Monday, August 15, 2011
Back of The Pack
I ran my fourth 5K on Saturday, August 13, 2011...Yea! I finished last...dead last...like, nobody is anywhere near the finish line last. Sigh. Well, at least I finished, right? Most of the time I'm able to tell myself that and I'm okay with it. There is something about seeing one hundred runners pull away from you at the beginning of the race, though, that can make you feel quite lonely. And then, when the pregnant woman passes you? Loneliness turns to thoughts of outright failure. I kept going, though. It was quiet and I had time to think. The river sure is pretty...oh, those dogs look mean...Watch out for the pothole! It seems as if my thoughts should have been deeper, but it was all I could do to keep placing one foot in front of the other. At about the one mile mark, I saw the other racers coming from the other direction. I hadn't even made it half-way and they were passing me on their way back to the finish line! ARGHHH! Okay, keep it together. Breathe. Let it go. And I did. I started to think about the times I could hardly walk due to the arthritis in my back. I began to remember the days that I couldn't get out of bed because of an intense chronic fatigue spell. Of course, I thought of Hayden and everything he has had to endure in his short life. Why am I beating myself up? I'm out here doing something that I had thought impossible just four months earlier. I should be yelling in victory. I should be screaming at the top of my lungs...I'm doing it, I'm doing it! So I kept going. As I was nearing the end of the course, I recognized two figures running my way. It couldn't be...YES! Two of my running buddies had come back for me! They encouraged me, joked with me, and pushed me towards that finish line. As I crossed the finish, I felt like...well, throwing up to be honest. But after that, I felt like the happiest person in the world. Yes, I was dead last...yes, I was slow...but I had friends, REAL friends who encouraged me and cared about me so much that they would come back for me and help me reach my goals. Wow....best race ever!!!