Yesterday was Race Day. The weather was perfect. The sun was out but not blazing. There was a nice breeze. Excitement in the air as all the teams gathered in the middle of the high school track. Music was playing, girls were dancing, singing. It was a celebration.
Then we were off. I walked a little, ran a little.
My thinking – I’d stop at the first watering station. It marked the first mile. I could do one mile (I’m up to 2.5 on my treadmill).
When I got there I decided to keep going to the second watering station marking the second mile.
I passed the second watering station.
As people were passing me, I decided I would keep walking until the police car marking the end of the race caught up to me. Then I’d hitch a ride back up to the track – the finish line.
The car caught up to me just after 2.5 miles. I was ready to hop in but my co-worker, Kim (who had been in front of the car from the get go) wouldn’t let me. She kept saying we could do this. She was amazing – and walking faster than me.
At this point, I had zero excuses. She’s just as big as I am and just as short (4’11”). If she was going to keep going I had to too.
The last half mile was mostly uphill and was awful!!
Although we were REALLY bringing up the rear (by this point we couldn’t see the runners in front of us) people were still there… cheering us on…. And I started losing it.
Our hometown hosted the race so many people were cheering our names. We were almost there, Kim still walking in front of me.
I could hear announcements as we entered the high school parking lot. (Someone needed their car battery jumped). Having already finished the race, many runners were walking to their cars.
Friends, co-workers and strangers lined the opening to the track, cheering us on.
After we made the last turn on the track, Kim took off running. For a second, I thought I’d run too… nope. I think I might have passed out if I tried.
People were still in the stands cheering. Music was playing. I crossed the finish line… last. Emotions took over. I bent over and cried like a baby. I stood up to find a crowd around me – cheering, crying, taking pictures.
As friends and strangers hugged me they were saying, “Great job”, “You’re an inspiration”, “I’m so proud of you”, on and on. It felt great but really, I’m no inspiration. I wanted to quit so many times. It was Kim who kept me going.
The only thing that would have made this experience perfect – my family being there.