Wow! She DID it!
Note: We join in congratulating Stephanie for finishing her first 5K. Here, how it was, how it felt, in her own words.
I was very nervous the days leading up to the MHA On The Move 5K. I was prepared though. I had done the training, I had solicited donations, I had my iTunes Playlist on my iPod and new sneakers on my feet. My family showed up to cheer me on with a banner and the family dog.
When the race started I remembered all the advice I had been given about pacing myself. My training was on a treadmill so I tried to simulate the pace I'd run these past few weeks. However, something happened I didn't expect. I was passing people on the race route. Passing them! I certainly didn't expect that to happen. My brain said it must be a fluke. I kept running. Then came the first incline.
I remembered my aunt telling me to remember that it would be a struggle up hill but I'd gain some momentum when I had to go back down. She was right. I kept running. I looked at my shadow on the ground. Was that me? That skinny woman with the ponytail? Yup, that's me. Did I just pass that teenager? Am I keeping pace with that super fit guy ahead of me? Yes, I was! As I came into the home stretch, I was breathing harder and I started counting the parking lots to the finish line. One more lot and you're there, Stephie. I picked up the pace. This whole time I had been worried about finishing but as I neared the end I became interested in my time.
My family was right there at the finish line when I entered the funnel and they took my number for my times. They were cheering me on at how well I did. Quite frankly, I think they were as surprised as I was. They were about to get another cup of coffee and wait for me. I finished in 28:48 - the best time I had done to date. The best time I'd done in my life. I don't think I stopped smiling for hours.
I don't regret a thing about the MHA 5K. It is a great cause. It will always mean a lot to me because it was my first 5K. My only complaint is I didn't get a medal. Oh well, now I have a goal for next year!!