Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Day I Finally Felt Like A Runner

I started running years ago with a friend in grad school.  We tried the Couch to 5K plan, but it was too tough for me.  I was 45 pounds heavier than I am now...I ate like crap...I was pre-diabetic.  Running was a great thing to work towards, but I was not a runner.

I started running again on and off this last year, but I really committed back in October or so.  I had worked up to running 1.5 miles at a time.  I REALLY wanted to do this 5K, but I didn't have high hopes of running the entire thing.  I knew I would just give it my best, and if I had to stop and walk for a few minutes, it would be ok.  Then a friend offered to run with me.  I got so excited. She was a runner and I knew she could push me to do it all.  But then her son got sick and she had to stay home.  So I was on my own.

This was our town's Yule Run.  It had, oh I don't know, maybe 150 people running?  It was chip timed and a good course.  It ran down main street, past the high school, through a neighborhood, and ended at the square.  The second mile is all uphill....but the last .5 mile or so was downhill.  I was ready.

It started at 9 a.m....so we got there a little early to get ready. I got SO many "good lucks" from friends.  I felt awesome.  I got texts, tweets, Facebook posts...so many people cheering me on. The support I felt made me tear up a couple times pre-race.  Call me crazy, but just knowing people are supporting you feels so good.


There was a contest for people who dressed up in Christmas garb, so there were some "crazies" like these Who's. 

The race started and I felt good.  There were some people lined up down main street cheering folks on.  I saw a couple familiar faces and gave them some thumbs up.  Then around .75 miles, my knee was bugging me a bit.  Not hurting, but just bugging me.  It does tihat sometimes in Zumba when I get tired. I thought about taking a walk break. Well, I was behind this man.  He was a bit older, and not ideally fit.  But he was running.  So I decided to just stick with him for a bit.  I followed him until about 1.5 mles.  


Then he slowed down, so I passed him.  I ran past some people who were taking their walk breaks about mile 1.5.  It was tempting. I was tired, and I could see the hill ahead.  But instead of walking, I just slowed my run a bit for a minute..then I kept going.

We would go up a hill, and I would get excited because I thought the hill was over.  But instead, we would go flat for a little bit, then go higher.  I hadn't run many long hills like this.  I was feeling it. But then I started thinking about all the people cheering me on.  My friend Brandy told me to repeat "I can do this. I can run it." so that got me through a little bit.  I thought about some inspirational friends I have, and thought about them pushing through their struggles (you ladies know who you are!). I thought of them by name and forgot about the running for a little bit.

And then we climbed higher.  Just after mile 2, we finally flattened out.  

Around 2.25 miles, I was feeling so tired...but it was flat ground...and there was a sidewalk to run on!  Answered prayer!

With about .5 mile left, I could finally see the finish line!


Then I got the BEST surprise. I knew my mom and Nancy were behind me walking...so I didn't think I would see anyone at the finish line.  Well, my pastor (who ran and already finished....and who knew I was trying my best today) and another awesome encourager from church, Marca, were at the finish line cheering me on.

My coworker AJ had already finished the race, and his wife snapped this shot.  I was so excited to finish...and you can see Marca on the side (in the grey/pink) cheering for me.  Pure bliss.



I was overwhelmed.  The adrenaline, the tiredness, and the accomplishment hit me.  I had to take a lap around the building before going in for water.  I was tearing up.  I thought about how hard I have worked, how I have lost 45 pounds, gotten healthy, and how great this feels.


I got some water and went back to watch mom and Nancy finish the race.



My gun time was 35:01, but my official chip time was 34:50!  It wasn't award-winning or anything...but I don't care.  I finished.  I ran the whole way.  I didn't know I had it in me.  I will keep at it, too.  Now I have a time to beat. :)  After all of that, I feel like I'm finally a runner.

But the best part? Knowing how supported and loved I am.  After I posted my finish line pic...it got over 65 likes and many comments...my IG and Twitter blew up... And I'll tell you, having all those people celebrate with me made me feel so loved.  My sweet pastor who cheered me on at the end?  He told a few people at church Sunday about my run like a proud father! ha! Some girls in my life group were so encouraging...it just swelled my heart.  I probably won't ever win any races, but the fact that I have all these sweet folks cheering me on makes me want to keep trying.

So anyway...while my run wasn't award-winning, this run really helped me see what I am capable of, and the amazing army of encouragers I have behind me.

27 comments:

  1. Congratulations, this is AWESOME and I am so proud of you! I hope you can motivate me after this baby is here to get back in shape and get the weight off! You are an inspiration!

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    1. Thank you, Emily! I wish we lived closer and could workout together! Everything is more fun with a buddy! :)

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  2. awesome Brit!!! you are such an inspiration!! i'm so glad you were able to run the whole thing!!

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    1. Aw thanks Kacee! You won't be saying that Sunday when I'm stuffing my face with cookies! :)

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  3. Wow!! So amazing! I've tried a few times to do C25K, but alas, I am just not a runner. I'm not sure if I ever will be. Even in my very tip-top shape of drill team days, I could never run. I can do aerobic and cardio exercise, but not run. But...maybe there's still hope yet? I'd love something that I could just walk outside my door and do. ;)

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    1. Thanks Jen! I had tried c25k too, and once I just tried running to run...it went so much better. I can't say that I "love" running yet...but it is getting easier. :)

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  4. AWESOME! Congratulations! Keep it up. I've struggled with running on and off for some time, but you make me want to try again. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Connie. Give it a try! If I can do it, anyone can! :)

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  5. Great job! I've done a few 5Ks, but never without stopping for a walk break. Keep it up!

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  6. SO PROUD OF YOU GIRLFRIEND! you ARE a runner and an amazing, strong woman and friend! Love and hugs!!!

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    1. Gee thanks, Christi! :) Love and hugs right back! I loved my imaginary glitter poster! I swear I saw it when I crossed the finish line! :)

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  7. This is so cool!! I am beyond proud of you and so impressed! Keep up the great work!

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  8. OK seriously i am tearing up. like this is such a sweet post. i am so glad you reached your goal! that is so exciting. and you ran the whole way! that's cray. good job, britt!

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    1. Aw Jessica...you sap! (I cry all the time at work from reading blogs! ha!). Thanks so much, girl! :)

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  9. Brittney! I'm soo proud of you! You are an encouragement to me. I can't wait to see what else you do with that awesome bod you've been working on ;)

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    1. Thank you, Brandy! Your encouragement really helped me out that morning! So really...thank you!

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  11. Awesome AWESOME! So proud of you! You have had quite the journey...KEEP IT GOING! I hope to consider myself a "runner" one day! ;/

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  12. There is no creepy way to say this, but I saw you! As I was leaving my neighborhood trying to get to Bulldog Diner lol I quickly realized I had to go around, but I said "Aw go her!! Running in the cold and I'm on my way to eat a totally unhealthy breakfast." Way to go!

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    1. haha! That isn't creepy at all! So you are from G-wood? How fun!

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  13. Awe love the blog so inspirational! I have had some health problems this year and gained 50 pounds of surgery(s) weight! I have been ran (by ran i mean mostly walked) a few 5ks this fall and I am hoping to get back to running a full one some day. That is a really good time for a first race! I would be super proud!

    XOXO,
    Elle
    http://toasttotomorrow.blogspot.com/

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