Today was Awesome. Where do I begin? The alarm went off at 6 this morning, and unlike yesterday, I wasn’t able to go back to sleep after I hit snooze, because I was too excited. Once I got up, my stomach was a little upset, I wondered if it was nerves like before. I realized, I’m not nervous…so what’s wrong? Then I remembered it could be the late night ice cream coupled with me being lactose intolerant. Silly me. Anyway, last night, I had everything laid out from my socks to my iPod. So it was totally stress free getting ready.
I picked up my little sister and we got to the race about 40 minutes before the start time. After the star spangled banner, and right before time to take off running, she said, “I’ll start the race with you.” I thought that was so nice. However, when she said “start” she literally meant start. After about 30 seconds, that girl was gone! And after about five minutes all I could see was her hair blowing the spring breeze. I was doing a light jog, and I got to mile marker 1 in about 15 minutes. A lady came up from behind me and said you inspired me so much I had to catch up with you. That made me feel really good. They had small cup of water for us at the half way point. I drank it and continued to wogging (walking and jogging). I kept thinking this is so much easier than last year. It was still challenging, and my legs calves were burning, but it was do-able. Destiny’s Child’s song Survivor got me through the tough part. I kept pushing through, until I saw the 3 Mile marker. I panicked because I didn’t see the finish line…where is it? What happened? Did they move it? Why are we running past it? Then I remembered, Oh yeah…. a 5k is 3.1 Miles, I had to laugh out loud. Then I saw my Dad waving and cheering me on. The rest of my crew was at the finish line, screaming, Yay! Carli! This lady next to me said you sure have a lot of fans! I wanted to tell her I threatened all of them LOL! I crossed the finish line in 51 minutes. I shaved 4 minutes off my time from last year. My little sister was already on the other side cheering like she was just a fan and supporter. She had already finished the race in 38 minutes! I was so happy and proud of her. She might have left me behind, but that’s okay, because she gave that race all she had. The race people gave me my medal and we went to the refreshment stand. One lady gave me 2 bottles of water, I guess I looked thirsty. The other tried to hand me cookies. I politely declined the fudge striped deliciousness and got the pretzels. (I still can’t believe I actually gave up cookies.)… I love my family and friends, they’re the best! We got some great pics, and my Big Little sister got an awesome video of me crossing the finish line and Mom trying to pretend like she didn’t cry when my little sister crossed the finish line. Just when I thought the excitement was over, I noticed that there were still people crossing the finish line. I was inspired that they continued to walk and run past the 1 hr point and well after they took the time clock down. There were two ladies walking in green shirts. The one supporting the other had “NF” on her shirt. My sister explained that the other lady had a pic of the sign language hand symbols for NF. I asked what it stood for and her other friends said Neurofibromatosis, a nervous system disorder. They told me that the lady had recently lost her hearing due to tumors and set a goal to do a 5K. The lady was limping and clearly exhausted, but her friends cheered her on. When she crossed the finish line, everyone in the crowd cheered, you could feel her victory and she collapsed. I quickly passed that extra bottle of water over the fence. She didn’t pass out or anything, she was okay, just needed to rest after completing her journey. It was just a reminder that no matter how big your challenges are, you can overcome them and reach your goals….check out the my race day pics and my video (I didn’t realize I was so fluffy, heck I’d be inspired too if I saw me running LOL!) Now I just have to figure out what’s next.