Running in Knee Highs

There comes a time in a girl's life when you sign up for a 5k, finish, then ask yourself that one important question. You know the one.

Where's the beer tent?

It was called the Blue Moon 5k and the beer tent forgot to show up! Didn't someone tell it? Did it confuse its days, did it think the race was Saturday? Maybe it showed up yesterday and sat around all morning and no one came. Or, I bet the beer tent got up too early like I did (I set my watch for 4:30 instead of 5:30. Well, I mean, I forgot to change the time on my watch so I woke up an hour early.) So I bet that's what happened. The beer tent got up too early, saw that no one was there, and left.

Besides the absent beer tent (imagine how 12-step-program I looked walking around in a "Will Run for Wine" shirt asking about the beer tent), this was absolutely the best 5k EVER. EVER! FOR SO MANY REASONS!! The first of which was that:

I BEAT MY TIME! I ACHIEVED THE HOLY GRAIL OF 5K-NESS! The time I've been seeking for a year and a half!

Official time: 29:45. I have long wanted to do a 5k in 30 minutes or under. I know, it's not like a real runner time (those people have 17-21 minute 5ks and they are not me). But I have been running and running and running and I hadn't gotten below 31 minutes yet. When I passed mile one and it said 9:35 on my watch, I wanted to cry tears of joy! I knew at that point it was actually going to be possible!

You know, besides being in your own head or the music or any of those things that keep you going, if you keep your eyes open to the people surrounding you, you'll find inspiration throughout the whole race. I always do. Like the mom who passed me pushing a TRIPLE STROLLER! Now that's a mom who rocks. Complete and total superstar-rockstar-mom. Because a stroller with just ONE child in it is 30 pounds at least! And then there were the 8 and under kids, those little tiny bodies with those little skinnypeople not-yet-developed legs, trucking along. SO.CUTE. (Hell, if they can do it!) There were two little boys who placed in their age group that were the same age difference as my two sons, and all I could think of was how amazing it would be to watch mine cross a finish line one day and I got all choked up.

Then there were the men who I would run alongside for a little bit, who you could just tell would rather give their left arm than be passed up by a girl wearing knee-highs and a headband. They would linger alongside you, pass you for a bit but not too far because all they want to be is just far enough ahead of you that they're in front of you. And then I put the motor on and too bad, SUCKA! You've been CHICKED!

(I really need a shirt that says that on the back.)

But all funny aside, this 5k for me and for so many was part of the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, where 4 weeks ago, all of us sisters, from all walks of life and all parts of the country, got together and picked the goal of running a 5k this weekend, for World Run Day and also as part of the EA Sports Active Challenge. The folks at EA Sports are really the ones who dared us to do this and we took them up on it! And it has been so.awesome to read about everyone's training over the past four weeks and watch (virtually) as each one of us crossed the finish line. We weren't there in person but I can tell you I saw my fellow runners' faces in my head when I ran! And a few of us ran in solidarity wearing our knee-socks and headbands! I gotta tell you, at first I was a little embarrassed when I got there (I really did look a little silly), but with some encouragement from my husband before I left ("You don't even look that ridiculous!"), I forgot within a few minutes about what I was wearing and actually it was all so supercomfy and even empowering to have taken this creative license! So people were looking, so what! I rocked my headband.

The other best part of this race for me was running with my dad. This was my dad's first race ever, and I am so proud of him. He's been training with all of us the past four weeks too. I was so proud watching him cross the finish line and watching the fire inside him light up afterward as the excitement to do more races was just bursting out of him! Isn't he awesome!!??? Dad, you ROCK!!Oh and to hug my dad as he crossed the finish line and get all choked up because crossing any finish line is always symbolic with a milestone met and a goal achieved and to be able to do that together, was just amazing. My dad. To a million more races!

There is nothing -- seriously nothing -- more empowering than crossing a finish line. I used to say, "I don't care where I finish as long as it's not last." But that is completely untrue now and I'm almost ashamed of even saying it. There is honor in finishing last, just as there is honor in finishing first. Because there is honor in just finishing. Whether it's finishing a race or finishing something you've started, it is all the same. You should be proud. So I change my mind. I don't care about where I finish. As long as I've finished. I will always have my own personal goals in my head about where I want to finish, a certain time I want to beat, a level of performance I hope to accomplish in a certain event (i.e. swimming) because that is just the way I am. But it's not so much about success or failure anymore, in fact my idea of "failure" has changed so much since this all started. It's about putting in the work, having a good time, and finishing what I started and being proud of what I've done. Even if it means having a rough race or a slow time or a crappy swim or a flat tire. The honor is in finishing at all, and if you can't finish, in trying again.

So what a wonderful day for a race it was! What a wonderful day. I can't wait to read everyone's race reports, and if you didn't run this weekend and have no idea what I'm talking about, we will be starting a new round of running and logging miles on Monday, so head over to the Sisterhood to join us for this next go round! (Nope you don't have to be a runner -- you just have to wanna get healthy.) Because there's nothing more motivating than doing this together!

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