The last time there was a LWM rally, we were all about supporting Erin as she returned to work in January. Social media for the win, really. I put the call out, and you all came to support her with tweets and kind words, and it made me so happy because I know what a difference it made for her. So it was very apropos when Erin reached out to me as I began my c25k endeavor.
As a seasoned runner, she, along with so many others, supported me with kind words and “you got this” mentality. And then a month ago she suggested I join her for a local 5k, as we do live just a few towns away from each other. I was nervous, but the more I thought about it and checked out the race, I decided to take the plunge and signed up. Cue mental hysterics as I realized I had just 4 weeks to get ready. I was only about to start week 4 of c25k, and there are a total of 8 weeks of training with the ease into 5k app. What was I thinking?!?!
But I trudged along, slowly, and struggling a lot with week 4, which I had to repeat before moving on. But then something happened. Week 5…6…and day 1 of week 7 happened before the 5k this past Saturday. I was doing all I was supposed to. Running when the app told me to. Pushing through it. And I felt that I had so many people watching and rooting me on as I tweeted about accomplishing all of these goals. And Erin was always there too.
Since last week I only made it to week 7 day 1, I was still doubting if this working momma could do this. The most I had run straight was 20 minutes, and that did not get me to 5k. As Erin and I emailed, I kept telling her she didn’t have to run with me. She didn’t have to stay behind. But she didn’t care. She was going to be there right with me as I attempted to run my first 5k. As I stood with her as she returned to work, letting her know it would all work out in the end, she was determined to stand next to me as I attempted this huge feat.
The morning of the 5k, I kept telling her that I didn’t think I’d be able to run the whole thing. A couple weeks ago I did a virutal 5k with the Mamavation ladies, and I did the 5k in 40 minutes, with a mix of running and walking. I told her my goal was to just finish this 5k in 40 minutes, as I thought about how there was no way I could run. NO WAY! Erin assured me I got this, and she promised that if I stopped to walk, she would be right there to motivate me to keep going.
Once the race started, something was different. I felt different as a runner. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that the whole course was very flat as compared to my neighborhood which ebbs and flows with slight inclines, enough to send shooting pains up my legs. Perhaps it was the fact that this was a morning run and not a 5pm run I had been accustomed too. But perhaps, it was something else.
Before the race started, I told Erin how the first 5 minutes of running is my biggest struggle. If I can make it through that, I’m generally good. Five minutes passed and I felt at ease. I was keeping a steady pace, and really, I think a big part of energizing me to keep going was having others running with me. I had people to keep pace with, and then I turned into the person mentally preparing to pass individuals. You, I can pass you. Watch me go! And it worked. All of it. And Erin, she was right there with me the whole time.
When we saw the super star runners coming back before we made it to the halfway mark, we both looked at each other like, who are these people? (You know, the ones who do 5k’s in less than 20 minutes.) When we reached the halfway mark, we turned and smiled. When we came back around to a little incline right before the end of the race, as legs were struggling, she sensed my trouble and stayed back to help me get through it. Then, when we crossed the finish line, she let me go first and I smiled as the dude looked at me and said, “You came in first.” And as we were cooling down, stretching, and drinking water, amongst lots of, “Holy crap I just ran that whole thing,” from me, she kept pointing to all those who were still coming back in, and it wasn’t just the walkers, but runners too. And to think the night before I was freaking out about being the last runner to make it back.
Honestly, if I didn’t have this working momma along for this ride with me, I don’t know if I could have done it. To have someone run with you, supporting you, that is huge. And Erin would probably say to me right now that I don’t give myself enough credit, and she’s probably right.
Overall, I think this is a testament to the community I’ve worked so hard to create this year with LWM. We all stand by each other, whether virtually or in real life, and we don’t let each other doubt ourselves. And it’s not just about the working part of our lives, but all of the other parts too, as we strive to have balance and teach our children what having a great life is all about.
I’ve got a little project in the works based on this journey of mine this summer. Be on the lookout for momto5k to launch, but in the meantime, follow @momto5k. I can’t wait to grow this community even more!
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