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What I learned during my first 10K

Thursday, December 15, 2011

In early November I took part in a 10K race. I wasn't ready but I was willing, after all I had made the commitment. Truth be told, I thought about down grading to the 5K. No one would judge me for doing it but I knew I'd always regret it so I didn't.

It was beautiful day in the bay the morning of the race and I made it to the start line with plenty of time and little anxiety about the race.

I generally feel out of place on race morning, even as I absorb the energy of others. I go to these events alone and that's hard. Sharing something with a friend makes it even sweeter and a little more special. Once again I learned that I wish more of my friends took my wellness journey more seriously or at least want to participate. Even if participation is taking pictures and cheering me on from the sideline.

The Mermaid race in San Francisco is really well organized and we started right on time. The 5K's took off at 8:00 a.m. and us 10K's took off at 8:15. I stayed to the back of the pack knowing I'd be walking most of the race. There I met a group of women having a fantastic morning and they included me in there fun.

I learned, the hard way, that a 10K is a very long race. HA! Of course, it would have been easier should I have conditioned for it but being hard headed and dealing with a failing knee I skipped that part. *FACE/PALM* The first 3 miles my body was feeling good. At mile 4 I caught a pebble and had to stop. It was then that I found my leg muscles were fatigued. At mile 4.5 a girl in a stroller leaned over to slap me five as I ran by. As we touched she looked me dead in my face and simply said, "Go!" This was by far the BEST moment of the day. I found inspiration from a small child who had one simple message - GO! It still touches my heart. At mile 5 the bottom of my right foot started to burn. At mile 5.5 my leg muscles were screaming for me to stop. Ya, not an option! At mile 6 I could have sat down in the middle of the course and cried as both feet were now burning and my hip and knee were ready to give out. It was at this point that I had a serious talk with myself ... In short, "Girl, if you want to participate you have to put in the work ahead of time! Stop with this madness." For this race it was a little too late.

When I crossed the finish line it was bitter sweet . . . I had accomplished one if my 2011 goals, finish a 10K race and I had finished under the time I had set for myself. *FIST PUMP* Yet, I had no one to celebrate with. There were no high fives, giggles or embraces to follow. I again felt lost among 1,500+ women. YET, I walked around with my head held high . . .

The biggest lesson of the day -
That a race participant should never be told that it's okay to come in last, someone has to. Although this is a factual statement it is nonetheless demeaning. I've joked about coming in last before but until this 10K I'd never had that be a reality. Ya, I came in dead last - it didn't take away from my race experience but it did sting a little. I'll never again tell anyone that "it's okay because someone has too" - I'll have a little more compassion next time. Even if that is only for myself.

In the end, the day was a huge success. I finished a 10K and I came away a winner. The Mermaid Series does not give out finisher "medals" instead they do give out finisher necklaces with a charm on it. This years charm was a runner, last years was a flower. I cherish my finisher necklaces and I wear them with pride!

I'll do it all again in 2012 but next time I'll do some conditioning work! *GIGGLES*

Race day photo's:

Early Morning!

A cold Start:

On the Course:

Breath taking view:

I earned it!

EDIT: I just looked up my finishing time. My goal was to finish under 2 hours.
I came in at 1:41:13, which is a 16:18/M

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ENDUROVET 12/26/2011 4:01PM

    C'mon, you can tell Auntie Val your time! (My last 10K - Feb '09 - was 1:30-something; glacial pace. Luckily my buddy was able to duck into the heated vendor's tent during her half-hour wait for Yours Truly... She couldn't leave me bcz I was driving ;-)

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KINSBAILE 12/19/2011 5:19PM

    You rock! That's my next one. Gotta be a 10K! Its scares me a bit because the 4.5 miles on Thanksgiving was pretty exhausting but I think it was due to the fact I had to constantly run around ppl (15000 ppl there!).

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ABB698 12/17/2011 1:39PM

    You also learned, well proved, that you are a rock and always 'git-r-done', I so admire you for that! You are amazing!!! emoticon

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AIRPEACH 12/15/2011 9:24PM

    That's fantastic! emoticon
Love the pictures, you are looking great! So is the Golden Gate Bridge. I was born out there and still love the area, although it's been way too long since I had a chance to go back.

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PJBONARRIGO 12/15/2011 8:17PM

    WHOO HOO!! You did it!! It was/is a good lesson LOL Things do go better with conditioning, when you're ready :-) next time will be easier.

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DIXIEMCCALL 12/15/2011 8:16PM

    You did a 10k! That is awesome! I am super nervous about my first race ever next month. Thanks so much for sharing!


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We said good-bye tonight *TEARS*

Thursday, December 08, 2011

It was a blessing that the 6:00 Zumba was cancelled tonight and I decided to return home prior to boxing class. At 6:45 p.m. we said good-bye to Ms. Sara as she passed in my arms. My constant companion of 16 years will be forever missed. Rest in peace baby girl, rest in peace.

Before we left for vacation I asked Ms. Sara to hold on till we got back. I asked her to stay strong and wait for my return. She did just that! My heart is heavy with sadness. Without fail she loved me unconditionally as I did her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AIRPEACH 12/20/2011 7:36AM

    I am so sorry to hear of her passing, but I am happy that you were able to be there to see her safely off.

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AGREENSLADE79 12/10/2011 11:16AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. emoticon

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MICRAELIE 12/9/2011 4:22PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. When my dear airedale terrier Spencer was getting old and we have to leave for any span of time, I would do the same thing as you. I would lean in and whisper in his ear, "don't leave yet - if you need to go, just wait awhile - I'll be back soon". That always made me feel better, and he was a good boy until the end -- he did just what I asked him to do. Hang in there. Our animals friends leave huge holes in our hearts when they leave us. Cherish your memories.


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ELSAG83 12/9/2011 9:00AM

    sorry for your loss =/

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TSEWARD 12/8/2011 10:58PM

    I am very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet hurts every bit as much as losing a family member. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am so glad you were together, I am certain she felt very safe and very loved right until the very end.
emoticon emoticon

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BETTERJULIA 12/8/2011 2:19PM

    emoticon She'll be your angel kitty... emoticon

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KINSBAILE 12/8/2011 1:01PM

    Wow :( Twice so quickly and so fast.

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MANLEYSANDY 12/8/2011 11:32AM

    I am so sorry!! My Bailey cat is about 17 years old and I am trying to prepare myself for when he will make his way to kitty heaven!!! I know Sara will be missed!

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ENDUROVET 12/8/2011 10:49AM

    Oh honey, I'm so sorry. It's never easy to say goodbye but at least you were right there w/her. I know that means a lot.


Comment edited on: 12/8/2011 10:50:11 AM

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 12/8/2011 8:37AM

    I am SO sorry. I'm glad you got to spend time with her before she went on her journey. *HUGS*

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PANDASUE2 12/8/2011 8:36AM

    Sorry for your loss. Hugs!

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TRENTDREAMER 12/8/2011 8:01AM

    My condolences to you for your loss.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 12/8/2011 7:43AM


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ABB698 12/8/2011 2:37AM

    So sorry for your loss KT! I'm glad she held on 'til you came back from vacay and there WAS a reason you came home tonight-to be with your companion til the end. May she rest in peace in kitty heaven! emoticon

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LUVNLILLADY 12/8/2011 1:36AM

    Sorry about your loss.

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ARNETTELEE 12/8/2011 1:27AM

  Sorry to hear about your loss.

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Unwelcome & Unexpected Insecurity (Part 1)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My first triumph yesterday was beating back fatigue by fighting it with exercise. It is true that I was tired when I left the office but it was more mental then physical.

Zumba class was electric!

After class I wasn't much in the mood to spend the next hour on a machine so my second triumph of the night was to pamper myself by going to the sauna. Being wrapped in the heat was glorious.

Boxing started with only two of us in class. I noticed right off that my skills at jumping rope had improved. [FIST PUMP] It's still not an activity I enjoy [SHOCKING] but noticing an improvement in my skills and ability certainly helped pass the time. The class grew in size as time passed - one newbie (a weight lifter) and a regular (not a veteran).

As I said in a status update not long ago I am thinking about breaking up with my sparing partner. She tries to "help" too much which actually hinders my growth in class. Even the instructor scolds her for trying to make it "easier." I don't need easy, I need to be challenged! That being said, I was asked to work with the regular last night and things went okay. The regular has a friend who generally comes to class with her and they fit well together - they tend to giggle a lot, take many breaks, use their cell phones [GASP], and aren't very attentive. No, I didn't enjoy working with her and I'm quit sure she didn't enjoy my militant attitude - I mean, she nearly fell on the floor when she became overheated. OOPS, my bad - "do you need a break?" Seriously, I wasn't trying to be all mean or anything but if you come to workout, workout! If you need a minute to recover, speak up already! There's no shame in asking for a water break or a "let me catch my breath" moment!! We both were happy when the kicking portion of class was over.

As we started our combinations on the heavy bags [JUMPS FOR JOY] in walks the regulars friend all fresh as a daisy. She stands all innocent like twirling her hair [EYE ROLL] and finally put on a pair of gloves. Without fail she joins her friend, and me, on the heavy bag (we have two heavy bags - my sparing partner & the weightlifter are working on the other) and apparently she really doesn't care all that much about her foot work because she blatantly dismisses the instructions given.


I feel the pangs of insecurity crash into me. I felt small, yet as large as a baby elephant. (Which are terribly cute in my opinion) I checked myself out in the mirror and quickly found every flaw there was to see in my stomach and legs. Yes, the same legs that carried me 6.2 miles during my race on Saturday morning! What brought it on? The regular and her friend "hid" behind the heavy bag whispering. Clearly a trigger of mine. I don't know what they were whispering about and I tried to ignore it. [SIGH]


I got mad. Smoke coming out of my ears - seeing red mad. I wanted to snap both of those girls in two. A sad, but accurate, mental overreaction. What I did instead was smile at each of them and then stepped up to the bag. As luck would have it, we were working on power punches and my power exploded. On any given day my power punches are fierce. However, after I mentally lost it my power punches were explosive. It's customary for another person to hold the heavy bag while another punches. Needless to say, the regular was not ready for my first blow. She staggered backwards with the bag and barely found her footing. When she recovered I threw another punch. The instructor immediately noticed a change and came over. When I was finished with that set, he had me move to the other bag so he could hold while I completed my other two sets. Still I threw punches that even moved him and the bag! When I finished, I was out of breath, arms spent and a little less wounded but no less angry.

As I reflect on my evening, I understand that their actions were merely a trigger for me. In the past I've been known to channel insecure feelings while amongst the masses and I will often shun them, allowing myself to feel nothing. Last night I allowed myself to process, assess and take appropriate action. My mind can be cruel in its own right and if I bow to its force when it turns negative I crumble inside and suddenly I'm a child that has been broken. I'm not sure where that all comes from and in truth, I've been aware of it for sometime.

In my discomfort last night I was able to open up my mind and find a path I'd long since forgotten. A path that will be uncomfortable to walk down but one I must explore. [SUDDEN TEARS SPRING TO MY EYES, I must be on to something to cause such a physical reaction]

Somewhere inside lives a chubby little girl who's afraid everyone is looking at her whispering. She's afraid they see her. She's afraid she'll never be what they want her to be. She is paralyzed.

END NOTE: As I typed that last paragraph a childhood memory flooded back to me. It's painful and now raw. Part II shall come soon. I must get the poison out so I may heal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILD22 12/30/2011 3:29PM

    I love your insight into yourself. As much as it sometimes pains us we must address those old negative feelings and deal with them. Really look in the mirror and see the strong independent beautiful woman you have become!!

emoticon emoticon

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ENDUROVET 12/7/2011 4:29PM

    Yeah, ya gotta lance those nasty ol' abscesses honey...

(I gotta find myself a kickboxing class... It'd do me a world of good)

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TRENTDREAMER 11/20/2011 8:42AM

    "Somewhere inside lives a chubby little girl who's afraid everyone is looking at her whispering. She's afraid they see her. She's afraid she'll never be what they want her to be. She is paralyzed. "

* emoticon emoticon emoticon

It's weird how despite that we leave highschool......it never seems to go away.

While it's easy to say, "you're not alone", it never really feels that way.

You're very brave to share as you do.

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MANLEYSANDY 11/18/2011 12:11PM


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ABB698 11/18/2011 12:52AM

    KT, you are fierce and fabulous! I know your path to self-discovery may have rough spots, but we will all rejoice when you can look in the mirror and see the beautiful powerhouse of a woman we all see. And you know what? I'd like to think those girls were whispering how small and powerless they felt compared to you! Take that!
emoticon emoticon

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AIRPEACH 11/17/2011 6:20PM

    Thank you! I know I have memories like that, and it's great how you got through it.

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GREGSLUVBUNNY13 11/17/2011 4:11PM

    I wrote a blog about my moniker being fat. I have always been the fat sister, friend, daughter, etc. Yesterday, my own mom read one of my blogs, called me to say "Wow, I'm a moose now. I weight more than you"
Unfortunately we all encounter people like that. Even at this point, I still do. Like you said though, you have to clear yourself of the poison. People can only step on you if your laying down. You are a fighter! Keep going. You are doing amazing!!!

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BETTERJULIA 11/17/2011 4:09PM

    This is a beautiful blog of self discovery! Thank you for sharing with us! Boxing sounds like a WONDERFUL expression and way to exercise. Keep up your amazing work - you are worth it!

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JQUIBELL 11/17/2011 3:59PM

    Good for you!
It's all part of the process. Thankfully you were able to work through your feelings gracefully and next time it will be easier to recognize the trigger.
I absolutely love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt and I think it's relevant ~ "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

Comment edited on: 11/17/2011 4:01:23 PM

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Check me out. I'm Rock'n The Mini!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This is me at my starting point, eleven years ago! My wellness journey really is a life journey . . .

TODAY, I'm Rock'n the mini!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KINSBAILE 12/8/2011 12:40PM

    You are GORGEOUS!

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MUSCLEADDICT32 11/17/2011 5:24AM

    Wowza!!! You look amazing!!! Way to go!!! emoticon

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ELSAG83 11/16/2011 8:44AM

    you look fantastic! great job =)

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TRENTDREAMER 11/14/2011 5:17PM

    Congrats on your progress :)

Continued success to you!

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ABB698 11/11/2011 12:56AM

    Go girl, you are rockin it!!! emoticon

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MAGGIE805 11/10/2011 10:06PM


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ERIKO1908 11/10/2011 10:04PM

    Wooohoooo!! Keep up all your hard work!!

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MANLEYSANDY 11/10/2011 6:44PM


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MICRAELIE 11/10/2011 3:47PM

    You go girl!!! You look fantastic, and I love your hair too. Keep on rockin'!

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AURORA2012 11/10/2011 1:16PM

    Awesome! emoticon

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I was Driven

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I made it to Zumba class with minutes to spare tonight. Class was amazing! I felt energized after and even the chronic knee pain was absent. I was flying high.

Then it happened, I crash landed. My energy drained when I was faced with the hour break between Zumba and boxing and nothing seemed appealing. Then my sparing partner announced she was skipping boxing. I just smiled at her and said, "of course you are." I was bitter.

In a fit of frustration I packed my bag and walked out of the gym. I acted like the little kid who got angry and picked up the ball and went home. Humph! I walked home and justified every reason not to return for the rest of night. I even told myself that it would be okay to skip and that I could just go to Zumba tomorrow night to "make up" for skipping a workout.

Looking for some validation I sent a text message to a friend. I didn't get what I was looking for. She gave me the "you can do it" feedback but I tossed it aside thinking, "HA! You wouldn't even workout with me tonight so what do you know!" Bitter much???

In a last ditch effort to settle in at home and put boxing behind me I set out to cook dinner. I got as far as cooking off three strips of bacon, ate them and then packed my bag and walked out the door.

Ten minutes later I was back in the gym gearing up for boxing. I worked harder and faster than I ever have. I sucked wind. I turned red. I almost blacked out. I was determined. I was driven!

As I walked home I reflected. I don't really know why I walked out and I don't really know why I walked back in. All I know is that I did and I'm healthier for it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINDYKD 11/16/2011 9:32PM

    What's a sparing partner?

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ABB698 11/11/2011 12:57AM

    KT, you are not just driven, you are a STEAM ROLLER woman! emoticon

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GHOSTGRL21 11/10/2011 1:59PM

    Sometimes we don't knwo why ..we just do :)

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MICRAELIE 11/10/2011 8:49AM

    Good for you, girl! It doesn't surprise me that you didn't give up -- I don't get the sense that giving up is one of your traits! LOL I think kicking ass is, however. Thanks again for inspiring me to JUST DO IT!


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