I have run 5K on my treadmill and around the neighborhood many times since last September but there was some anticipation in doing it so with thousands of other people.
I first started to train with the goal of Reindeer Run sponsored by Lifetime fitness in December but it fell on the same day as Somu’s fifth birthday party so I let it pass. This year as spring was approaching and I needed a goal to get me back on track and keep me motivated. I was a little hesitant but then I saw this email from a co-worker who was organizing a team to run together at the Susan G. Komen 5K and I knew it a sign… I believe big time in signs, everything happens for a reason. So, I registered as a part of capital co-worker’s team.
I trained mostly at work and on tread mill, I think I just one run per week that was outside of the house and my cellphone gauge said that I was doing alright but I did not know how I would perform at an organized event and with other people around, if I’d slow down or start walking, I couldn’t recall how I did when I ran alone and the uncertainty about my own capabilities helped me set a modest goal; I just want to run all the way.
I didn’t have a stop watch but my watch with needles suggests that I took about 34-35 minutes to finish it, a lousy number by a runners account but I am still proud that I did it and when I was done I wasn’t falling apart, I had plenty of reserve left and happy.
It was in high thirties when I left home that morning, I dressed in layers. It was my first time running in that low a temperature. I wanted to eat an egg and toast before I left but didn’t have enough time so I ended adding a scoop of protein powder to my morning milk coffee. I ran pretty okay, at about 2.5 miles I was ready to slow down but the cheer group said only half mile to go and that motivated me. The other reason that I kept me going was a new friend that I made that morning, her name is Jennifer. She was used to running much faster and shorter distances so her goal was to pace the race to last the entire distance. We started running together and I didn’t wanna loose myself in the midst of as sea of people so I kept up with her. After I was done with the race we stood in line for water before heading over to the gathering point to meet with the rest of our team.
We all did something new that day, some ran fast, some ran slow, some took longer strides and some didn’t need to use their Asthma puffs; It was amazing to see those sea of people and their supports, people raising awareness by wearing bra on top of their clothes, some survivors who had to get their breasts removed hung milk bottles around their neck to make a mockery the over-rated organ and to laugh in the face of life… it was eye-opening.
I guess when you suffer the pain you lose many inhibitions, like my friend from Congo was telling about a girl who managed to climb over a 12ft wall topped with broken glass all naked just so that she is not mutilated and raped by the militia. It is scary the kind of pain that humans are capable of inflicting on each other but it’s amazing to witness the resilience of the human race at an event like this, it reinforces the inherit belief in the goodness of human soul.
I went home and made pancakes with the girls but then right after the shower I was hit with my usual terrible migraine headache and I spent the rest of the day in bed. It wasn’t until 5 in the evening that I could keep the food down and during the pains I kept praying, God if you don’t want me to go to the art museum with the kids I will not go but please take the pain away. Now that I look back I think it was good that I spent that day in bed and sleeping and I also know that I would have been able to relax if I didn’t have that headache I would have ended up working on one thing or the other so that horrible pain was what God had to give me to pin me to bed… and I am thankful for that too.