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    JEN_BACK2BASICS   26,196
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I ran the whole way!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a lovely weekend and a nice Thanksgiving (if you celebrate Thanksgiving, of course).
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I have been signing up for events to keep myself motivated, and Milwaukee just introduced its first Thanksgiving day race. I was so excited to have a local turkey trot, I signed up right away!

I had two goals:
1. Burn off as much Thanksgiving dinner as I could before actually eating it
2. Run the whole time

I didn't care much about my time, but I wanted to run the whole thing without stopping. I have done a couple events since recovering, but the last time I actually completed a 5k without walking was in March 2010, two months before my hip surgery. This race, assuming I met my goal, was a sort of rite of passage to total recovery. If I could do it, I reasoned, I could consider myself healed and get back to the work of improving overall health.

I was super-excited on race day! I had my cold-weather running gear on, and a great playlist on my mp3 player. 2500 other people decided they would join me, some of them in crazy turkey costumes.
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It was about 50 degrees and breezy when the race began. I felt a bit chilled but knew I would warm up. I felt fantastic during the first mile. It was crowded, and there were lots of walkers and strollers, but I just wove my way through them. I felt light and fast, two things I never thought I'd feel!

At the mile 1 clock, the time read 16:57. I had crossed the starting line at around 4:30 or so, so figured I did a 12:30 mile. That is my fastest mile time ever recorded! Excited, I realized I had a chance to beat my best 5k time.

Mile 2 was tougher. It was a straight, level path into the wind. And by this time, I was learning that 50 degrees is not cold enough for cold-weather gear. Overheating!! I grabbed the neck of my top and held it away from my skin to let some of that wind in. The mile 2 clock read 30:45...I had slowed down to a 13:48 mile.

I was tired and overheated, but I realized I was 2/3 done and hadn't walked yet. So I looked for some faster songs and pushed it to the finish line. I was tired and my hips were achy, but I kept trucking along, continuing to pass people and be passed all the way to the final bend. When I saw that finish line, I dug deep and started sprinting. As I flew past people (yeah, probably not really "flew" but more like "plodded by"), I saw the finish line clock. 45:00. Really? Bummer...I thought I had a chance. Oh, wait a minute...if I subtract the 4:30 which is when I really started, my time is around 40:30 with just a straightaway to go. My best 5k time was just over 42 minutes. I can do this! I can get a new personal best!!

Grinning, I put on a burst of speed that surprised me. Head down, this time I probably did fly past people! I crossed the finish line at 45:45, which turned out to be a 41:12 official time. (My mile 3 time was probably 13:38, after doing the math.)

I'm so ecstatic, I'm still grinning about it 3 days later! I'm thrilled that I finished in just over 41 minutes, but even happier that I didn't walk at all. That is a huge accomplishment for me, and now I know that my recovery period is finally over. I have returned to my pre-surgery fitness level and can now continue improving.

The last 2.5 years have been a test of my dedication and willpower. I struggled. But I emerged victorious. It is time to refocus...
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 11/26/2012 3:25PM

    emoticon I am grinning right along with you Jen! Congratulations on getting your personal best! It can only get better from here on out. I am so proud of you!

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NANCYSINATRA 11/26/2012 12:06PM

    Woo Hoo!! I totally know how you feel. I ran my second 5K Thursday and for the first time jogged the entire thing AND had a PR. Feels good doesn't it!! Great job

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PEZMOM1 11/26/2012 11:27AM

    emoticon
How did you find out about this race?
Have a great day.

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SUNNYSIDEUPMARY 11/25/2012 7:12PM

    Congratulations on your personal victories!

Is this the race run on the Milwaukee Mile?

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