Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Resolution Complete

AMAZING! That is the word I am going to use to describe how I feel right now.  I set a goal of completing one 5k race a month for 2012 back on January 1st of this year and today I completed that goal.  I don't think I have ever stuck to any resolutions I made in the past.  I think I may have only made a few, but really I do not remember.  I know I have had a few short term goals, like giving up chocolate for lent way back in 1996.  I succeeded the one time I tried it, but refuse to do it again.  (Ask my family and business partners what I am like when I try to avoid chocolate.  "Nightmare" may be a good word.)  I made it all the way though the 100 Day Burpee Challenge and gained some nice looking arms and posture from it. (Maybe I should do that again beginning January 1st, 2013.  Who's with me?)  I cannot remember any other consistent goals I have made and achieved.  Certainly not one that lasted an entire year.  This is one I will never forget because it changed my life in so may ways.  Don't worry, I am not going to turn into a blubbering mess and talk about how and why.  I think you get the picture from previous posts.

For those of you interested in which races I actually did and my time, here they are:
Date Race Location Bib # Time
1/1/2012 Resolution Run Hillsborough, NJ 158 36:21:35
2/18/2012 Sneaker Factory Hot Chocolate Series #3 Long Branch, NJ 171 31:46:02
3/18/2012 Get Your Rear in Gear Philadelphia, PA 485 32:20:46
4/29/2012 Montgomery Run with Rotory Montgomery, NJ 37 32:15:00
5/6/2012 Big Red Race Lawrenceville, NJ 537 30:00:09
6/3/2012 Girls on the Run Somerville, NJ 1329 30:33:02
7/30/2012 Running with the Balloons Readington, NJ 68 30:45:02
8/26/2012 George Wah Memorial  Hamilton, NJ 398 30:47:00
9/30/2012 LiveStrong 5K - Princeton YMCA West Windsor, NJ 852 29:15:06
10/28/2012 Pennington Get Bookin' 5k Pennington, NJ 38 28:26:21
11/18/2012 Girls on the Run Somerville, NJ 1293 29:59:07
12/26/2012 Boxing Day 5k Hillsborough, NJ None 29:17:00

I shaved a little over 7 minutes off my time from when I began.  That is certainly something to celebrate.  If you read the post "In the Beginning", you would know that all I wanted to for that race was to be able to jog the whole thing without walking (which I did. Okay, I shuffled a lot, but I didn't walk.)  From there it was just consistent practice. March's race I did with a friend.  She had only run on a treadmill up to that day and was concerned that she would be slow.  I told her we'd stay together no matter how fast or slow we went.  We had a wonderful time and she was amazed at our time.  I knew she could do it.  I loved the May race because they had kiddie races.  The children ran 25 and 50 meters and got medals for it.  (Fostering the love of running at the age of 3 and 5? Maybe.)
The June race was the first time I placed in my age group.  I really did not expect it at all and was set to leave after finishing as we had to be somewhere that afternoon, but my husband said we had to stay.  I insisted there was some kind of mistake, but there I was with a second place medal.  I told him it was because the parents and coaches were running with their young girls but if they had run on their own, I would never have placed.  He told me to shut up and just be happy for my placement.  (Okay, he said it in a much nicer way, but that's how it translated in my head.)  In September I finally broke the 30 minute mark.  That was another incredible celebration.  It was something I had always hope to get to one day and it was for a race that I had to raise money for as well.  Good community cause = double bonus.  The following month I placed 1st in my age group.  Again I was shocked and made comments like, it was a small race, but I was happy.  As Gary says, it's about who shows up, not the whole world.  Then there's today.

Today was the Official-Unofficial Boxing Day 5k Race. (Or is it the Unofficial-Official Boxing Day 5k Race?) What does that mean? Well, in November I looked for races scheduled in December.  The ones I found were on Saturdays.  I work all day Saturdays so those are out of the question.  There were two on a Sunday morning and I figured I would do one of them.  I did not sign up ahead of time because I needed to figure out logistics and make sure I had the money to enter the race.  Of course life happens and next thing I knew I had missed those two Sunday races.  Damn! I was going to sign up for the Peeps 5k Race in Bethlehem, PA, on the 30th, but then I needed to find someone to watch mom and the kids for me during that time.  Someone who was available and willing to drive out to PA with me.  That's when Gary suggested I run the Resolution Run course.  It's a USA Track & Field - NJ sanctioned and certified course.  He was willing to be the official timer and he put a message out to his running group and invited them to run with me.

I thought I would be the only one running this thing and then I saw someone in running gear.  Then another, and another.  I knew a few of the runners and others I did not.  Next thing I knew, there were 12 of us.  Twelve crazy nuts (and I mean that in the nicest way) standing there in 28 degrees of cold ready to run.  Most of them were wearing boxers.  Boxing day, wearing boxer shorts, get it?  Wish I knew they were doing that, I would have gladly been uncomfortable with boxers crowding my crotch as I ran as well.  I assumed they all knew each other, but they did not.  They greeted each other and then yelled, "Wait where's Kathy? We're doing this for her!" I wish I could remember all of their names because they were so nice.  They ran along with me and one another chatting as if we were already friends.  Then one runner introduced himself to another and they shook hands.  How does one do that while running without tripping? Why are they making me set the pace? Which way are we supposed to go again?

Funny side note on the pace....Gary told them I would be running an eleven minute pace.  I told him that was my pace because it was and is my marathon pace.  I didn't realize he was asking about my 5k pace.  Plus, I always get all anxious and fidgety at races that I just take off.  (I know, not the smartest move, but I can't help it.)  In addition, I felt like I had to run faster because they are all experienced runners who probably want to run faster.  (It's what's in my head, people.)  So to the gang, please do not be upset with Gary, it was completely my fault.  I was overly excited about the turn out, and the idea of finishing my resolution.

I have to say thank you though for the support I received.  Everyone was so encouraging.  They let me lead and then take off near the end.  When I started to slow down, they kept pace along side me telling me that I could do it and to sprint to the finish.  Then they held back and let me cross the finish line first to the cheers of my mother and children.  Gary presented me with a trophy for completing my 2012 Resolution.  You may be able to see in the picture it says "Hunterdon Half- 1st Place Age Group Male." It's from his Hunterdon Half Iron Sprint Triathlon.  He recycled it just for me.  So sweet.  And thank you to Gary for giving up his Wednesday morning to help me complete my goals and providing consistent guidance.  I have never run as a group before.  I am always intimidated by group runs.  Not really sure why.  I think I am afraid of letting people down when I can't make it to a scheduled run, or that I would hold the group back.  Today showed me that I really should reconsider that notion.  It was so much fun to run with others.  Chatting with others distracted me from my pace.  I knew I was pushing it, but it was still comfortable and I needed that push.  I also learned that I am not the only one getting aches and pains in my calves and that maybe I should change the insoles of my shoes.

I am thrilled to have completed this resolution with the support of family and friends.  I think for 2013 I will resolve to try one new thing a month and see where it takes me.  After all, I am headed to Boston all because I decided to run and then complete an application for something I thought would never happen.  Jump in with both feet! WHY NOT?!

If you'd like to support me in my Boston Marathon Fundraising Efforts for the Massage Therapy Foundation, please visit my CrowdRise Page.  Every donation is appreciated.

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