Race Day! I DID IT!!!!

Yesterday evening was the Firecracker 5k Walk/Run and I finished it!! Yes, I met my goal went the distance and completed it! Whoo Hoo!! My time was 48:23:6! I was pretty excited, exhilarated, and exhausted!

Me just after the race!!
Me just after the race!!

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The race wasn’t until 6 pm so we all day to prep..so needless to say I was nervous. I took care of the grocery shopping for my grandmother which is typical of me to do; and it help me to occupy my mind early on in the day. Once I finished it was early afternoon and so I decided to come home and chill until time to get ready. Well, needless to say I didn’t do too much of that. I was crazy nervous! And it only got worse as the day went on. I can’t even tell you how many trips to the bathroom I made.

So I started to get ready and I headed down to Charleston, a little early to get a place to park. Oh, it had been raining, storming off and on all day. So I had gotten a couple of text messages from people asking if I was still going to “run in all of this”; I responded it’s only 2 o’clock, hopefully it will clear up. When I left my house it had indeed stopped raining but it was still cloudy and overcast and there was a good chance of rain (dangit it). I got there and waited in my car awhile because I was early and quickly found a place to park and another Genesis runner pulled in beside me and we both walked to the registration table together. She was just as nervous as me. It was damp and there was a sprinkle here and there but I got my bib number and it was official..and I was waiting with the others to begin. My running buddies Kristen and Sarah arrived a short time after I did and both were nervous too..It was also Kristen’s birthday.

Sarah me and Kristen right before the start of the race..
Sarah me and Kristen right before the start of the race..

After our coach Matt had a group picture of the Genesis team taken we all headed to the starting line and waited to start; and wouldn’t you know it; it started to rain. They counted down the gun went off and we were on our way..easy start as Matt would say and was on the bracelet we had on. Kristen and I were in the back and Sarah was somewhere towards the middle…So we started in the rain and honestly I couldn’t believe I as was out there doing this thing, even after all the nine weeks of training. I felt pretty good as I started I think I had a good pace; and there were people along the boulevard as we ran who were cheering. One person even said, “running in the rain?” and I shouted back…”Yep doing it in the rain!” which I absolutely would never thought would ever come out of my mouth. Kristen and I kept a good pace and encouraged each other as we went along and before we knew it we were at mile one and the water break. We kept on going didn’t need it! I was doing a lot of self-talk through out this thing I’ll be honest. When I got to the turn around point I was mentally doing the happy dance I was headed home. Kristen at this point had pulled ahead of me but that was cool I was doing my own thing.  The rain had stopped by this time and it was interesting the clouds had parted and the sun was out as if to say it’s gong to be alright. I must admit there were moments when I wanted to stop for one or two seconds for a breather but I would think I can make it to the end of this block I’ll be good. Then it was to the end of the next block and before I knew it I was almost where we started and there was no way I was going to stop.  When I turned that corner and saw that big FINISH just in front of me I was like Jamie Somers in the Bionic Woman, I gave it all I had left to get there and cross that line…Strong Finish. It was absolutely amazing crossing that line and hearing my name being announced as I crossed. Matt, the Genesis Crew and the other runners cheering on was incredible. I was done!! It was a feeling that was hard to describe. I don’t have Facebook but I texted everybody I knew!

It is interesting that a mere nine weeks ago I thought jogging for 60 seconds was a long time and here I am at the end of my very first 5k! Also people who I didn’t know nine weeks ago are huge supporters of each of other, coming up and congratulating one another as if they have known each other forever.

I’m so glad I did the Genesis 5k Training it’s been a rewarding, challenging experience. I met my goal of going the distance and finishing the race. And for a first timer I didn’t have too bad of a time..(even though that wasn’t part of my goal.. 🙂 )

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Author: Tammi Lewis

I was born and raised in WV. I live in Charleston, WV. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Charleston and from Marshall University Graduate College with my Master’s Degree. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I have been in the field of mental health and substance abuse for about 26 years. I started running about two years ago by beginning a running program to help me prepare for my first 5k. I had wanted to run a 5k for years but never got around to doing it. Two years ago there was an event that happened which sent me on an emotional rollercoaster; starting this program was a way to get off that rollercoaster. Once I finished that first 5k I got the running bug and haven't stopped running since.

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