Yesterday, I finished my first 5K. Woot! I didn't finish it alone, either. I had a wonderfully supportive group of friends who were there to push me, and who finished with me. I was really overwhelmed with emotion yesterday (and still am today, but have turned the waterworks off), and made a video to thank them all: Anne (with James and Eliot in tow), Heidi, Kristi, Kelly Anne, Elizabeth, Noel, Amber and Trainer Rob. I don't care that I'm crying like a baby in that video. How can one adequately express gratitude to a group of people who helped push you to a major goal? There are no words.
On my way to pick up Kelly Anne and Elizabeth, it was storming. I was concerned it wouldn't let up and the race would be cancelled, but thankfully by the time we reached the race destination, the rain had stopped. I met up with my new friends as we got our race numbers on and t-shirts picked up.
Me and Noel
Shay from The Biggest Loser Season 8, and a major inspiration of mine, was doing meet-and-greets at the Subway tent. Each of us took pictures with her and she was gracious and sweet. I shared a little about me starting at 455 pounds and losing 64 so far, etc. I asked her questions about doing it at home vs. on The Biggest Loser and she said that she has more appreciation for those who do it at home, because they're not in a sheltered environment. You have real life issues you have to figure out and cope with, instead of being in seclusion focusing ONLY on your weight.
Shay and Me, pre race
There were brief welcomes and speeches by Shay and others, however we were too far away from the stage to hear it. Soon enough, the gun sounded and we were off! Trainer Rob was hellbent on me doing the race as a high intensity day. I had a goal in my head of finishing under 1 hour, however honestly, I just wanted to finish! We did a 5 minute warm up, then went into high intensity intervals. 1 minute power walk or jog, then 1 minute walk, 1 minute jog, 1 minute walk, 1 minute jog, 5 minutes walk. So, each set is 10 minutes: 3 minutes high, 2 minutes walk in-between, then 5 minutes recovery. I am NOT a runner, and haven't really done any workouts outside, so the heat and humidity was a lot to take in. I was on the verge of tears at some points when Rob would tell me to jog or power walk. Sometimes I didn't do it. He kept pushing me to do it. My friends were pushing me. I honestly feel I did the absolute best I could.
The course was BEAUTIFUL. Trees, flowing streams, bridges, corn fields. It really was spectacular.
Around mile 2, we saw Shay with her group of Subway participants up ahead. She was like “You can do it! Come on!” Trainer Rob asked her some questions, and they chatted about crossfit and other ways of training, etc.
After seeing the time clock at mile 2, Trainer Rob knew I could finish in under an hour, so that was a good feeling/motivation in my head, despite that my body was just feeling slow and gross. My pants were falling down when I would jog, and my shirt was too short, and the camisole I wore underneath it was straight polyester and was sticking to me like crazy. Yuck.
When we had about 1/3 of a mile left, Shay came back to finish it with me! Talk about motivation.
Turns out she and I were sharing the same saggy pants story, so I'm glad I wasn't alone! Somehow, Noel recorded some of our conversation while she was walking backwards. I'll throw it in at the end of this post.
We rounded a corner and could see the finish line ahead. It was about 1/10 of a mile. Trainer Rob was like “let's jog it!” so Shay and I went jogging:
I was so happy I wanted to cry. Shay said “hey- go ahead if you want to! It's weight loss!” But I didn't. I was too tired! I thanked her again and she took a group photo with us.
Some of us all went out to grab breakfast afterwards. It was a great way to cool off and socialize.
Edited to add: Per Noel's Garmin our time was 58:27. The official race time from the results today was 59:20. It took us a little bit to get to the starting line after letting the runners get off first. I'm fine with either time though 🙂
When I got home, I saw this on Twitter:
She DID tell me so. And all of you guys told me so. And the wonderful friends who were with me told me so. And I'm SO.GLAD.
Not sure when the next race will be, but there WILL be one. Right now, I'm just going to be happy with this accomplishment and check it off on my 101 in 1001 list.
Here's the advice Shay gave me, as well as a photo slideshow.