You wake up with so much excitement. A plan in place, Today is the day you committed to run, walk, or crawl a 5K.
Any self doubt that I have surrounding my ability to complete something of this magnitude comes in the days leading up to the race. A lot of arguing with myself.
"It's not like you HAVE to do this."
"You paid for it, you better do it! "
"You already told everybody that you were going to do it and if you don't you will just solidify everything that that think about you...you know the stuff they don't tell you to your face."
"What's wrong with everyone's expectations of you being correct?"
Trust me...there are worse things that I say to myself about what I do and do not accomplish on a regular basis that are much more shocking than anything I've put here today. If you are honest with yourself and others, I'd almost be willing to bet a pile of cash that you do the same thing about your insecurities. It's an inner struggle that I choose to make public so that maybe...just maybe...one day we'll all realize that we are, on some level, the same. The struggle may be different, but the feelings behind them are the same. Maybe, upon that realization, we'll all be a little kinder to each other.
Anyway, I digress...
This is the first time that I have attended a 5k with my little family in participation. I'm usually by myself, with my sister or another family member, and once the fam came out to greet me when I crossed the finish line. This is a different experience entirely. This comes with an entirely NEW set of pressure. This is my sixth 5k. My fourth in 2 years. In all the run/walks I've been part of, the option to quit was always there.
I never took that option, but it was there.
This time my kids were there, so the pressure was a bit overwhelming. I cannot quit. No matter what. At first it weighed really heavy on my heart. I wanted to be there alone. I wanted them to walk ahead and finish and just leave me out there to do what I needed to do. Strangers don't care if you cry. My family does. So no crying this race. Believe it or not this left me a bit unsatisfied. It's not that I want to cry, but it's a physical, mental, and emotional struggle to deal with hauling 280lbs 3.2 miles. For the first mile, every time, I can't even catch my damn breath. It's stressful. Then comes the self-loathing.
"It's your fault. You did this to yourself. Now you want to cry because it's hard." And you do.
When the determination finally kicks in, you usually have about 3/4 of a mile left and whatever pain you are feeling has to be put aside because regardless of why, when, or how...you have to get back. You can sit on the side of the road and cry, but when you're done...your still on the side of the road needing to get back to where you started so you can go home. So, you might as well just keep going and not stop to cry because that just puts you behind and will leave you dehydrated.
My family WAS with me, though, so it was like having to push down all the emotion and just move. My youngest, Erica, just kept telling me how much fun she was having and Autumn hurt herself and finished on a swollen ankle because she was determined to get her medal.
And she did.
We all did.
We persevered as a family.
Today. I hurt. I hurt so bad. I know why. It's because I stupidly thought that I could do this without training and I know better. I have the Roller Coaster Race on May 1st and I have a lot of work to do in the next two weeks.
So I leave you with this:
5 Reasons To Make The Color Run Your First 5k.
1. It's the #happiest5k.
It's true. It really is. Lots of good music to get you pumped, free swag is thrown out at the starting line, and people are generally pleasant. We even had some nice runners give our family some extra leis that they had.
2. It's not timed.
The Color Run is not a competition. It's about getting out there and having a good time. If you are worried about what people will think as you cross the finish line...don't. Everyone does not start at the same time, instead, they release people on the course in "waves" over the course of an hour. Since I'm a slow walker. I try to get in the first wave, leaving plenty of people in front of me and behind me.
3. Color Stations.
The Color Run has 5 color stations that will smack you with different colored cornstarch powder as you go through them. This is an amazing help for first timers. Instead of worrying about when you are going to get to the end, it is almost encouraging to be at the next color station. It's a total moral booster.
4. It's just plain fun!
People come out in make-up, crazy hairstyles, and tu-tus. Lots of tu-tus. Even on men. It's a great time where no one is taking themselves too seriously.
5. Finishers Medal
I'm not one of those "everyone gets a medal" people. I don't think that you give all the kids an award to tell them how special they are, but...I bust my hump to complete a 5k and I love the feeling of something in my hand that says "You did it!" (Lots of races give these, but...)
Think about it. Look for one in a city near you.
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