Total Pageviews

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lessons from a Port-A-Potty

Last Thanksgiving, somehow I received a notice that I could get in on the Inaugural Hollywood 1/2 Marathon, 10k and 5k for half off... I jumped at the chance. While accomplishing a 5 k would have been a challenge at the time, I knew that I knew I could do it... sooooo... I signed myself and my husband up for the 10k... something to really challenge me and to work toward.

My husband has always worked hard at being a runner and had even run the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon… I looked up to that greatly. I would think of how cool it would be for us to go for a jog together, and thought that someday I would run the Rock ‘n Roll ½ Marathon with him. It was just something on my bucket list. This 10k helped me move this though into a reality. We would soon find ourselves a hotel and planning our first ever night out of town without the kids. Whoo-Hoo!

Ok, so now both of us had some set-backs… for me I suffered from Plantar Faciatis, an incredibly stabbing pain in my foot, and for my husband, an injured hip flexor muscle. The kids and I had rotated a cold around between us that made getting any training time impossible for about a month before the big race… but with intensity I tried my hardest to get distance in my training…

I was nervous. I wanted to finish the entire 10k in less than 90 minutes. One day on the treadmill I did the 6.2 miles in 79 minutes… well, at least I knew it was possible, but that was the only time I had come close to doing the complete length… BUT, knowing that in the excitement of cheering crowds and other runners, I was likely to do a better time, I thought it would be really cool to complete the 10k in less than 80 minutes…

On the morning of the race day, I was nervous… almost feeling like an imposter of a runner… I am not the skinny runner type… but…. Runners come in all sizes and shapes right? I dragged my poor husband down to McDonalds for a quick breakfast of marginal-tasting oatmeal and a 20 oz coffee (for energy right?) We went back up to the room to eat and watch the ½ Marathoners pass by our window… I was starting to get pumped now… I carefully placed my bib number (8061) on my chest, went to the bathroom, “one last time” and made the trek back downstairs toward the starting line… I started to stretch and get warmed up. I chanted to myself “I think I can, I think I can” and “Slow and steady wins the race!” I found it amazing how one can apply such elementary stories into everyday challenges … with only 15 minutes to the start of the race, wouldn’t you know… I had to use the bathroom ( I guess that is why people only use energy shots instead of drinking 20 oz of coffee). Only, there were not potties close by, and all the restaurants like Starbucks and Jamba Juice had lines 20 deep. I thought it was only 6 miles, I could hold it… Right???

I started the race strong, but around 2 miles started feeling a bit fatigued… I wanted to walk, just a minute… I did, but found that with everyone else running around me, I found my wind after just a minute… there came a time that I thought I couldn’t possibly stop running until I found a Port-A-Potty… which I did around mile 3… I stopped and found that in a race, people don’t care where their aim is… it was super gross! How was I going to do this? I held on with all my might to a couple of handles on the door, and as I pulled myself back into a standing position, I noticed a mirror, but did not recognize the person looking back at me. That person was full of focus and determination, a real athlete… This was a pivotal moment for me… I became the Runner, not an imposter!

From that moment on, I was able to hit a stride that was perfect for me and allowed me to run the rest of the race at an incredibly comfortable pace. With the sun at my back, I began chasing myself… I loved my shadow at that moment, the physic… curvy, and slender, very athletic… I was beginning to see myself in a new light, really the body I am chasing, eventually I will reach it, but it became my motivation to keep moving.

I could see the finish line on the horizon and I looked up to see my dear husband on the sidelines. I will never forget his reaction when he saw me coming up… “WOW! You are doing really good!” He was completely surprised at my progress… That pleased my soul very much.

As I came up to the finish line, and I could see the official time clock, I could not help but to grin… but the closer I got, the bigger my smile got, and it took everything in me to hold back tears… I did it! I finished my first 10k in 69.35minutes and was 764 out of 1350 runners… right in the middle of the pack…

I am proud of my accomplishment! But I am more proud at the transformation of my mind that occurred in no other place than a Port-A-Potty…

1 comment:

  1. Great story! You made me tear up. It's fantastic when we realize just how much we CAN do rather then focusing on whet we can't.