Sunday, May 06, 2012
Wow what an amazing feeling, finishing my first 10 mile race. I had run 10 miles the week before as my long run but what a difference when you cross a finish line. This 10 miler meant so much to me in how far I have come and what I have overcome.
My journey back to a healthy life style began when my ex-husband walked out on me and my two kids on Valentine's Day 2010 to be with is mistress. Two months later he moved out of the house. I could not eat or sleep much, but walked. A LOT. I lost almost 60 pounds. New Year's Eve 2010 my cousin and I decided to run our first 5K. I did it in February. She did not. The running bug then bit me. By August I had signed up for my first 10K. Between registration and the race my father passed away. Running got me through that time. November, 2011 my divorce was final - Yipee!!!!! December my 4 and a half year old had to have arthroscopic knee surgery days before Christmas to clean out an infection from Lyme's disease. By the New Year I was spent. But I got on the treadmill one morning and started to run. Made it to 7.25 miles, my furthest distance. At that point, I knew I could make 10 and was determined to do Broad Street.
The Broad Street run is the largest 10 miler in the country and has really grown in popularity is recent years. My friend at work who has run since she was a teenager agreed to do it with me. The day of registration I spent two hours on the computer waiting to get in. I made it in. so there was no turning back at that point.
I chug along training; doing long runs once a week. For quite a few weeks I can't get past 8 miles and even back slide and have trouble doing 6 or 7 miles. Early allergy problems had me to the doctor for meds and an inhaler - I was not going to let anything stop me from reaching my goal.
March - just about six weeks out from the race my family receives devastating news, our youngest brother has died suddenly. I am beside myself with grief. I deal with it the best I can first with food then with running. Three runs over 5 days, I put in 21 miles. It didn't help much but it helped. I had to keep going.
One week before the run I have an extra day to my weekend and I wake up knowing I will run 10 miles. I did and I knew I was ready. All I needed was to make a shirt to capture the memory of my brother to run in.
Race day!!!!!! My friend is not with me. She had hernia surgery weeks before and cannot run. I am doing this 100% solo. Drive to South Philly, park and join the throngs of people hopping the train to North Philly. I befriend two women on the train and talk of our running experiences. Still nervous though. Once in the start - WAAAAAAYYYYY back in the last corral because my pace is so s-l-o-w the nerves hit a little bit. In the form of having to use the bathroom. Note that this is not a good time to be neurotic about using the bathroom, but who wants to stop during the run?!?!? I do my thing and head back to the corral. It's 830 and we should be starting. There are 40,000 running today. It takes 45 minutes to reach the start line.
First 5 miles were not too bad. Reaching Center City was a real boost. Bigger crowds cheering you on. By now more folks are starting to walk or take walk breaks. Mile 6 felt great. Mile 7, I am getting a little tired. Mile 8, uh-oh legs getting heavy. Mile 9, I am going to finish!!!!!! And as I got closer and closer I ran straighter and taller. I found those last few songs that were going to get me over the edge. I can't help but smile. With the Finish in sight I find the perfect song to end with - "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. Doesn't get any better than that.
On to the Half Marathon - what's 3 more miles with all that I have done :)