One of the things on my old Bucket List was to run half a marathon so I could get a t-shirt that said ‘I did a half-marathon because I’m only half-crazy’ – cute and funny, heh? But I knew I needed to start with a 5K and work my way up to Marathon status. I attempted to use that Couch to 5K app on my phone that says when to run, walk and timing – so I could gradually reach my goal. A couple of months into it my knee was injured and that ended the desire for over a year. But just this week one of my BFF’s says she needs someone to do the 5K Run Against Cancer on Saturday morning with her. I didn’t want her to have to do it alone and I knew I needed to just try it instead of talking about it. I paid my entry fee the night before and joined her. I figured if I haven’t done a 5K for myself, maybe I could do it for all our loved ones and friends who have had their lives affected by cancer- For all those who have died from it, and those who have survived it.
Now I have to be honest here. I didn’t pay the fees until the night before because I was still on the fence about doing it. And after a sleepless night, I was considering backing out that morning. But I forced my mind off and just showed up. First hurdle accomplished. The people that were running the Marathon took off at 7:30am to a glorious sunrise. We started off at 8 a.m. The sun was shining bright and the wind was blowing cool (temps ranging in the 60’s.) The plan was to use Annette’s phone app to tell us to jog 2 minutes, then walk a minute, jog 2, walk one – etc. and that’s how we started off leaving downtown Victoria.
And now I will allow you to enter my mind and the rest of this post will be like hearing my thoughts out loud. So, if you know how my voice sounds, please envision me speaking the rest.
Wow. This is a LOT of people taking off at once. I hope I don’t get stepped on. I hope I don’t step on someone else! Oh, good, this part is down hill. Annette’s pace is a little much for me. I’m breathing too hard already. Geez, we’ve only jogged 2 blocks and my lungs are burning! It’s so crowded, they need a fast lane and a slow lane, it would help keep people like me from tripping over their feet while trying to wind around these groups.
Shewwwhhh! Glad we’re walking fast now. I don’t know how I can keep this up for a whole 5K. What in the world have I gotten myself into? It sure is a pretty day though! Thank God it’s not hot! I’d definitely pass out in the heat of summer. Heck, I may still pass out! If she keeps jogging this fast she is going to lose me. My lungs are on fire! I’m losing my ability to breathe. Body feels like lead. Must slow down.
Oh no way am I running up this hill! Are you crazy? Bye Annette! I’m walking up the hills. No way can I run up. Just walk fast. Stretch those short legs out! Faster! Ok, once at the top start jogging again. I can do this. Yes, I’m doing this! Oh *#@! My Knee!!!! The shooting fire of pain – Auggghhhh! Don’t fall down, don’t fall down Deana! Just hobble, limp but keep walking. A few more blocks and I will be by the parking garage, I could sneak in there, climb into my Explorer and just lay down and wait for Annette to finish. Hmmm….
No, you’re doing this if you have to limp the whole way!!! Crap, they have a whole bunch of people standing on the sidelines cheering and yelling. And I have to limp past – just don’t make eye contact and keep moving. Be determined. Did that photographer just take a picture of me limping?!!! Really??? I better not see that in the newspaper. It would be just my luck. Not even half way through and I look like I’m in agony. Oh well, now I really have to finish!!! Great. See ya later parking garage.
Ok, this walking thing is getting easier now, maybe my knee is more warmed up? Oh boy, we’re going to have to cross a major street and the police have the cars stopped and lined up waiting on us. I can’t be the one walking and holding everybody up. Start jogging slow, yeah that’s it – not too hard or fast. I hope my knee doesn’t give out in the middle of this highway! Nope, I got this! Jog, jog, jog. Walk fast. jog. walk fast. jog. Another freakin’ hill? Are you kidding me?!!! We live in the flattest place in Texas and they have our 5K route cover the only hills in town! Figures. Just walk the hills Deana. Then jog. Oh, this is much better, jogging down the hill. Oh, I’m getting really thirsty. But I have to pee. Will have to hold out a little longer for water or I may wet myself.
Oh great, another hill. And people running past me? I really need to get in better shape. That’s just sad. Jog more. Jog, jog, oh nope, gonna have to walk or I am going to trip over some of the pot holes. Not only did they give us lots of hills to maneuver but also bumpy streets with gravel and potholes and uneven roads. I hope I don’t twist my ankle. Just concentrate on not twisting ankle, forget about breathing. I lost breath on that other block anyway. Maybe I can pick it up on the way back!
What??? Not even half way yet? And I am exhausted. How in the world did I ever think I could do a half Marathon? I’m crazy. Well, I guess that ain’t happening, I can take that off my Bucket List. I’ll be lucky to finish this 5K!!! Oh, Water! Yay me, wet and cold. Mmmm. Phooey, I still have to pee. No more water for me. Bye bye water girl. Jog. just jog slow and easy and watch out that you don’t twist your ankle. Downhill now, woo hoo! I can do this. keep goooinggg. Walk fast now. Jog down again. Walk fast now. Oh, this is an easy hill to jog down, it’s steeper than I realized when I was going up it. Uh oh. Too steep, too fast! Slow down or you are going to eat pavement at the bottom!!!! Gravel, oh no. It literally hurts my thighs to try to slow them. And now, Oh yeah, that’s right, up another freakin’ hill. Just stretch those legs and walk. I sure do like all these historical homes down here, so pretty. Oh, I’ve been inside that one! Oops, watch out or you’re going to trip over your own feet. It sure would help if I could lift my legs higher, but really, they feel like jello now, all the way down to my ankles. Is that jello on my ankles? No. Ok. There’s the streetlight and another traffic stopper. Must run so horns don’t honk at you. Oh, that hurts my knee, oh my gosh – I hope I don’t wipe out and face plant in the middle of this street in front of all these people!!!!
Ok, made it. Walk fast for a block then jog, and hey, is that the end corner coming up? Yes! Almost there! Bladder feels like will explode. Must not pee myself in front of everyone! I will jog the last two blocks no matter what! I’m actually going to finish this thing!!! Uh oh, Mucho people standing around cheering, I hope I don’t wipe out in front of them right before the finish line! I’m pretty sure that would make the local news! Stop thinking and just run Deana!!! Oh, there’s Annette on the side waving – wave low back, no energy left. What’s that, somebody running up behind me? Oh, I don’t think so! You ain’t passing me up Chica, I’m hitting that finish line before you!
Yes! I finished. I want to raise my hands and yell ‘Woo Hoo’ but I can’t raise my arms. I may pass out. Ouch my legs hurt! Keep walking or you will fall. Lungs burning. Water, where’s the water? Where’s Annette? “
After that, it’s kind of blurry, but we walked, I grabbed some water and fruit and we looked to see where our times landed in our age groups. In the middle if you’re curious, we were both relieved we weren’t last.
I have to say it feels really good to be able to say I did run my first 5K at 47 years of age. I don’t think I’m going to make that half Marathon, but maybe I can do another 5K and try to beat my own time. For now, I will have to concentrate on the present. Which means hobbling around moaning and groaning with any movement because my whole body is sore!
And why run against cancer? The info packet they gave us says:
Exercise is an important step in reducing the various cancer types & being physically active can play a key role in preventing cancers caused by lifestyle factors (not genetics.) And more. We all know exercise is good for people, no need for a lecture.
But I did want to share my adventure, thinking everyone might get a laugh out of my crazy mind’s first 5K. (P.S. I did make it home before peeing myself.)