I’m a runner.
It’s so incredibly weird to type that but after finishing my first race this past weekend, I suppose it’s true. I’m a runner.
Those of you familiar with my story know that I’ve had a crazy journey to get to the point where I can say that. I’ve lost 75 pounds in the last year and a half, 50 of which came off in the first six months. When I started, I was walking on the treadmill at a super slow pace. As I got more confident, I tried running for a minute at a time, then added sprint intervals, then pushed myself for longer distances.
This past weekend I went back to UD for my five-year college reunion. They had a 5k run/walk Saturday morning. That’s right, Saturday morning during a weekend dedicated to reliving your college days. The only thing that got me out of bed after a night of boozing with the class of 2007 was the sheer excitement of running my first race.
Somehow I ended up at the very front for the air horn start. I was a little nervous but settled into my pace right away. I studied the course so I had an idea of what my time should be at certain points. Unfortunately we got off track pretty early. They had students with arrows on their shirts directing us through the course. We missed a turn into a parking lot and instead went straight up Stuart Hill, which should have come later in the race. I had been dreading the hill but my legs were fresh since we tackled it early and I sailed up it with no problems.
The sun was crazy hot and I was sweating out alcohol but I kept chugging along through campus. I maintained my pace and stayed focused. When we looped back to the start/finish line, I had to slow down to get instructions on making up the distance we missed. The brief pause threw off my momentum and I ended up walking for a bit. I was set on trying to run the whole thing and was worried it would kill my overall time so I started running again after about a minute.
I was cheesing hardcore as I approached the start/finish line (for real this time) and sprinted to the end. My final time was 31:56, which I was super happy with. I was even happier when the guys who finished first told me we actually ran 3.4 miles instead of 3.1 because of the extra route we added on. Despite walking a little, my pace was around 9:24/minute. So crazy.
I had a total runner’s high after the race and felt like a badass. It was a surreal, out-of-body experience and I still can’t believe I did it, and ran at a pretty decent pace at that. I did get a little emotional after the race was over. Crossing the finish line felt like a culmination of all the hard work I’ve put in over the last year and a half. I still have some more to lose but thinking about how far I’ve come, I feel amazing.
When’s the next one?