Saturday was the kind of day that makes you smile.
Dale and I woke up early to participate in a 5k fundraiser for Tripp Halstead, a local child who was severely injured last October when a tree branch fell on him.
We got up around 6:30 AM to begin getting ready. Those of you who know me already know that I am NOT a morning person, and 6:30 comes quickly when you normally go to bed around 1 AM.
Dale gulped some coffee. I shoved a pack of chocolate chip Little Bites muffins down my belly and we headed out the door.
Since I had my stitches out from my Melanoma back in March, my doctor had told me to take it easy on the running because I could still damage my scar for up to a year after surgery. I have been walking on the “dreadmill” and through the neighborhood when I haven’t been worried about melting, but I only got the okay from my doctor to start running again about three weeks ago.
I have competed in nine triathlons and numerous 5k races, but I was about to find out how not being able to run for three months had taken a toll on my body…and my ego.
I knew I would probably be a slow runner so I went to the back of the crowd and waited for the race to start.
Mile one came and went. I looked down at my pedometer. I was running at a pace of 13 minutes per mile. So far, so good.
Mile two came and I noticed that my legs were really getting heavy. Did I somehow contract polio this morning?
What the heck??
Was I carrying $50 in change in my pockets or something? It was getting harder and harder to put one foot in front of the other.
I checked my pedometer again.
Good. At least I was getting close to three miles.
And that’s when it happened.
A rush of people came up from behind me and blew right past me like I was standing still. Two moms were pushing strollers…one with TWINS in it. They were chatting away like they were sitting at a coffee shop while I was gasping for breath and sort of making choking and gurgling sounds. My face was so hot I thought I might spontaneously combust at any moment.
Suddenly, up ahead, I saw it. It was as if the heavens opened up and the sun started to shine down.
It was the golden arch of the finish line.
I picked up the pace. Woo-hoo!!! I was back to being a runner. It took everything I had not to punch myself in the shoulder in a “way to go” fashion. I was so proud of myself!
That is, until a seven-year-old girl with pigtails and pink “Hello Kitty” sneakers flew past me like the finish line was an ice cream truck and she had some dollars to spend.
I have some serious training to do.