End Of Summer Race
|Woodbury Days race - August 24th|
Not many of you know this, but I joined a running group this last spring when we moved to Minnesota. I wanted to join something that would improve my health, be something that involved exercise and something just for me. I knew that becoming a stay-at-home mom after working 2 jobs was going to be hard on me in the aspect of alone time or even doing things strictly for myself. I was right too. I needed to join the class and I must say, it is the best thing I could have done for myself.
I found Moms On The Run through the Bing search engine trying to find things to do just for women that involved exercise. I was extremely nervous about it after I finally got enough gumption to sign up. The first night of class I felt so sick to my stomach I almost took the next exit on the freeway and headed home. To my surprise, it wasn't as intimidating as one might think, or as I thought, I should say! That first night it was cold and raining, yet all of us stuck through our first night for the first run of the season. Kristina, the head coach/owner was going to be the perfect coach for me, I could tell by how she related to everyone and encouraged all of us. And it only got better from that night on.
I started out with the beginner group, extremely intimidated by the ladies in the intermediate running group. I was scared I would be left to myself to run, since the summer before I couldn't even run 3 blocks without stopping for a break or walking the rest of the way home. But I loved the feeling running gave me; a sense of accomplishment, and it was a great stress reliever.
I kept with it and noticed that I really was better than beginner and within 3 weeks had started running with the intermediate group. With the help of my coaches, I was able to become the runner I am today.
I ran my first race on Mother's Day and ran my 5K in 29:47 and ranked 12 out of 45 in my division, 137 overall. I was a very proud momma! I had a goal of 40 minutes because I had NEVER ran any sort of race before, so I had no idea what to expect out of myself. That was a proud day for me.
|My husband and I Mother's Day|
My second race was the Time To Fly, a fight for childhood cancer on June 21st. And wow what a humbling experience that was. It was hard not to cry as you passed the sign in memory of people who had been taken by cancer. That race day it was warm and sunny and I really did not think I was going to get my goal time or anything under my previous race time of 29:47. So when I looked at the results sheet I almost screamed! I ran it in 28:36! A whole minute and 11 seconds less than my previous time! Might not sound like a huge difference but for me, every second counts!
My third race wasn't so great. I ran into a snag in mid-July. The doctor said I had bursitis and tendinitis. It was very painful to run, for my right knee area that is. The rest of me was so extremely frustrated because I had a race that Saturday! The doctor gave me a shot of cortisone and told me if it felt okay, I could run Saturday but to take it easy. Worst race time ever. I ran the Together It Gets Better Race on July 26th with a time of 33:03. Worse than my first race! I had to walk about 5 minutes of the race, which obviously dropped my time, but you should have heard my head coach, Kristina, who is also the franchise owner of Woodbury Moms on the Run. She told me over and over she was just proud I was even there and that I did my best, which I did. It was refreshing to have someone, aside from my husband, tell me that it was okay to not beat my time from the previous race. I needed to give myself some time to heal and not expect so much from myself, because no one else expected it!
With only 4 weeks remaining until the final race of the season for our group, I had to figure out something. With encouragement from April, my Intermediate coach and Cailin our other coach, and every other wonderful women in my group, I was able to make it through those 4 weeks of training and was able to expect myself to run better than my Time To Fly race time of 28:36. I was worried I wouldn't be able to as I dropped to two days of running/training a week from the 3-4 times a week because of my knee.
August 24th at 5:55 AM my alarm goes off. Race Day. Nerves, slight nausea, excitement and determination. That's just it too. I was determined to beat that 28:36 time and try my best to get under 28 minutes.
It was cloudy and had stormed only hours before the race. I could hear the thunder as I dragged myself out of bed, scared I wouldn't be able to make that time goal I had for myself. I drank my protein shake and drank a bottle of water before I woke up my husband and 3 year old so we could get to the location in time for a picture before the race and do some warm-up stretching.
Our big group got into line before the shotgun start off. As soon as that gun went off, I took off with two of the friends I made in my class. I wasn't alone in this, we all had our own goals to beat. I pulled slightly away from my friends as we ran on and with each hill, I thought I wasn't going to make my goal. Then as I turned one corner to run up the last hill, I could hear the announcer saying winners names as they crossed that finish line. More motivation, just what I needed. As soon as I hit the last stretch I ran as fast as I could. My last bout of energy took me across that finish line and I saw the timer and it read 27:59. I just made it, I thought! Yes! I beat my goal! Even if it was by a second, I still did it! I was very proud of myself.
|After the Woodbury Days Race|
They had an awards ceremony, though I didn't stay. I have never won a medal so with us being up so early and my little guy being there, we decided to leave and head home. I asked a friend where to check the chip times for the race because I figured the time I saw was a few seconds higher than my actual chip-time seeing as I wasn't in front when the gun went off. She texted me the website to look at and to my surprise, this is what I found:
I ranked 1st in my age group/division! FIRST PLACE! I won a medal and I had no idea and my time was 27:46! 13 seconds better than I had thought! Not only did I beat my time but I did something I had never done before and won that medal. The regret for not staying for the award ceremony! But there was nothing I could do! We had our banquet that night so I figured I would ask my head coach, Kristina if she had gotten it for me.
|April & I Banquet night at the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul|
|Myself and the Inspiring Lisa Rambo|
"I didn't come here to get skinny...I came here to get STRONG." -Lisa Rambo
During the group break-out session at the banquet, Kristina said she wanted to know what we were most proud of during the summer. For me, it was going from not even being able to run 3 blocks the previous summer to running a 5K at my best time ever and winning a medal (April piped in, "Not just any medal, the 1st place medal!") I smiled inside but started crying tears of joy and pride. Nothing I have ever done in my life has felt better that that moment and that whole day. I wasn't just a mom and wife anymore, I finally felt like a real runner.
|The Woodbury Moms On The Run Group (most of us anyways)|
The touching words of encouragement, the women who are moms like me with the same fears and just the adventure this group took me on this past summer, was the best investment in myself I have ever made. If you ever have the opportunity, I strongly encourage you to do something like this for YOU! You deserve it and are worth it, and that is what this class taught me.
For more information on Moms on the Run visit there website at: http://momsontherun.com/