The title pretty much sums it up so that’s all there is to this post.
KIDDING! But that is what basically happened last night during the Foam Glow 5k at Talladega Superspeedway. Check me out trying to tell myself beforehand that I dance a few times a week (for fitness) and swim, so I can handle a measly 3.26 miles with no problem. HA!
I didn’t tell anyone about registering or going to the 5k in case I chickened out or, quite honestly, didn’t finish. I have amazing friends who run 5ks just for fun like Jennifer and Javacia and then other friends like Tanya and Mia who are beasts running marathons and ultra trail courses. They’re crazy, but inspiring. So, I kept my 5k a secret because I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Boy, was I wrong!
I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot so knew going in that it would be difficult; it’s what derailed me on last December’s Mustache Dache and I didn’t finish. But my heel felt ok (not great, but bearable), and I wanted to give it a try. I mainly went to glow in the dark (who wouldn’t???), but knew the exercise would be great for me. My husband did it with me and I am so thankful for that. I started off ok, slowly jogging for a bit at the beginning and then transitioning into a walk soon after.
The course was on the outside of the race track itself, going around the entire oval, and I never thought it would end. Every time I covered a distance, there was more stretched out in front of me. Then the thoughts started coming: “I could have sworn they said there would be a water stop 1/2 way?” “Surely we’ve gone over halfway and they just forgot it.” People around me were starting to murmur about a water stop. I stopped to rest and stretch my lower back which was tightening into a knot. Breathe, stretch, breathe. Ok, let’s go!
Two minutes later, ouch. I need to stop again. In my head: “WHERE IS THE WATER? WILL THIS NEVER END? Where are we? Why is it so hot?” Keep in mind, we had brought water with us so I wasn’t thirsty – just looking for that benchmark. Ok, let’s get up and keep going!
Wait, I need to stop again. Head: “WHERE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, IS THE WATER STOP? DID WE MISS IT? I think they forgot it. Surely we’re at least 2/3 of the way done by now.” I quit. I can’t do this anymore. I’m done. Here come the tears. “Are you ok?” from passersby as I sit on the grass and try to blend in the darkness. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you” while trying to hide my face and tears behind the giant Powerade Zero bottle. Safety truck guy comes over, “Are you ok?” Yes, I’m ok. “The ambulance is right down there and will be here shortly if you just want to wait on that.” Hubby: “We can wait for it if you want.” Bless him! Thank you for understanding and offering. No, I got this. Give me a second. Ok, let’s go!
Tears streaming down my face as I walk, limping, legs are jello and arms are shaking. “WHY IS THERE MORE FOAM? TAKE YOUR FOAM AND SHOVE IT UP Y….WHERE IS THE WATER STATION??” Another stop. Another cry. Another wipe of the tears and we’re off. I did that quite a few times before…..
LOOK! LAND HO! WATER! “Do you want water?” asks hubby. No I don’t want water! I just wanted to see the stupid thing! Wait, what? You mean we have ONLY GONE HALFWAY? Another stop on the side, more tears because I quit. I’m done. I can’t do anymore. I’m only halfway? I hate this. No more. “There’s an ambulance over there, let’s just make it there and you can ride back,” says hubby. Thinking about it. Debating in my head. Resting. Breathing. Trying to get my heart rate down to a non-newborn level. No, keep going. “Ok, let’s go,” (much less enthusiastic).
The rest of the “race” was a blur with people flying by on my left and right, cracks in the asphalt to watch for in the dark, music wafting here and there from somewhere, hubby constantly checking on me and stopping with me every few minutes because I “just can’t go anymore.” I think there were probably 2 more hours of that – I have no idea. Time and space were foreign to me by then. I was drenched, overheated, beet red, shaking limbs and body, couldn’t get enough oxygen in no matter how hard I tried, and my heart rate was off the charts. (I’m sure all of that is exaggerated somewhat, but the beet red face is completely true – picture at the bottom.)
I see spotlights. I hear music. It looks like a party, but I could be hallucinating in this pitch black desert. Headlights. People are leaving the track. Good riddance! You talk too much for those of us trying to keep our lungs in our chest. And the smoking DURING the race that I inhaled as you went by? I wanted to kill you.
The trucks are coming up behind us. The ambulance is passing us. OH MY GAWWW, I’M LAST! I DON’T WANNA BE LAST! But I’m doing it. I think I can make it. SO WHAT IF I’M LAST? I DID IT! Well not yet, but I’m going to try. Rounding the last turn, come around to the party, people are still walking between the cones. WHY ARE WE STILL WALKING? WILL THIS NEVER END? OMG, WHERE IS THE FREAKIN’ FINISH LINE? “Right there, honey. See it?” Oh, where all the lights are flashing and people are taking selfies. Ok. I can do that. A….few….more…..steps. BOOM. The earth shakes as I pass out. On the ground. And I wasn’t last (not that it matters, but seriously that was a secret goal of mine).
I have to give hubby MAJOR kudos for going with me, talking me through it, putting up with my tears, letting me hang off his back and shoulder when I could barely walk, and being there for anything and everything I needed. Thank you, baby!
I’m doing the Mustache Dache in December with a group. I’ll start properly training now so maybe I won’t cry as much during that race. 🙂 The point of the story, kids: Find someone who will let you hang on to them during a 5k and don’t ever let go!