sometimes katie finishes what she starts [my first ever 5K!]…

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SO…. I did the 5K. The WHOLE THING. Without stopping. I smashed that goal!

Backtracking – so as I’ve blogged before, I wanted to see if I could train for, and then run a 5K. I don’t ever remember running more than 2 miles at a time, and even then, I only remember doing THAT 2 or 3 times. So I found a race to try, and did the Couch to 5K program (well, we had to s-q-u-e-e-z-e 8 weeks of training into 6, and then I got a stomach bug for a week, so really, it was 5 weeks). The journey was fun. I got to go on scenic runs with my husband, get to know our neighborhood better, and I always felt good after.

Here are some shots of some runs along the way:

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As we trained more, we spent more time running than walking. One night we got a mile in, and then a horrible storm hit and we literally had to sprint home as fast as we could. The only problem? I had forgotten my inhaler (the first and only time), and the dust was making it impossible for me to breathe. Joel (my hero), quickly ran home, surviving the elements, to get my inhaler and bring it to me. Well, I got freaked out, and my adrenaline must have kicked in, because I too quickly ran home, surviving the elements, to jump in the car and take a hit so I could breathe. It was one of our fastest times, and we were cracking up as we re-lived the night, as we stared at the lightning storm from our front porch, and branches were torn off our trees into our yard.

My asthma really started to get bad, and I was a little worried about it, until I started taking a preventative inhaler. Now I don’t need the rescue puffs as much during the longer runs (and when I say longer, I mean 2-3 miles) (that’s still a lot for me).

So… race day came, and we got up, got dressed, and drove out to Deer Park. We were greeted by my OT partner Jill (who’s running club “Team in Training” put the race on), and she calmed my nerves a little, and got me prepped for the race.

Before the race:

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Usually we walk for 5 minutes before we ran, but didn’t really have that luxury. The race began, we took off, and IMMEDIATELY I was out of breath. And not asthma-out-of-breath, but like, I’ve-never-ran-in-my-life-out-of-breath. I got kinda panicky, but Joel was in such a happy mood, and told me I’d be okay, so I pushed through. In a few minutes, I was fine.

Another thing I learned about myself while running is that when I take my inhaler, it makes my mouth painfully dry. Jill loaned me a belt to wear during the race, with a clip on waterbottle. I think that saved me, because I wasn’t freaking out the whole time because I couldn’t even swallow my own saliva (that often happened while running in my neighborhood). I took a puff of my inhaler once, and Joel kept shouting to me: “you’re halfway there!” “.5 miles left!” “.1 miles left!” Well, he was telling me how long we were until 3.0 miles. Little did we know, the race was 3.42-3.47 miles (our GPSs differed slightly).

We hit 3 miles, and I thought I’d be able to see the finish line. Well, I couldn’t. Joel was pacing me more like 11:30 minutes a mile, and we were used to 12:00-13:00ish (we’re not fast, obviously). The heat was blaring as well, and I felt myself getting really HOT.

BUT! We made it! I wouldn’t let myself stop. I needed to know I could do this. My friend and old roommate BreAnna came to cheer us on, and got some pictures of us at the finish line:

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When we got done, I kept saying “I can’t believe we just did that!” Joel was so happy, and so proud of me, and it was a really cool moment. Once I caught my breath, I was also so happy and proud of myself, that I finished what I started, even when I had voices in my head telling me I couldn’t do it.

A picture of right after the race finished:

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A shot with our sweet race shirts on (I really felt like I earned it!):

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Oh – this shot reminds me that I ended up taping my knee for the race. It was the first time I’d taped it and I really felt more support the whole race (while playing on 2 different slowpitch softball teams this Spring, my right knee started feeling like something was going to tear. I think I have a chronic meniscus tear from playing sports my whole life. www.kttape.com is a great resource for all sorts of injuries and ailments)

A shot of me and Jill, my OT friend and constant motivator/teacher for my new hobby:

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Oh, and I got 2nd in my age range and won a free waterbottle! My age range must not have been big, but who cares?! It made the experience even better 🙂

So what’s next? I’m not sure. I don’t know if I wanna keep upping my distance or not. Or if I want to get faster. I might be content with running 3 miles a few times a week. We’ll see. I’m already looking at some local 5Ks in the next few months, and recruiting my sisters to run with me. For now, I’m just really happy that I did it.

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