Happy Runniversary!

On Saturday, I will repeat the R-3 Anniversary 5K, which just happens to be the first race I ever ran.

It was the first time in my adult life that I pinned a number to my shirt, the first time I toed a starting line with my heart pounding, the first time I drank water from a little paper cup and tossed it on the ground, the first time I crossed a finish line.

My goal was to finish in under 35 minutes and not to walk any. I didn't walk, but I ran so slowly at times, I might as well have been walking. (A walk break would have probably helped my time!) I came down the final stretch, and my friend Marie in the crowd yelled, "Go Donna. Run as hard as you can to the finish line! You are almost there!!!" I looked up at the clock and it was on 34:56. I "dropped the hammer" and skidded across the finish line at 34:59, just barely making my time. But I did it. If I hadn't made my goal, I don't know if I would have continued on this journey.

I've heard that 5K's are the GATEWAY DRUG TO RUNNING. (I read that on a blog somewhere.) I have to agree. After that day, I couldn't wait until my next race and proceeded to run more 5K's in September and October with PR's each time. Then I moved on to an 8K in November, 10K in February, and half-marathon in April. So, for me, that first race was the start of my running addiction. I'm in what's referred to as the "honeymoon period, " where pretty much every race is a new PR. That is the coolest!

I thank God for a blessed year of running. My family and friends have supported all of my endeavors. Nearly every race was fun and exciting. I have somehow remained injury-free. I have made some new close friends and have lots of new running acquaintances. I feel like a part of a community of athletes. I actually feel like an athlete myself for the first time in my whole life. I got to see "the other side" of the starting line when I used my brief running experience to plan and direct a race that raised nearly $3000 to build wells in Africa. I could NOT have asked for more this year.

I recently added this quote to my profile:

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot.

I'm livin' it! I always looked up to the athletic folk, but I was the shy, bookish, uncoordinated girl. (Ok, except for the shy part, I still sort of am!)

I'm going for broke this Saturday----I'm hoping to cross the finish in under 29:00 minutes. That sounds like nothing to most of you, I'm sure, but for me, it'll be a great accomplishment. Maybe there will be a tailwind, and I'll even come in under 28:30.


Tina said…
You directed a race? That would be interesting to read more about.

You sure have run a lot of races in only your first year of running!

This Saturday I hope you get that sub 29 you want!
Jules said…
wow, how wonderful you can do it!

And being new to running (since April) myself I can relate to you. My 1st 5k was July 4th and I am signed up for one in Aug, Sewpt & Oct...one too in nov. LOVE IT
April said…
Woo Hoo! Congrats! You've had a great running year!
Lisa said…
Happy runniversary!! Good luck on your race on Saturday.
Amy said…
Congrats!!!! And I love that quote, I'm going to remember that one.