Today I woke up at 4 a.m. My alarm was set for 6:30 a.m. but my mind had other plans. Lily and I ate a healthy breakfast, got dressed, and waited for the race. Then I got super nervous….nausea, hands numb, heart pounding nervous. I felt stupid. Why in the world was I on the verge of a panic attack over a race?? I don’t have an answer other than I really wanted this to be a positive experience for Lily and I was afraid I would let her down. She’s only 9. I’ve never run over 1.5 miles without stopping. I didn’t want my friends to know I was having trouble breathing an hour before the dang race even started.
Stephen drove us to our meeting spot. Lily and I were running with other members of the gym that Stephen and I belong to and I decided to just come clean. My friend Maria took my hand and said, “Come on. We will go run around the parking lot and you will calm down.” Bless her for helping me snap out of my nerves.
Around 200 people were at the start line and we all started out at different speeds. Lily and I chose slow and steady and I’m so proud to say that we ran THE ENTIRE RACE WITHOUT WALKING!! That’s 3.1 miles folks. It hurt. I was tired and my left knee was pounding. We crossed the finish line together at around 36 minutes. I cried. I really could have used some bacon and a donut but instead had a banana and some water.
So many people encouraged us along the way. Here are a few highlights…1. My friend Shawn is obviously on performance enhancers. She ran with a stroller that contained her two children. That was around 90 extra pounds. I considered asking her 4 year old to hop out and let me take a turn. 2. Around the halfway mark Lily raised an arm pit and proclaimed, “I still smell like a rose!” 3. My friend Greg offered me a cigarette and frappacinno and even thought I’ve never had either, I was leaning toward accepting. 4. Lily won first place in her age group.
I fully expect Lily to keep her race number forever and even though I’m not a hoarder like she is, I think I’ll keep mine too. Today, my friends, was truly a great one.