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The Overdue Update!

May 23, 2011

Link to my finishing photo.

Yes, I did. I completed my first 5K ever yesterday!

The night before the race (Friday), I had a nice pasta dinner, as I have heard is customary for runners. I woke up at 5:30 a.m., which is definitely far from my normal wake-up time, and started the day off right with a carb-filled bagel. When I actually gained consciousness (like I said, not a morning person) I began to get a little nervous. I was attending the race alone, and I didn’t know what to expect, as it was my first. I was hoping I wouldn’t stick out too bad as the noob that I was.

The race (Harvey’s 5K) was held right next to the bay in St. Petersburg (FL, that is – not Russia!), which was a pretty scenic route. All the runners (about 300, I’d say) huddled near the starting line and before I knew it, I was jogging steadily. Except, unlike what I am used to when running alone, person upon person passed me up (in the beginning).

Luckily, I had my trusty Pandora radio going to help me zone out. I had a great station going that included heavy doses of Armin Van Buuren, Deadmau5, and David Guetta. The perfect mix to get me psyched out.

I had been averaging about 12.5 minute miles and the 5K equates to approximately 3.11 miles so I was hoping that I could just finish in under 40 minutes (and not be the last one!) My first mile was complete at a time of 11:32, which I was very happy with. To my surprise, lots of people (even – as I like to point out – “thin” people) had resorted to swift walking even before the end of the second mile. I, suited in my nearly 200-pound body armor, take a strange pride in knowing that I kept running after all these “thin” people had given up.

The last mile was really difficult. I was very tired. I saw a couple of people sweating and jogging around me, struggling just the same and I continued on, knowing that I could make it to the finish line without stopping.

As I reached the end of the third mile, I saw the finish line approaching. I was huffing and puffing, exhausted, but I knew this was it. I broke into my fastest sprint, and as I crossed the finish line and heard my time called out – “34:27” – I couldn’t have been happier.

Finishing that race was like avenging every – for lack of a better term – ASSHOLE who has ever taken a stab at me for being over my weight. I still remember an obnoxious 5-year-old laughing and exclaiming to her friends at recess, “Look at the fat girl run! See her fat jiggling!” I still remember my dad telling me to “get my lard ass up there” when I was having trouble lifting myself onto an inner tube in 5th grade. I remember how boys scoffed at me in high school. But this, this was me finally fighting back.

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