So I finished. Way back on July 12th… I went to an expo. It was very reassuring. There were women of every age, shape and size, gathering free stuff that I’m pretty certain they won’t really use. There were people telling them what shoes to buy and where to buy them. I went to the exchange, found a new pair I liked and met up with about 1,200 women the next Monday night.

We were scattered throughout a huge park called Shelby Farms. The first couple of weeks I felt pretty good. I was hanging at the front, we walked alot because of the heat. One week got canceled for storms. One week was canceled for heat. I didn’t show up one week because it was Meet The Teacher night at school for Hanan. By the last couple of weeks, it was harder. The hills were worse. I hated the people who seemed to run circles around me.

Last week, I ran my first ever 5K with about 1,200 women. It cooled off which was great. It was a balmy 85 instead of 105 degrees outside. I didn’t check my watch before we started. It froze. The gal I was with runs about 2 minutes faster per mile than I do. She was off and I wasn’t keeping up. I hit the first mile feeling okay. The second mile was uphill. I was pretty sure I was slowing down… alot. I started the race feeling like, okay if I do it in 40 minutes, I’ll be happy. Up that hill, I was thinking crap, if I do it in 45 minutes I’ll be happy. Finishing up mile 2 I thought, if I do it without walking I’ll be happy. This is taking forever. I caught a second wind in the last half mile but picking up the pace didn’t seem like an option. People around me were stopping and walking. I couldn’t believe it. I hit the mat at 36 minutes. I literally thought I was going to cry. Not a good feeling when I was trying my best to act like a big girl, or as my dad apparently told my brother all the time, “Good job… now act like you’ve been there before.” Frankly, as my new favorite t-shirt says, my big girl panties have been pulled up so many times they are all stretched out and I was about to show my a**! I was pretty pleased with myself. I hope I don’t forget the feeling. I won’t run a race again until Halloween weekend.

The only things I learned besides finishing feels great… I don’t want to be one of those people that sprints, stops, just as the other runner gets around, they sprint again. I’m pretty sure, if they kept my pace, they would have finished. Someone please, remind me of that during the half. As my running friend taught me, always wear black pants to a race. She saw a lady in white pants once carrying a load over the finish line. Ewwww! The last thing I learned was, even if the temp drops to 85, I will still smell like a goat in heat. Riding in a car with someone else after is really bad for the someone else.