Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today is the 5K Day!

I am up early for a Saturday ready for my 5K.  I am nervous.  I have been joking all week that I feel like I might die, but when it is only a couple of hours away, those fears become more pungent.

I have my ruby red slippers on.

That is not the camera, my legs are that white.

I know that Glinda won't magically appear so I can click my heels.  I have to walk the distance.

I am also wearing my Shawshank t-shirt.

Boob shot is free (that should get some blog hits!)

This is symbolic too.  Like Andy Dufresne I am going to work slowly to tunnel out of the prison that is my weight.  I have never felt like I couldn't do anything I wanted to, but I know I could feel better and be healthier.  I have never felt like people judge me because of my weight, but maybe I am just naive.  It is time for change.  It is time for action.

Today is the day.  I am doing this.  Watch for updates. 

Andy Dufresne: [in letter to Red] Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

8:40 AM:
20 minutes to race.

It was a beautiful day to walk.  Some of my co-workers were there and encouraged me.  I was getting nervous about the walk.  What if I couldn't finish?  

They announced the start and asked those with strollers and slow walkers to stay in the back and runners in the front.  I stuck myself in the back. 

I started walking as fast as I could trying to keep a steady pace.  The group fanned out pretty quickly.  I was NEAR the back, but not the last.  A father and his daughter walked in front of me and he spent fifteen minutes talking about the difference between kilometers and miles. 

Then I passed a big red one taped to the trail.   I had made it ONE MILE!  It was the farthest I'd walked in, honestly I don't know how long.  High school?

The trail was set up to walk halfway and then turn around walk back.  This had been a question when I'd signed up.  I didn't want to walk 3.1 miles and then have to walk back.

About twenty minutes in I started seeing the lead runners making their way back.  I gave them a wave and a smile, but they were more focused than I was and didn't wave back.

I just kept going.  There was a water station but I'd brought my own so I didn't stop.  The father/daughter team stopped and I moved ahead.  I just focused on steps, moving forward. 

I started to worry because I didn't see the halfway point.  I started asking the runners coming the other way. 

"Halfway point coming up?"

Nod.  How would he know. 

"Do I get to turn around soon?"

Thumbs up.  Did you even hear me?

"Is that blue t-shirt up there the turn around?"


I made it halfway!!!!

The halfway lady took my picture.  She even got the halfway line in there as proof.

Now I had walked as far as I still needed to walk.  I was alone.  I just focused on each step, the feel of the asphalt beneath my feet, breathing in and out.  I had sweat rolling down my back.  I wished that I'd worn sunglasses and a hat.  I wished I'd left my purse in my car. 

I passed the ones behind me who praised my progress. 

I got to the water station and filled up my bottle.  I walked behind a group of tweens.  They were meandering.  I started to go around them while they debated on whether to run or not.

"Don't let the old lady pass you!"  I announced, coming around. 

They laughed and started to speed up.  There was another water station and they were entranced by the offer of Gatorade.  I kept walking.

After the passing a big red one taped to the trail telling me it was almost over, I called my husband. 

"I'm almost there."

"Great," he said, "you don't even sound out of breath."

I played some Elvis on my phone for a few songs until I made my way around a bend and saw the finish line.  It was there.  I had done it.

For the last fifteen feet I ran.  And strangers cheered.

I finished in one hour and four minutes.  I was hot.  I was sweaty.  My feet and ankles are killing me. But I did it. 


  1. Jo - So excited for you. I have been following your movie blog and now your running blog. Cheering you from Ohio.

  2. Jo - I am so proud of you. You have inspired me to start my own walking program and blog about it ( And we both know I can lose a pound or two! I have been sharing your blog with some friends at work too - and you are inspiring all of us!

    Keep it up! I need someone to follow!

  3. Love the after story!!!! I looked up how many miles 5k was earlier this week...... I'm impressed!!