This morning Patrick and I participated in the Free to Breathe 5K to benefit lung cancer research and awareness. I think I posted in June when I started my journey to a 5K that my goal was a race in August. The race I chose was the Free to Breathe 5K. I made this one my goal because a very close family friend, Aunt Carol, had been diagnosed with lung cancer in May. I did it today in her memory. Aunt Carol lost her fight on June 20, 2010. I was very blessed to have my wonderful husband do this race with me.
I have to say, this was the absolute hardest thing I've done in a long time. I started off feeling really good. I was actually aggravated that I couldn't get around the walkers to start running. (I went too far toward the back and couldn't get around them.) I finally started running, and it felt really good. We were running downhill, and all of a sudden my right calf started cramping horribly. I could barely keep moving. This was a little before mile 1. By the time we got to the 1st mile marker, I was ready to give up. Add to it that when we got to the water station, they were out of water, and I felt even worse. I did still have some water, but I wanted to get some fresh to drink and hold on to what I had to get me through the end.
The entire second mile I was pretty much just trying to keep moving. I was in tears - not so much from the pain, and not from just being a big baby, either. I was so disappointed in myself for even considering giving up, even though while I was in tears and urging my feet forward I was still looking for any option I had to get out. Finally, we hit the mile 2 marker. I was starting to feel a bit better by the end of the second mile, and the last mile we actually picked up my pace. Oh, did I mention that beyond the initial running we did, once the cramps started we were walking? Anyway, on the last mile we started picking up my pace. We had been last, but toward the end when the pain in now both of my calves had eased up (or maybe I was just numb to it by this time)we were actually passing people. First we passed a group of three who were walking, then a group of two, and then a group of three more.
For the first time I wasn't last. I might have been near the back, but I wasn't last. That was a great feeling! And it was even better having my husband there to do it with me!
This course was extremely hard for me. It was in Virginia Highlands. Virginia Highlands is very hilly. There wasn't much flat land. It was either up or down. I want to try this course again at some later point. I want to lose some weight and train some more. I want to get used to hills before I tackle this route again.
All in all, it was a great day. It was extremely hard for me, but I feel great knowing that even though I was hurting, I push through it and made it to the end. What a great day!