On Sunday we woke up at the butt-crack of dawn (which I suppose is really no different than most days). We got dressed in workout gear and loaded the boys in the car and headed to the park near our house for the Strawberry Festival 5K. This is a pretty common occurance in our family as it's no secret that Brian is an
psycho avid runner.
But this time was different. This time I was the race participant and Brian stood on the sidelines to cheer me on. It was odd to have this role reversal. I've become an expert at scouring course maps to find strategically placed cheering spots. I know his pre-race ritual like clockwork and am always available to hold shedded layers of clothing. I know his paces for various race lengths and how much time I have to move between cheering spots.
Being the one being cheered on? Weird.
Brian signed me up for this race back in January. It was part of my anniversary gift from him. We have talked about making an effort to do things that the other person enjoys, and he decided to get it going by helping me to do something he likes. Sweet, right? I don't think he fully understood that conversation. But he also knew that I've been trying to get in shape and I always say that I need a goal. Bottom line, he wants me to feel good about myself and be healthier for our boys and this was his little part of accomplishing those goals.
For weeks I've been preparing. Perfecting my walk/run combo. Setting goals for myself. But over those weeks I started to experience pain -- lots of pain, right in the baby maker. I kinda figured I might be overdoing it a little and that my uterus and it's ligament friends are just yelling at me. But I also figured I should probably get a professional opinion on the matter instead of doing all this "figuring" myself.
So off to the lady doctor I went. I saw the nurse practitioner, who I hadn't met before but decided that I LOVE. She's great and confirmed my suspicions that my body may still be recovering, but also expressed some concern that I may have some scarring or adhesions in there. I mean, I imagine having 13 pounds 3 ounces of baby, plus their accompaniments (water, placentas...) all stuffed inside your uterus is a bit traumatic to a woman's body. I also discussed with her my weight loss struggles, despite calorie counting and exercise. She ordered an ultrasound and some blood tests and hopefully we can figure out what's going on. But in the meantime, she told me I shouldn't do anything that hurts ... like run. Balls. I was bummed, but decided to walk the 5K anyways.
Race day came. Brian's parents, his sister, and her husband were in town for the weekend. My sister-in-law decided to sign up last minute too, so we headed to the park a few minutes before everyone else. We got started and she headed up with the runners while I held back with the walkers. I kept a nice steady pace of walking for the first mile. But at the start of the second mile, I got bored. And I kept getting stuck behind strollers and people walking slower than me. So I decided to jog a bit.
While jogging, I spotted three very familiar looking dogs up ahead. Brian and the dogs met up to run with me for a minute. The encouragement kept me jogging. Then a little further down I spotted Brian's parents with all three of my boys ... more encouragement.
Brennan & Grandma cheering me on
I walked most of the rest of the race, but threw in a bit of jogging here and there. Brian cheered me on at different places, sometimes jogging with me, sometimes just holding Brennan and providing words of encouragement. My boys are the best cheerleaders ever.
My goal was to finish the race in under 45 minutes. They had clocks running at the first and second mile markers, so I knew that if I kept up my pace I'd reach my goal. When I saw the finish line, I knew I'd make it.
I crossed the finish line at 44:45, but since I was toward the back of the crowd to start, my official time was 44:27.5. That's 14:19 pace. Honestly? I was pretty happy with it. It's a start.
Afterward, Brian asked me how it felt. It felt odd to be on the other end of things, but it felt good. I accomplished something I've never done before. And that felt good. And now I have a number to beat.