Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Birth of an Athlete

I have never considered myself an athlete. Even at the few points in my life where I was athletic, I was not a true athlete. In fact, I have never considered myself to be very competitive.

That all changed on Saturday.

Saturday, I ran my first competitive 5K. I have been training for a 10K for a couple weeks now and though my true goal race is in October, I wanted to give myself a little challenge right now. So I decided to sign up for a 5K in my area to see where I was at fitness-wise. (I should note here that I have done 5Ks and 10Ks before but only for exercise and not ever to be competitive or push myself.)

I live in Houston and it is it is HOT outside, even at 7:30 AM. The actual temperature was 84 degrees but they said the "feels like" temperature was 92. 90-freaking-2. Yeah...

I did this race by myself so I awkwardly stood around by myself until it started. Of the couple hundred people there, everyone seemed to be fit and only a few of us were fat. But actually most of the chunkier people were older than me. But I figured no one would make fun of a fat girl who was trying to be more fit, right?

Once the race started, I knew I was going to have to push myself. Hard. And I did. I was walking and doing small spurts of running. When I would get comfortable walking, I made myself start running (slowly). Honestly, it was just too hot for me to try to do any extended running...seriously, we are talking about 30 second intervals. The best part of the course was getting to the half-way point. I hadn't died yet, so chances were I was going to make it! Around there, my previously absent competitiveness started to kick in. I passed a few people who were getting tired and slowing down (I knew I wasn't going to be super fast so I initially started near the back). As I passed people, I was determined not to let them pass me again...a couple did but most didn't! And some of these were skinnier and younger than me! That definitely felt good!

When I turned down the last 0.1 mile, I started running...not sprinting, but definitely running a little faster than I had been the whole time. The best part was running across the finish line. Seriously if I ran any farther at that point I was going to pass out and by that point I wanted to vomit. I was so proud of myself! My time was was the fastest I have ever competitively run! I officially felt like an athlete!

As soon as I could breathe again, I drank a bunch of water and loaded up on watermelon. Yum! There was a ton of pizza and beer and everybody was chowing down. Beer at 8:30 in the morning didn't appeal to me though but I finally let myself have one small slice...but really the watermelon was way better!

I'm really glad that I did this race because it definitely helped my confidence!

Here I am finishing the race:

I don't this like fact I HATE taking pictures when I am so heavy. I have taken very few pictures in the past few years. Thinner, I am very photogenic and love the camera! I bought this picture anyway to mark the occasion. It is embarrassing posting it online but I'm going to do it anyway! If you are thinking, "Hey, you look thinner in your small picture at the top of the blog!" (shown below), you are right...but, alas, I am the same weight...I just know how to pose to look thinner in a head shot! :) This picture was from my trip to Italy.

Here is actually one from a 5K I did fall 2011 with my family. I ran/walked it in just over 47 minutes. I definitely felt faster and stronger this year, though the weather was WAY the 60s that morning. I will take that over the 80s any day!

 I saw this on Pinterest a while back and it cracked me up...I definitely know the feeling! (Did you see the pictures above?? Yeah!)

But who cares...I'm still lapping the people on the sofa! :)

Until later, happy running!

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