Yesterday (Saturday, November 21) I participated in my first 5K Walk. Many of you knew about this and were sending thoughts and prayers my way which were greatly appreciated. I learned so much about myself on that day that it still boggles my mind and I'm still trying to process it all.
A few of my good Spark Friends were kind enough to give me advice. Again, I'm so thankful because I was pretty much clueless when it came to this kind of event since it wasn't even a "blip" on my radar screen until 2 weeks ago when I mustered up enough courage to even sign up for a race.
This blog could become an epistle so I'm going to try and hit the highs and lows of the day.
--Arrived in plenty of time to register, warm up and take a "pause for the cause.."
--I knew that there was going to be a pretty steep ramp, but while warming up, I found out that there were 2 of them. Hadn't counted on that.
--Wore the right clothes...thanks Betty for the tip. Just wore shorts, T-shirt & jacket.
--From several of the volunteers who have worked this race for years, I think I was the first person on a walker to participate in the race.
--Only about 100-150 people (adults & kids of all ages) participated. The guidelines said no strollers, wagons, skate boards or small walking toddlers. There were a lot of all the previous except skateboards. Playing dodge the toddler hadn't been part of my plan or prayers.
--My position at the start was somewhere in the last half of the pack.
--Right off the bat, the person behind me stepped on my heel, taking my shoe almost all the way off...off to a limping start. With the help from my friend Kim who walked with me, got the shoe back on and we're off again.
--Wow, the first lap was very fast...even with the ramps. We made it in under 15 minutes which was amazing. Oh, yeah, feeling good. I'm thinking to myself that this is going to be a piece of cake.
--On the second ramp of the second lap, I fell "UP" the ramp. I had been praying that my hips and hands would make it and I would get the "jerks." That morning I added "please don't let me fall down the ramp." Well He answered all my prayers. Forgot to add don't let me fall UP the ramp. You really need to be specific with your prayers sometimes. Anyway, my walker got out ahead of me and I knew a fall was inevitable. Being a pro at "controlled falling" I was just trying to make sure that I didn't crack my head on the concrete. My right knee and hip took the brunt of the hit. I knew nothing was broken. But people, God love them, they all want to grab you arm to help you up...and it just doesn't work that way. I needed to do it by myself. So, here it gets funny to me. As I'm trying to get up on my hands and knees so I can grab the hand rail to pull myself up, the cream I put on my legs before I left home is making my knees slide on the waxed floor. Not good. By this time, a couple of the volunteers had come over to try and grab an arm - rofl - literally. Kim looks like she has seen a ghost and is saying "Dear God, Dear God." So here I am, sliding around on the floor trying to reassure all these people that I'm ok. I finally make it up on my own and off we go. All this takes place in less then 2-3 minutes. However, our lap times after that decreased significantly.
--I am proud to report that I did not cheat by skipping any of the assigned walking areas like so many people did. I realize that this was a "fun" kind of walk, but when I saw that some people were on lap 4 when I started my 2nd lap, something wasn't right.
--Because of the route I had to take, I actually walked 3.46 miles in 90 minutes.
--I was the last one to finish and much to my surprise, everyone was gone. All the signs were down. St. Judes volunteers were long gone, but there was my family waiting there at the finish line to cheer for me. --Actually Drake and Lainee walked the last lap with me which was very cool.
Would it have been nice to have a lot of people cheering me on. Yes. But I was so doggone proud of myself just to be able to cross the finish line. Then, to see the smile on my 81 year old mother's face was priceless and a memory that the both of us will cherish for the rest of our lives.
Was it worth all the anxiety ...YES. Will i do it again...ABSOLUTELY. Will I encourage others to do it...MOST DEFINITELY. Now, I will let you know before you scroll down, that I am a "bad" picture taker. The best I can say is that at least they are proof that I did actually walk the race.
My Friend, Kim, and me before the race.
Me - duh!
Squint real hard and look for the orange dot...that's me,,,no really, it's me - rofl.
Me with my mom, Drake and Lainee at what was the finish line. Christy is taking the picture.