My First Finishers Medal

It’s Thanksgiving day and today was the Hot Diggity Dog Thanksgiving 5k. This would be my second 5k since I started running in early spring of this year. It was a beautiful morning for November 26th not cold, very comfortable temperature in the 50’s. There were about 500 people signed up for this one and it would benefit a local animal shelter and community food pantry. People brought non-perishable food items and dog and cat food as well.

My uncle John, who is here for Thanksgiving from Kansas City, MO, came out to cheer me on which was  cool. I will admit I was nervous about it at first and I can’t really say why. I didn’t sleep well at all last night, and if I remember correctly, the same thing happened in July. I was crazy nervous AGAIN, how insane is that?! Once I got to the race site I talked with my uncle a bit, did a few stretches,  saw a former work colleague, who gave me a bit of encouragement, made a last bathroom stop and waited for the final countdown 10..9..8..7..and we were off. I remember from my Genesis Training “easy start, strong finish” and I wanted to stick to that I didn’t want to run out of steam midway through. I felt good and strong, my pace has been improving over the last several weeks. Had my headphones, only one ear so I could be aware of what was going on around me. I had a goal in mind, I wanted to do better than my previous time of 48 minutes from my first race. I never stated the specific time out loud, somehow I thought if I said it out loud it would jinks me or something. So when my uncle asked me what I hoped to do, all I said was to beat my time from the last one.  I held pretty steady throughout honestly I was surprised. My breathing was good and I was focused, before I knew it, I heard the MayMyRun app voice “one mile” WHAT? Already? I knew then my pace was better than in the first race. Whoo! I had good upbeat music going and onward I went. I wasn’t in the head of the pack of course, I started in the pack so those who are fly like the wind can have the road. But I was happy with where I was holding my own. There was a clock at the half-way point, when I got there it was reading 22 minutes, not bad I was thinking. Then I turned the corner headed for mile two and there was a freaking hill! DANG! I managed to get up it but I will confess I slowed down a little and did some speed walking. After that it was the home stretch mile three..I felt myself speeding up just a little I couldn’t wait to get to the finish line. I was now starting to see people who had already crossed coming back looking for people they knew, saying encouraging things as they passed. Just as I turned the corner headed in to the last link, Eminem’s song Lose Yourself came on and that’s all she wrote. Say what you will about Eminem but if you’ve never listen to words of this song I would highly recommend “the moment you own it, you better never let it go, you only get one chance do not miss your shot to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better.”  This song has a powerful message and it charges me up every time I hear it and it was just what I need to push through the finish line!

I crossed at 41.32.2 I had taken off 7 minutes off my previous time! I was totally excited and glad my uncle John was there to see me cross. I also got my first finishers medal! Whoo! My secret goal was to come in at 40 minutes..but that dang hill got me! Well maybe next time. But I’m still really excited about my time.

I wasn’t as tired or out of breath as the first race, my recovery time was less. I’m excited about the progress I’ve made and it takes time I know. I was listening to the times of those who won their classes and I was amazed. But all in due time….It was a pretty cool start to Thanksgiving Day.


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.

4 thoughts on “My First Finishers Medal”

  1. Congrats on your PR! The Hot Diggity was a great start to Thanksgiving Day 2015. Fun race with an awesome medal. And thanks for finding me after the race – it was good to see you. You looked happy with the accomplishment of finishing your 2nd race. Hope to see you at the Jingle Bell 5K – there aren’t any surprise hills on the course. 🙂


    1. Thanks Barbara. I was hoping to see you. I looked for you before the race started. Congratulations on winning your class. I will be at the Jingle Bell I signed up to be on Matt’s team.


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