Hello blog friends!
This weekend has been anticipated by my family for weeks on end. I live about 30 minutes away from the Bristol Motor Speedway (race fans should appreciate), and this year was the first annual Speedway In Lights 5k. So, once I got bit by the running bug, I registered Chris and myself for the timed 5k, and Emma and my mother in law for the walk. My mother in law has lost 150+ lbs in the past few years, so we are all super proud of her achievements. When I filled out the registration forms, they stated that children 3 and under were to be free, and all children under 12 who finished the course would receive a medal at the finish line. (dun dun dun, can you foresee the drama ahead?)
So on Saturday, I went to packet pick up, and told the volunteers that when I registered on line, I was charged for Emma, even though she is 3. They told me "well, she gets glow sticks and the sling bag". I mentioned that the children older than 3 are charged the same amount, yet they get the bag, glow stick, and a t shirt. This doesnt seem fair. But, I dont want to be "one of those people", so I tell Emma we will get her a special christmas shirt for her to wear. Thats what we did.
FINALLY Sunday arrived! I was so excited. I had run a 3.1 mile run a few days earlier, and did it in 37:15. I had hopes of shaving a few more seconds off this time around. I felt confident.
We pulled up to the race track
But, I had to reign in, and get my mind set on this race I had to run. Right after we crossed the start line, there was a steep downward hill. I wasnt expecting this, and it was dark aside from the Christmas light displays lining the roads. This really threw me off. I walked down the hill, out of fear of slipping. Once I was on level ground again, I found my zone, and focused on breathing and getting my mind in a excited, good place. I was thankful in one way for the rain. It kept me focused on getting the heck inside the building, lol. It was COLD and I was soaked. Honestly, it was mentally AWFUL running this race. I was way past my excited, pumped up mentality. But, I kept thinking to myself "get done with this race, and get inside where its warmer, and you can check on your kids". So I kept trotting onward. There were 3 more STEEP hills on the course, and those are the only times I walked. I walked out of fear of slipping. I finally saw the arches guiding our way into the stadium for our lap around the track. There was a girl my age in front of me, who was struggling hard, and the most beautiful thing happened: a girl who already finished was cheering everyone on as they entered the race track for the final lap, jumped over the fence, grabbed the girls hand, and cheered her on while running with her to the finish line. Amazing. Chris met me as I entered the stadium and ran along side me as well :-) <3 <3 <3. So, as I ran with everything left in me, I crossed the finish line at 39:52. For a quick moment, this ran through my head "are you kidding me?? I ran harder this time than I did with Komen, and finished 45 seconds later? I just ran this distance a few days ago in 37:15!" But then, I realized that I ran, and ran hard. I only walked down those wet hills, and ran everything else. Im happy with my race. I beat down that mental negativity. I fought away those worries over my kids. I ran through the cold, wet hell that was going on outside. Im thrilled with how I did.
But, then everything else crumbled. Chris went back on the course to meet up with his mom and the kids, to make sure they got down the hills OK with the stroller. Once we saw them come into the stadium, I hopped back on the course with them, and cheered Emma on to the finish line. She was so excited to get her medal for finishing! We got to the finish line, and the worker there was like "oh, we ran out of medals a long time ago" and walked away. Poor Emma was completely crushed. Chris and I were furious. Michael and Emma put in all their effort to walk that course in the cold and rain, and all they could talk about was how they were going to earn those medals. THEN, we told Emma she could ride the rides they had in the stadium...when one of the workers informed us they "sold out of tickets" for the rides. Keep in mind, there were still walkers coming in!!! Are you kidding me??? I am so disgusted by the lack of preparation for this event. Im so upset for the kids. I e mailed the race director. I thanked him for the time and effort all the volunteers put into these events, but explained how disappointed I was for the kids who "werent quick enough". Not to mention, what did I pay my daughters registration fee for??
Dont worry, Chris and I took the experience, and tried to turn it into a life lesson for Emma, but behind closed doors, we were P.O'ed.
In the end, I am thrilled with how I ran. Even if the numbers dont match. I beat my own mental barriers, and for that I am exhilarated. Oh, and Chris, who is a smoker, and doesnt train whatsoever, ran his 5k in 24 min and some change. Doesnt that just ruffle my feathers ;-)