5k doesn't seem like a lot, but it was to me.
I'd tried running once before, back in 2010. It was a help to manage grief, but I couldn't manage much without needing the bathroom.
So, I was the supporter at foot races when my husband ran, and walked a 5k while he ran a 10k in San Francisco. We finished at about the same time.
Jogging became an exciting goal when I was looking forward to my permanent ileostomy. And once I was given the ok from doctors, I hit the gym.
|"first jog in 4 years and I only visited the toilets to take a selfie"|
This Thanksgiving, I got my first snowy jogs in while staying in Western Mass with the family.
I learned then how helpful my husband truly was at helping me jog correctly. And he motivated me and distracted me when I needed it. I learned to work on my breath-patterns, my body posture, my arm swings...
|"running errands - forgot to bring tissues on our jog"|
I began to surprise myself on my bike, never able to predict what gear I was in, because I could pedal more easily. I began running outdoors more and seeing that each run required less effort. But I felt my body and it complained and I let it stop the instant I'd fulfilled my goal for that day, sometimes just a meter or two short of it.
By race day, I'd successfully done 4km multiple times, but not made it to 5, so I was feeling insecure. At first the fears were rational. "What if I can't do it? What if my feet/legs/shoulders hurt? What if I feel nauseated?" These were things that had stymied me in the past and previously I'd given in and quit, more recently I'd powered through.
As we biked to the race, I kept taking deep breaths. I was totally in my head. Ivo said "Did you hear that?!" I hadn't "That kid thought that you were St. Nick's helper on a bike!" I was wearing a santa hat for the run and hadn't heard the kid at all. I must have been scowling. I felt like a jerk.
By the time we neared the race, my thoughts had turned to the irrational, "What if all my guts fall out? What if I have a sudden stroke? What if my legs, just, stop moving?!"
But by the time we were at the starting line, all my fears were gone. I was distracted by the energy and the costumed people. It was like a party. Ivo and I danced around to keep warm. The announcer was so enthusiastic and everyone was cheerful. Then we were off.
With the huge crowds and the ever-changing width of the path, the going was slow. I'd never passed another runner before, so it took a couple of kilometers to give it a go. At one point, I patted someone's shoulder to pass and I think it may have been rude. But the guy read my number sign aloud and seemed empathetic in his reading aloud of "Oh es ist ihre 1st 5k."
It was thrilling and fun and not nearly as hard as I'd anticipated. I was carried along with the crowd and sucked in energy every time we passed folks cheering on the side-lines. I did my best to slow my pace for endurance vs speed, but it was hard. I felt a bit ill when I went uphill in the second round, but that was mainly because of my dancing and singing along with the music in my earbuds. I had one bud in in case I needed it. And had begun listening when we were even with a group of people in Trump costumes, who were getting booed. The booing dampened my mood and the music got me up again.
I was nauseated more thoroughly as we neared the finish line and the sent of something cooking on grill stands near the finish line nearly did me in. It was disgusting. But I crossed the finish line, put my hands on my knees and breathed and the nausea passed once I let out a gutteral moan. I broke into tears, really embarrassing sobbing tears and Ivo grabbed me and lead me to a safe space and we hugged and I cried. I was elated. I trusted my body and it saw me through and I was astonished. And I missed my mum. I wanted so badly to call her.
|after - glassy eyed and hungry|