Saturday, January 1, 2011

Starting the New Year on the Right Foot

I know everyone has said this already, but holy moly, I cannot believe 2010 is over! What a whirlwind of a year. I'm not going to do a year in review, but let's just say last year was great. We had some rocky points and some wonderful ones, and I believe we ended 2010 in a really good spot. 

I have never been good on making resolutions every year but I tried last year. They were a little lofty and I don't even think I believed them as I was writing them. I hit a few points and missed more. I should have just been simple with my resolutions and stated the two that were most important to me. The first was to grow as a wife. Of course, that will always be something I strive for - I am so proud to be Ben's wife and I want to be a good one. I seriously fail in so many ways, but I love him as best I can and I think that is the most important thing. 

The second thing I wanted to do, but if I'm being honest, didn't think I actually would do it, was to run a 5K. A few opportunities presented themselves, but for one reason or another, I couldn't/didn't sign up (we were out of town, I had to work, etc., etc.). I started walking on the treadmill for 3 miles at a time and running as much as I could. I am not a good runner. I am very out of shape and I'm lugging way too many extra pounds around to make it an easy task. I have never believed I could be a runner. I admire those that do run, but I can't take my mind to actually allowing myself to go there. I'm afraid. Afraid I'll look stupid. Afraid it will hurt. Afraid I won't be able to do it. 

I decided to not be a baby any longer and signed us up for the last 5K of the year, well, technically the first of the new year, but I'm gonna go ahead and count it as 2010. I really wasn't prepared (except for my outfit, I obviously made sure to prepare myself in that area), but I tried to stay positive. My goal was to run as much as I could and push myself as hard as I could. I didn't care about my time (although I wanted to finish in 50 minutes max and was hoping for 45), I just wanted to finish knowing I did as good as I could have.

Race day finally came and my just-getting-over-a-nasty-bug husband was pretty nervous. Christmas had knocked us off our training wagon and he was anxious about doing well. Plus, it was below freezing and neither of us had ever ran in the cold. However, we bundled up and headed downtown to await the stroke of midnight. We counted down 2010 and after a quick smooch we were off. 

I did as best I could. I would say I ran about 2/3 of the race, which is more than I thought I would. We ran together for 3/4 of a mile (I ran that whole distance!) and then I needed a short walking break and Ben continued on. I am proud to say I ran as much as I could. I set little goals for myself saying "ok, walk for a few more steps and then run to that sign up ahead" and I met every one (I usually cut myself slack and stop early). The cold was really getting to me after about 2.5 miles and I was coughing a lot. Soon though, I saw the flashing lights of the last leg. The end was in sight. I started thinking how I thought I couldn't do this, but here I was, actually doing it! I ran the last few blocks and rounded the corner for the finish when I saw Ben, cheering me on. I ran into his arms and about started crying. I was so proud! "I did it! I ran as much as I possibly could!" I was so happy! What time is it I asked? He looked at his watch and it wasn't even 12:45 yet, meaning, given the few minutes we had to wait to actually start the race (we were at the end of the crowd), I had finished in less than 45 minutes!

38:16 to be exact! I was floored! I never dreamed I'd beat 40 minutes! I averaged a pace of 12:10 a mile, which is crazy considering I had never been able to sustain that on a treadmill! Ben did awesome too, finishing at 31:42.

Ben said my time was a testament to what I actually can do as opposed to what I only think I can do. I am just happy that I did what I wanted and that was to do the best I could - the time is just icing on the cake!

Here we are before heading to the race bundled, nervous and excited...

...and here we are after, cold, tired and so very happy!

Happy New Year! Here's to a wonderful 2011!

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