Guest Post – First Race
Hi friends! I hope you all have a great Thursday! Today I have a guest post for you from Jackie about running her first race. I hope you enjoy it :).
My First Race
By: Jackie Clark
I’d always hated running. I found ways to avoid running whenever possible. But after I delivered my first baby, I found myself at a loss for how to lose all that baby weight I didn’t expect to gain. Before my pregnancy, no one could ever imagine me bigger than a size eight, but afterward I was more than twice that and feeling very uncomfortable about it.
When a dear friend suggested we train together for a 5k, I immediately declined. Once I learned that a 5k wasn’t actually five miles, I felt a little more receptive, and eventually she convinced me to start. We signed up to run in the local Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. When we registered, we received a fundraising web site, which I touted using social media like Twitter and Facebook. I was surprised by how many people I got to visit and who ended up donating to the cause. In fact, many who donated were friends of mine that I didn’t know were breast cancer survivors. One was even a survivor of mesothelioma, and his encouragement and willingness to donate made a big difference to me. The Mesothelioma survival rate is especially low, hovering at only 40 percent, and I knew what a fight my friend had been through.
As a result of the overwhelming support my friends, family, and Twitter followers offered I began to get more serious about training. Originally, I had wanted to just run the first mile, and I would be comfortable walking the rest. For someone who had never run a mile in her life without cheating by skipping a lap, this was a considerably high goal in the first place, but I decided I wanted to run the whole thing. So with four weeks to train, I started out slowly just to see how long I could run without stopping. The first day, it wasn’t long, but I realized if I ran faster I could finish my first mile quicker. After a week of training every day, I could run the first mile and was walking/running the second and third. In the middle of the third week I worked up to running a quick first mile and then settling into a slow but steady pace for the rest of them. My goal now became a 35-minute time, which I hadn’t been able to reach when I entered race day.
We had to get up early, and parking was such a mess I thought I might be late. I ended up having to park and walk almost half a mile, which I worried might slow me down. I picked up my race chip and attached it to my shoe, then pinned my number to my shirt. Suddenly, I looked like I belonged here. When the race began, the huge surge of people running at once took me a little by surprise, but I picked an older, skinnier lady to pace myself with and the adrenaline carried me the rest of the way. I finished just 15 seconds short of my 35-minute goal, but I was so proud of myself, especially seeing my husband and baby waving signs and cheering me on near the finish line.
I learned after the race that all our fundraising efforts helped donate more than $600,000 to fighting cancer. That felt almost as good as finishing my first race.