I was unsure yesterday whether I’d actually make it to today’s 5k. Yesterday I was beset with horrible female problems (groann) as well as gastrointestinal distress, aka major constipation. (sorry if TMI) It made running impossible, so I walked the 5k lake, hobbling and groaning the whole way. Not very auspicious. Yesterday afternoon/evening I did not feel very well. I laid low.

I slept a rather fitful sleep, and shot out of bed around 5:50am. I think I was so pumped on adrenaline. I did a self-eval and decided I did not feel so bad. I was not sure what I should eat/drink in terms of having energy and also in terms of my GI situation. Coffee? No? I got a quick consult from EatWithoutGuilt on Twitter and she said OK to whole wheat English muffin with PB, and NO COFFEE. So I drank water.

It was raining on the way out there. I did not mind. In my opinion, hot weather is a lot worse than rain. I got there around 7am, picked up my Tshirt, tried to use Starbucks bathroom (fail), then warmed up with a brisk walk for about 4-5 blocks. My friend K showed up and we went over to the start line. We had decided that we’d each go at our own pace, and I was realllly relying on the music from my iPod to keep me on pace. (actually to keep me going slow enough so I would not burn out)

It was very exciting there at the starting line! My heart was pumping like a jackhammer. I did some stretches and then they counted down. I took off. K rounded one corner with me, and then SHE took off like a bunny. I lost sight of her in seconds! But that was okay.

The second song that came on (my “run list” is on Shuffle, so I don’t know what order they will play) was “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” It was perfect. I was sort of crying and laughing the whole time, and the pace was just right.

Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand…don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly…don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man…

Who was my man? The 80 year old guy right in front of me! He was plodding along at a nice slow rate, and his feet were matching mine. I loved him. I was like, you go, guy! Clearly he did not fear the reaper, and neither did I. (for those who don’t know, I started exercising just a few months ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes)

The first half or so was good. I was in the zone. My feet did not hurt at all. (backstory: I have had massively painful flat arches which KILL me when I run. I just got fitted for orthotics which arrived on Thursday, and the sports podiatrist was dubious about me running with them without breaking them in enough). The orthotics were really comfortable and my feet felt great.

It was raining. I did not care. “Amie” (Counting Crows) and “New Year’s Day” (U2) came on. Both pretty fast paced, but they felt good. Yay! “Friend of the Devil” came on and it made me smile, as usual.

Set out runnin’ but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

I peeked at my watch at the 18 minute mark. I was a little concerned because we had not turned around yet (it was a big loop) and I was almost at the point of my longest run ever (20 minutes). I was wondering how much longer than my longest run I would be able to manage. I figured adrenaline could take me to 30, but more..? I wasn’t sure.

It was interesting to see people’s approach to the race. A bunch of people did run-walk-run. Some people kept passing me because they were running fast, then they’d walk and I’d pass them. My 80 year old pace boyfriend vanished into the front somewhere. I also paced for a while behind a woman who looked like she weighed about 250 lbs (my guess) and she also took off, was much faster than me. I passed a bunch of Juicy-Couture slim little mamas who were walking, not running. That made me feel amused.

Finally we passed a sign that said either 3k or 2 miles, I don’t remember. It made me feel discouraged. I was getting tired for sure. I could still breathe OK, and I wasn’t hurting, but I was just fatigued.

When I could see the finish banner up ahead, maybe 1/4 mile, I got REALLY tired feeling. I think my body was like, “OK, you’re done now! Stop!” But I could not stop. So I forced myself to look at the ground. The last song was an amazing song by Ferron. It could not have been more perfect. It’s called “It Won’t Take Long.”

But you who dream of liberty must not yourselves be fooled
Before you get to plea for freedom, you’ve agreed to being ruled
If the body stays a shackle then the mind remains a chain
That’ll link you to a destiny whereby all good souls are slain
And it won’t take long, it won’t take too long at all
It won’t take long, and you may say
“What has that got to do with me” and I say,
“You mean to tell me that’s all?”

At noon on one day coming, human strength will fill the streets
Of every city on our planet, hear the sound of angry feet
With business freezed up in the harbour, the kings will pull upon their
And the banks will shudder to a halt, and the artists will be there
‘Cause it won’t take long, it won’t take too long at all,
It won’t take long, and you may say,
“I don’t think I can be a part of that,” and it makes me want to say,
“Don’t you want to see yourself that strong?”

Hell yeah! I do!!!! By that point, I was only yards away from the finish. I got a huge burst and SPRINTED past my husband with the camera. I saw the timing clock and it said 39 minutes something. I knew I wanted to come in under 40. I was also like, HOLY MOLY I just doubled my longest running time!!

I ran across the finish and was completely drenched, exhausted, ECSTATIC. Kathy was there. She’d come in quite a ways before me, although she said she’d walked some. She came in 10th in her age division! Go girl! I got the online results and saw that I was in the exact middle of the pack for my age division. (and if I moved up to the next division, which I will in August, I would’ve been 13th!) I was very very pleased with this. And I was also in the exact middle of the pack for the race overall.

We got home and I took a hot shower. I then started feeling massively nauseaus and crampy. I spent the rest of the day in bed, sleeping and groaning. I wonder if I was really sick yesterday and then just got adrenalized this morning. I don’t know. I feel like poo, but I am so so so so amazed and proud that I did this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!