skinny, athletic kid who gained weight as I got older. I was always a chubby kid. Sometimes I still fall when I walk. Even though basketball is my favorite sport, I can't play.
I was out to do something to me today. Being alone was the best situation for the Cowtown 2012. This was about proving something to myself. And I did. But I am not finished. I still have miles to go.

I finished. And I even finished ahead of many. I even have the chip number to verify that.

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