When Cari of Clan Donaldson posted about the Catholic Exchange Virtual 5K, I thought it looked interesting. I mean, what other 5K’s offer the option of limping or crawling — it was totally a win-win for me.
Around the middle to end of August, I started paying attention to what S (Daniel’s former physical therapist from Easter Seals) was posting on Facebook about Run for Courage that would be taking place on the same day as the Virtual 5K. She and I are both fans of International Justice Mission and it seemed like a cool event in which I could participate. An added bonus: they offered a 5K option which meant that I would be able to do the Virtual 5K without having to figure out a place to run with a route that would be around 5K so I went ahead and signed up. Over the next month, I blegged for sponsors and raised $150. I always meant to go for a walk and actually train but things like my fibromyalgia got in the way.
On Saturday, I got up at 5:20 a.m. and packed Daniel’s dude bag with diapers, wipes, Cheerios, goldfish, and apple juice while Jon (who had come out to the living room around 5 a.m.) got Daniel ready. We were out of the house by 5:50 and in Elk Grove by 6:15 where we would be meeting S and the members of her church that were taking part. It was the first time she had seen Daniel since he turned 3 (almost 6 months ago) and she was impressed by his progress. While we waited for people to come, I installed Daniel’s car seat in her car and tried to be chipper even though it was seriously too early for me to be charming. After stashing Daniel’s stroller in someone else’s car, we prayed and headed to Folsom where the race was going to be held. Since I wasn’t driving, I was able to eat my bagel and drink my latté. (Our rendezvous point was right next to $tarbux. Woo.) We got to the park around 7:00 a.m. and parked about 1/4 mile away. (There were probably 5000 people there — parking was insane.)
After getting our bibs and changing shirts, we lined up according to the race we’d be running (or walking in my case) and they had people warm up. The 10K people went first and then the 5K runners were allowed to leave. The walkers (like me) were last and I managed to start out well. My goal was to be under an hour and it seemed attainable. I started doubting it though when we hit the first mile marker and I was already feeling the burn. I kept moving though and grabbed water when we hit the water station around halfway through. One really cool thing was that the race organizers had recruited volunteers to be cheerleaders and as pathetic as it sounds, they were a blessing.
Once I hit the second mile marker, I realized that I had forgotten to take my inhaler before starting. (Bad asthmatic! No cookie!) I was starting to get pain across my chest and I probably should have stopped at that point. Then again, this is me we’re talking about and I’m notorious for ignoring my body and just pushing myself like nothing else. I almost cried when we hit the third mile marker and the sign said, “You’re almost done!” Yeah, I seriously wanted to *be* done at that point and I was resenting the perkiness of that sign. I kept moving (I did the whole 5K without stopping) and with 30 yards to go, S spied me at the finish line and opted to join me and push Daniel’s stroller for the last little bit. My time was 1:04:24 — a little over 4 minutes more than my goal of being under an hour but I had also been pushing probably 45 lbs of kid + stroller for 3.1 miles. (I would have easily been under 45 minutes if it had been just me walking.) Before we had crossed the line, S had tossed me a water bottle and once I was over the finish line, she took Daniel while I grabbed some fruit and a cereal bar. I also discovered that my inhaler had fallen out of my cosmetic case in my purse and it took a few minutes to find the canister portion so I could take a few hits off of it. Once I had drained my water bottle, my chest stopped hurting so much and the pain largely vanished after two puffs of Albuterol.
I was definitely the last one over the finish line of the church group with which I was hanging out but that was fine — my goal was to complete it, not vie for a good finishing time. One of the women had come in 3rd overall in the 10K and first in her age group so we stayed around to cheer for her when she got her prize. After this, we loaded up and headed back to Elk Grove. Once I had been dropped off and done my Elk Grove errands, I headed home and tossed Daniel and myself into the shower. (Both of us are allergic to grass and we were in stubble all morning.)
The top picture is me (un-Photoshopped or airbrushed) before my shower. The bottom picture is my race bib next to the Virtual 5K graphic.