Sunday, May 16, 2010

My first race.

On Saturday, May 15, 2010 I ran my first race ever. I've been running since September 12, 2009. I started running then doing the Couch to 5k (C25k) program on my sister's suggestion. I started the running with the goal to not only complete the C25k program, but when spring got here to run a 5k race in under half an hour. That was my goal. Short term, complete C25k, mid-range goal, complete a 5k race in under half an hour. On Saturday I completed my first 5k race, a Charity race for the Des Moines, IA Ronald McDonald House, the Run for Ronald 2010 5k/10k race in 29:00 minutes.

On the right you see me in my running outfit minus my hat. I also wore my Memphis Riverkings hat. That hat means something to me because I got it when a season ticket holder for the Memphis Riverkings. I had a lot of fun going to those games. (The hat shows up in the second picture, below) It was a good time of my life. The red shirt here, that's Honda red for a friend of mine who wears red a lot more than I do. You see the giant Garmin watch there? That was a Christmas gift from my best friend of the past 20 years. I wear it whenever I run outside. The ring I'm wearing on my left hand, that's for luck and it's in my pocket but there. The bib number, great first racing bib number, 88... that's the year I went into the Navy. That was a pretty significant year for me in a lot of ways.

This race was, for me, the completion of 8 months of work. No, it wasn't a marathon. But it was me setting a goal and sticking to it. I wound up running the race by myself, my friends weren't able to be there and that was, at that point, just the icing on the cake. The part where I ran the race I'd set myself up to run was good. That was the cake right there. I ran the whole thing with a slight smile. Not just because the weather was perfect and the atmosphere of the race itself was fun, but because I was doing something I'd worked for and that I loved.

Doing something like that for myself, that much work, time, and sticking to it... that meant a lot to me. It does today, 2 days later. I've been trying to think of what is next, and I think right now next is to keep running and maybe do some more 5k's. Summer's coming, and it's hot in the summer, and I've already noticed how much harder it is to run in the summers. I'm not done running. I love it. But this first race, this first goal that I set 8 months ago, and completed, for that I'm proud of myself. To those of you who supported me, put up with my running breaks, or my being late to places because I was running. To you, thank you.

Specific thanks to specific sites and online tools that I've used:
Couch to 5k, already mentioned, but a great training program.
5k101 has some great podcasts for running and training for a 5k. I still use them. is full of tips for runners and is how I found which race I'd run first.
Twitter - I had lots of support from friends on twitter as I'd post my running times and progress.
SparkPeople - Great weight loss and fitness site that kept me focused on my diet while I learned how to eat while running.
DailyMile - this is where I log my runs. It's a great site and I recommend it to anybody who exercises (Running, Biking, Swimming, Walking specifically)

Specific thanks to specific people:
My parents for being supportive, and teaching me that I could do what I wanted to do. The idea that I could do whatever I set my mind to if I just worked at it really impacts me in every way almost every day. I really don't meet that many things that I think I can't do. My confidence comes from them and that and I appreciate it and how much it's impacted my life. I may be scared to try sometimes because I'm scared of not getting it right the first time, but I never believe I CAN'T do something if I work at it. That feeling is, as I meet more people, something a lot of people don't have. A lot of folks out there don't believe they can do much of anything and they limit themselves. You hear people say "My parents said I could be anything..." but I don't remember my parents saying that. I don't actually believe that either. I remember them teaching us that we could DO anything we were willing to work at. That's an important difference. (I say that and internally flinch at what they went through when I made up my mind to be bad at math ugh, another story for another time.)

Kit, my roommate, best friend, and friend I've had the longest. I know you thought running was a ridiculous thing to do and that the times I was late to friends' soccer games or parties or family events because I was running you made my explanations for me. You taught me to ride a motorcycle (something I was afraid of doing because I thought I'd crash and/or die), and always push me to do things even if I may not do them right the first time. You're good at holding my feet to the fire and expecting more out of me even when I'm being stubborn. I said once that I like who I am better when you're around than when you're not and I mean it. I like who I've become by being your friend. Thank you.

My sister, Leigh. I've already done a whole blog post on how much I appreciate her and what she means to me. I'm not going to duplicate it here but I'd have been remiss if I'd not mentioned her here.

(This post is a double post, being posted to my blog as well as my running blog.)

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