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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Valentine

Solace in Sweat Part 2

I worked hard on jogging, pacing myself and breathing enough to sign up for the breast cancer awareness 5K. These darn races are always early in the morning, but once the race starts, you are glad it's not 90 degrees outside. I followed a training schedule for people running their first 5K so I thought I was fairly prepared. None of my guys were there so I would have to be self-motivated. I was a part of a team from my company that signed up. We had our pink shirts on and I was glad to run for my late paternal grandmother who had died from breast cancer. I had every intention of driving the route the day before, just to prepare myself. It’s a good thing I didn’t.

Starting out it was fine - just a little incline about the half mile marker, but nothing too dramatic. I’m breathing, I’m moving. I see the one mile marker, woo hoo, I am doing this. Then we hit the first hill. Okay Stephanie, it’s a hill. It’s not a mountain. Take it step by step. Hill one done! Now I am in the slow pack so there are some walkers in my group, but I am determined to run this thing. Every time they see a hill, a panic erupts in their group. How can I get away from them?!?!?

There are dear people in the neighborhoods cheering us on as we go by, giving high fives and handing us water in cups. I tend to be untrusting of water in cups from strangers so I just keep going. Here we have the next hill. It’s not too long and not too steep so I looked down at my feet and will them to keep moving. Looking at my feet also helped me to not get overwhelmed by how much hill was left to conquer. I see the two mile marker. I am almost there.

So now we round the corner and there lies a steep hill that looks twice as hard as the other two, but shoot, I handled those other two and kept going so I have this hill thing mastered. I set out strong – breath, step, breath, step. I even pass some of the walkers. Then I get to the middle of the hill and I have nothing left in my tank. What did I have for breakfast? I think I ate a banana. The next thing I know, those walkers who I passed earlier, were passing me! UGH. These are the very distractions that throw us off in life. Three fourths of the way up the monster hill, I do the very thing I didn’t want to do. I start walking. Now I have to readjust my head. I am disappointed but I have to get over myself if I am going to finish this race. I get to the top of the hill, refocus and start jogging again. I see a very exuberant lady cheering us on at the 3-mile marker. I am almost there. Now I just have to do the .2 mile. I can hear the music and see the finish line. Nothing gets you pumped up like seeing the end of the race. I was able to muster all sorts of energy to finish and I felt successful and proud. As a person who could barely jog a half mile to completing a 5K, I would say that it was definitely a step in the right direction. I still have the 10K on my bucket list. Let’s see if we can that that checked off this year!

Look for the third and final entry on this topic next month.


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