|Me, getting my praise on as I’m making it through the first part of the race|
|My BGR Sister Friends – Today we were Team Polka Dot!|
|Deneen and I after the race AND after I had dried my eyes|
|Traci and I after the race AND after breakfast. I finally had a chance to put my race shirt on.|
I am still overwhelmed from this morning. I participated in the Colon Cancer Coalition’s Get Your Rear In Gear 5K race today and I am proud to say, not only did I finish the race but I ran the whole thing!!!
The morning started off a little rough. My girlfriend Traci and I drove around for what seemed like forever just to find a parking spot. Once we did it was a mile away from where we need to report for the race AND we had to get our walk on just to there. We had already resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to miss the group picture with our running group and we were stressing about where we were to report to get our numbers. But it all worked out for the good. When we got there they were announcing that “Team Polka Dot” was taking a group picture on the Art Museum step. We were able to run up and get in the picture…YAY! At the bottom of the step was the tent where our numbers where, which was great because just at that point they started calling for runners to line up at the starting line.
There were thousands of people and the energy was high. I was a little anxious. I had already purposed in my heart that I was going to run with two purposes in mind. The first was that I was going to run the whole 3 miles without stopping. The second was I would FINISH the race and finish strong. As we took off I felt good and was able to stay with the crowd. I quickly slowed my pace because I did not want to wear myself out before I even got started. Although I ran slow the whole time, I never broke my stride and I would say after completing the first mile I began to get in the zone. People were running past me left and right, but I didn’t care. I was not in a race against them, I was in a race for myself! During the race I would try to pace myself with a few people who were also slower runners, but even with that I felt myself getting winded and tired so I dropped back. Finally I spotted an older gentleman who was walking (walking at a brisk pace I might add). I stayed behind him for a while and at some point I started running to pass him which I did. I stayed ahead of him which let me know that I was running just a little faster. It made me feel good when I was able to run past these two young ladies who were also walking at a brisk pace. As I was nearing the finish line all of a sudden the older gentleman appeared a few steps ahead of me. As tired and as worn out as I felt I was bound and determined not to let the man beat me to the finish line. I quickened my pace, pumped my arms and ran as fast as I could. There was a man on the sideline about a quarter mile away from the finish line calling out runners numbers encouraging us to bring it in. When I heard him call my number (652) I picked it up even more. When I made it across the finish line I was so glad it was over that the reality of what I had just accomplished didn’t fully hit me. I made my way to our group tent and there I saw some of my sister friends who had completed the race before me. One of them was my friend Deneen. She gave me a high five and looked me in my eyes and told me how proud she was of what we had both accomplished…and with that the flood gates opened and I was completely overwhelmed with tears of joy. She and another young lady held my hand and told me to go on and let it out. Until you accomplish something you never thought you could there is no way to understand the feeling I felt this morning.
I am praising God for the strength he gave me to run and finish that race. As I was running I was thinking to myself that I would never do this again…once I finished I was ready to sign up for my next race…LOL. I am praising God for my BGR sister friends who encouraged and supported me. I am particularly thanking God for Leslie Marant, Dawn Angelique Roberts and another young lady who I am so sorry I don’t know her name, who thought it not robbery to come out and support and cheer us on even though they were not participating in this race. God is so good. I can’t stop crying. A few months back I saw a posting on facebook that said runners are not criers…that may be true while we are running, but oh the joy of accomplishing something major in your life…you can’t help but cry.
And so this is another check mark I can make on my journey. I completed the race in 50:52 minutes and I came in at 576 in my gender. Although I am sharing these numbers they mean absolutely nothing to me because the only thing I wanted to do was run the whole time and finish the race….and I did!
Love, Peace and Zumba!