Monday, October 14, 2013

Getting Caught Up on 5Ks

Remember waaaay back in April when I hurt my knee? What was the most devastating thing about this injury? It was just the beginning of racing season and I was going to miss it. Well, I decided in August that I needed to get back in the game.

So I signed up for The Run For One 5K for September 7. This is one I did last year (Run For One 2012) and if you recall, was NOT easy. So naturally, why not do it again??? Especially when you've been injured. Yep, GREAT idea.

Well let me tell you, this race was R-O-U-G-H      ROUGH! I ended up walking about half of it. My body was just not up to par.... and those hills were pretty hard on me. But I did have a few pivotal points in it...

Fueling up before the race
Most of my pivotal points had to do with the music I was listening to. Anyone who knows me knows that music is basically the center of my life. It inspires me and I almost feel like it's my therapist. The words that other people say somehow speaks to my heart and are the words I can never seem to find. 

The night before I'd made my 5k playlist and put it on shuffle. 

1. Best I Ever Had--- Gavin DeGraw    I LOVE THIS SONG. I didn't even think to put it on my playlist until the night before. I had to run an errand real fast, so I jumped in the car and it came on and I thought "This would be a GREAT running song!!!" and that it was. It was a great song to get me started up hill # 1. 

My parents were at the first water station and I gotta say, I was slightly frustrated. The water station was at the top of a gnarly hill. I got up there, mainly gasping for air as I watched what I thought was everyone else at the race ahead of me. All I wanted was water.... and as I had seen my parents hand water to everyone else, i had to grab my own as they were too busy trying to figure out the cameras for photo session #1. 

Seriously thought I was dying


























I have to be thankful that I had my parents there to take the pictures, but I thought it could be at least a little more candid. Oh well. ;-) I drank my water and was off..... slowly but surely. Up more hills.....

My body was giving out. I wondered why I even attempted it. And in the midst of this.....

NOTHING EVER HAPPENS by Rachel Platten came on. This is one of my favorite songs because it reminds me that I need to live. The main point of the song is that nothing ever happens if you just sit down and let life pass you by. And with that song, I kicked it up a notch. Started running a bit, passed a couple people, and kept it going. Shortly after HEART STARTS by Matt Nathanson came on. Another great one- one of those songs I mentioned earlier that speaks what's on my heart when I can't even come up with the words.

I had another moment where I just felt like it would never be over, like I couldn't do it. And then Pink's "Slut Like You" came on. Not a super inspiring song, but a fun song that makes me laugh and smile and think of a friend who has done multiple marathons. It was the perfect inspirational song to get me going again.

Shortly after that, Roar by Katy Perry came on and it came on right as the course is starting to go downhill a little bit. It was perfect.

A friend recommended Paris (Ooh La La) by Grace Potter and that came on afterwards. I love putting on songs that other people recommend. It makes me think of them as I'm running and makes me smile and pushes me because I want them to be proud of me.

The race ended with Brave by Sara Bareilles which has been an anthem for my life since it first came out and was very metaphorical for this race. My official race time was 40:00 and that was a mixture of walking and running. Which later baffled me when I learned that my race time the year before was 40:05 with about 98% running.... so that doesn't make sense.

Post Race 

YAY I DID IT!!! :) 
Hanging with Daddy after the race :) 
Family Friends who put on the race.

SEPTEMBER 22--- SECOND WIND 5K

I don't think I've mentioned this on this blog but since I posted last, I got a new job! Remember in my last post I talked about the mission trip? I am now the youth director of that group! Yep, I now work 2 jobs (6 days a week... i'm nuts). But when I was starting to plan the calendar, I was made aware of a 5K called Second Wind. It's proceeds go toward counseling for teens who are at risk for suicide. So, GREAT cause. Would be a great event to do to create awareness, do good in the community and promote fitness. FANTASTIC. Sounded great.... in theory...

Logistically, not so much. It was on a Sunday around noon so it was HOT, we had to rush out of church, eat on the way (and we chose McDonald's which probably wasn't the best idea) and it had the most (and steepest) hills I'd seen since San Fransisco. Seriously, WHAT IS WITH ALL THE HILLS?! But I was in it with my youth. Oh yea.... and I had a wedding to go to that evening. 

Before the race. My first shoe chip! 
This race was even harder than the first and I think I walked AT LEAST half of it. I finally just quit caring and was just overwhelmed by the freaking hills. At one point, I even just stopped to take this picture of the scenery.
Beautiful Colorado
My official race time for this one was 39:12.95.... How do I explain the shorter time when I did more walking?? I got nothin.....
Seriously.... I hate hills.




When all was said and done and everyone from our group was finished, we got some free food (totally didn't know THAT was happening) and then we went to get FroYo to celebrate. I was SO PROUD of these kids for doing the race. 

Kelsey and I were totally stoked for some free food. Even if it was cold

Melanee, Kelsey, Bailey, Me, Casey (in back), Rhys, Clark and Tom
This was my first experience running a race with other people and it made me kinda nervous. I never know if I'm supposed to run with them, just do my own thing and meet up at the end. We ended up just going our own paces. It turned out that Tom and I were about the same so we mostly hung out together, passed each other numerous times but it worked out just great. And we were there to motivate each other at the end. 

After this one I told myself I was finished with 5ks. I always think they're such a good idea.... and then I'm running them and realize I hate running. And it's not fun. And they have hills. And they're HARD...


And then somehow I got wind of the CSU Homecoming 5k. 


Now.... anyone who knows me knows what a huge CSU fan I am. 

Back in 2005 (yep, that was 8 years ago) my college roommate SOMEHOW talked me into doing the Homecoming 5K. Now this was back in the time where I was NOT an active person whatsoever. Mostly due to my hip that I had broken in 2002 that was still causing me TONS of pain at the time. She convinced me to just walk it. So I did. I remember at one point she told me to run and I looked at her like she was nuts. I literally COULD NOT run. Just walking.... halfway through my hip started hurting and i limped the rest of the way. I have no documentation of that race. No pictures, no race time, NOTHING. I still have my shirt and there have been many times I've thought back on that race and on the one hand I feel ashamed that I ever was at that place, but also SO proud of how far I've come. *Note: the broken hip thing wasn't my fault, but the many years of a sedentary lifestyle were* 

So, I started looking into the Homecoming 5K and I saw one word that made me decide to do it: "FLAT"

No Hills? LET'S DO IT!!!! I talked my friend Katy into doing it with me and I was excited. 

As time progressed, I thought more and more about the time I tried it 8 years ago, how hard it was on me both physically and emotionally... and i knew that this one was going to be pivotal in my fitness journey. This would be my test. And I thought there was a good chance I may cry at the end. 

I had such great plans in prepping for this race the week leading up to it. Monday I was going to go to the gym and do an intense workout with some running.... Had a wretched migraine all day. Wednesday I was going to go run before hip hop. Headache and almost didn't even go to hip hop. So there goes that idea.... But I told myself I'd give it my all. 

We got up early and headed over to campus. That was the other great thing about this race, it was on my college campus. Which is just beautiful, especially this time of year. 
Me and Katy pre-race
The race started on the Oval, looped around and then went by the plaza, up the street past Corbett/Parmelee, cut over by the rec center, past Moby, down Shields a bit until you hit Ingersoll, then back towards campus, passing Summit, Academic Village (formerly Ellis), back over past the health center, then another loop through the oval. It was so interesting because running through it was just like I was running through my college years. The memories all came flooding... the good ones and the bad ones. 

Katy is a little faster than I am, so she went at her own pace (which I was totally glad she did!) and we met up at the finish line. There was a lot of pep talking in this race. There were moments where I wanted to walk but I told myself not to. To just keep going, and keep going is what I did. What did that result in? Absolutely NO walking. And as I was doing my second loop around the oval and nearing the finish line something in me said "Jessica, you've got this. Just go." so what did I do? That's right? I SPRINTED to the finish line. I must have passed at least 5 people. And it was the absolute best feeling in the world. I was so proud of myself for running the whole thing. I ran the same course that just 8 years ago I couldn't even walk. If that doesn't show how far I've come, I just don't know what will. 

There were no tears at the end, but just an overwhelming sense of pride. When I crossed the finish line I saw Katy there, waiting for me. It was fantastic. 

Imagine Dragons is mostly what got me through this race. One song in particular was "I'm On Top Of The World" which played as I was making my way back to the oval and I thought yep this is pretty accurate. 

Official race times were JUST posted and mine was 35:39.The fastest I've EVER run a 5K. And when I saw that clock I couldn't believe my eyes. I have NEVER been this proud of myself. Persistence my friends. And it doesn't end here. It just makes me wonder where I will be in the future that I will look back on this day and see how far I've come from THIS moment. 

It's getting pretty cold out here in Colorado, so I'm hanging up my racing shoes until next season. Let's see how much better I can get in the next year... And maybe, just maybe, I won't get hurt. :) 

~Jessica~

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