My Story

The Nun Run

I am considering this my first 5k.  Not ever but as an adult.  I did participate in a Warrior Dash a few years ago but like I said I participated, that was all.  So this was it, the big breakthrough!!!  The day I considered myself a runner again!  Kind of…

Sorry if this is a little lengthy but this race was a big deal.

Back story on why I ran it:

I quit smoking 5/2/14 and needed to make sure it was permanent!  So on 5/18 I went for my first run!  It was awful and hard but the next day I did it again.  If I remember right, they were about a mile each and a walk/run combination.  That Wednesday I signed up for the Nun Run (which was scheduled for that coming Saturday)!!  I immediately started freaking out and wondering how in the world I was going to complete a 5K?!?!  So I recruited my oldest son D, and made him run a practice 5k with me.  (He is a runner and competes on a regular basis).  He stayed with me as I walk/ran a local 5k loop.  When we were done I could have fallen over!  I did it, made it a whole 3.1 miles without quitting.  Point proven, it was race time!

Friday night I told my hubs I was going to run in the morning and wouldn’t be gone too long.  I didn’t mention that I was racing because I DID NOT want anyone there.  The only person in my family that knew I was racing was my son D.

Saturday morning I woke up, ate, freaked out, got dressed and headed out the door.  When I arrived I immediately got butterflies in my stomach and started questioning why I was even there.  I sat in my car for awhile trying to gather my thoughts before going to packet pick-up.

While heading up there I kept looking around to make sure there was no one I knew was there.  That would have been a deal breaker!  I couldn’t emotionally handle having someone I knew see me fail.  I just knew I would fail.  To me walking was failure and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to run the whole way.  3.1 miles was just too far!

Luckily, I didn’t see any familiar faces and started to relax.  I picked up my packet.  Put on my timing chip and took everything else back to my car.  This was a small race so no gear check.  When I took off my sweatshirt and stood there with just a tank top and running capris, it hit me.  I was going to race!  I slowly and I mean slowly made my way to the start area and tried to look like I was warming up.  In reality I was scared to, I thought  that warming up would make it so I couldn’t finish.  It would waste much needed energy and I wouldn’t be able to do it.

So after about 15 minutes of fake warming up and stretches they called us to the starting line!  I set my watch so I could keep track of my doomed time and we were off!

The Race

I started slow!  And I mean slow!  I focused on breathing and watching the backs in front of me.  People were zipping past me like crazy!  We weaved around a couple of city streets before entering a park and running along a bike path.  This was a very pretty course and kept me very distracted!  I remember looking at my watch and being ecstatic that I had ran for 14 minutes without walking!!!!!

We continued through the park before exiting to a side street and heading down a main road in town.  This was for only a short period and then we turned into a driveway.  This is where the race changed for me.  It was there in front of me a huge hill!  I mean huge!  I stopped running as soon as I started going up it, I couldn’t run up it.  It was too big!  At this point I had already past a couple people doing the run/walk thing so my spirits weren’t demolished but, the moment I started walking I knew running again was going to be hard!!!

I ran/walked up the hill and was only hoping we got to go down the other side of it!  At the top they did have a much needed water station, I took a small sip and rinsed my mouth with the rest.  The race also got its name from this point in the race.  They had nuns cheering at the sideline!
At this point we were at about 2 miles.  Almost done! 

We unfortunately did not get to go down the other side of the hill that hurt but we did get a small downward slope that gave a little relief to my aching legs.  The path then turned into fields for the last mile.  I kept moving, slowly but surely I was going to finish.  I started making goals and trying to pass people.  I made it by a couple of them before I could see the finish line!  A few people told me I was almost there as I plodded along.  As I got closer to the finish line a guy that had already finished cheered for me and said you can do it!  I pushed and pushed.  My legs felt like they had lead weights in them, my lungs were on fire, but I had to finish!!
I tried as hard as I could to finish strong!  Then a little boy probably only 8 years old passed me just yards before the finish!  Seriously?  But then I did it, I finally crossed the line at 34:42!!!!!  3 minutes faster than my trial run a few days prior!

I grabbed a water and chocolate milk from the volunteers while another took off my timing chip.  I couldn’t help it and started to tear up.  I did it, I freaking did it!  I finished the race, I was a RUNNER!!!!
I waited for the results so I knew officially my time and place.  I don’t know why I cared about place…competitive nature I guess.  I read my results and had someone ask if I was ok.  I told her yes, I was great!!  I let her know I quit smoking only 3 weeks prior to this race!!!  I couldn’t help but brag, I had accomplished so much in those three weeks!

I hung out and listened to the results and tried to gather my bearings before heading home.  As soon as I got in my car I called my son and told him all about it.  When I got home I finally fessed up to my husband what I had been up to and explained how I didn’t want him to be there to witness me suck!  He told me he would never think that and congratulated me on the finish!!!

This race was the hardest thing I had done in a long time but it started a racing addiction that I just can’t kick!!!!

How did you feel after your first race?

Are you addicted to running or just a fan?

Have you ever felt like you just weren’t going to finish?  What did you do to pull through?