Check one off the bucket list. I hadn't run since my freshman year in high school gym class when we were required to run a mile. I hated it. My high school English teacher tried to recruit me to run cross country. Long legs can be deceiving. Just because a person is tall does not make them athletic. I declined.
My brother took up running a few years ago. I thought he'd gone mad. Even more rediculous was that he loved it. He started running mini marathons and then even a couple full marathons. I went with him to the 500 mini marathon last year for the first time to watch him run. It was moving. I watched as all these people crossed the finish line. They were tired but smiling. Many had their cameras out to record their finish as they ran. Watching people compete that were in wheelchairs, some barefoot, some 10 years old and some 70. Many were in tears but more often I think it was that sense of accomplishment more than the fatigue.
My weight had become a bit of an issue since having 3 babies. My third pregnancy was where it really started bothering me. When you have a child in the ICU, your focus is entirely on that little baby. Any focus you'd ever had on yourself is gone. For 67 days I would grab a fast breakfast on my way to the hospital, sit on my ever widening bottom, eat lunch in the cafeteria, sit some more, and grab some fast food on the way home. The couple pounds I lost when she was born came right back. And then some.
So in September of 2011 I started the "Couch to 5K" running program. And a couple weeks into that my best friend, a fellow non runner, told me she'd just signed up for the 2012 500 mini marathon.
I decided to wait to sign up after I'd completed the couch to 5K. If I couldn't commit to that, I'd never be able to train for a mini marathon. As added incentive, I got my brother, who had since given up running for biking, to sign up too. In November, I completed the couch to 5K and signed up to run the 2012 500 mini marathon.
Yesterday, in crazy hot humidity, I ran the mini. I'm proud to say that I lived to tell about it. And I have the medal to prove it.
My brother and uncle ran the mini with me. Sadly, my best friend couldn't run due to an injury. She was able to run a 15K training run with me last month and rocked it, but hasn't run a step since due to a knee and hip injury. As soon as she's able, we'll be signing up for another run and we'll do it side by side.
In addition to the 3 of us running, we had our fan club with us. My mom and dad and aunt Paula came (Ron's wife) plus Brent's friend Jen and later Rob. I wish Jason and kids could have been there, but they were in Kokomo for my nephew's first communion. A nice feature to the mini is that family can sign up for alerts when runners (that's me! I'm a runner!) cross the 5K, brickyard (we run around the Indy 500 track as part of our run--cool eh?), 11 mile, and finish. So they were with me in spirit.
My uncle has sort of served as my running mentor. He's done this a few times (25 marathons. Even Boston! TWICE!) Love him.
And then there's Brent. Now that he's a bicyclist, he thinks running is dumb. And I've heard him remind me of this multiple times in the past few months. You can see his displeasure of being here. (He forgets how much he loves spending quality time with his sister.)
You can see the excitement in Brent's expression.
Ron and me heading to the start.
This was about as close as Brent got to a smile. I'm not sure what I was looking at. Maybe a little last minute prayer to God to get me through it?
With 35,000 running the event (it's the largest mini marathon in the nation) it's always a wait to get to the starting line.
There were firemen, police, and military in full gear, running and walking for various causes. Inspiring, and a bit scary considering the crazy humidity that day.
Ron actually started behind Brent and me. But did I mention he's done this a few times?
Here's Ron. Finishing before us.
It was a long and very hot 13.1 miles. I'd run the training runs (10K and 15K) with no problems and no walking, with improving speeds. I'd run 12 miles on my own at home with no problem. But the heat and humidity made it a totally different ball game. It was tough.
Right before the finish we spotted our cheering section. It's really nice having people there to support you and cheer you on. What we didn't realize is how stressful it would be for some of them. They told us of the number of people passing out, being taken away on stretchers, on IV's for hydration. We knew we were okay, but they were quite worried about us.
As miserable as it was, the last stretch, with all the people cheering you on, was exciting. Almost fun. But Brent might be right. Running might be a bit dumb.
Them: So what'd you think?
Little brother turned out to be quite handy. I didn't expect him to run with me because he's quite a bit faster than me. But he stuck by me. He coaxed me along. He kept me going. I love him.
Heading back to the car.
It's amazing once you've done it, how painful it is to just step off a little curb.
But here we are. We did it. With medals to prove it. It's not that dumb.
Next weekend: The Dirty Girl Mud Run. Thank goodness it's only a 5K.