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Easter Egg Run & Ride - 5 Mile Race

Struggle does not even begin to describe how I was feeling today in the race. The temp was in the 40’s, and it was raining with a slight breeze. I was cold and wet, but not really bothered by either.

Today’s race felt difficult from the very first step. Everything I did felt 'off'. It was as if I couldn’t get my breathing right, and on top of that my legs felt sluggish and the knee was nagging me.

At mile one we were a little over a 9 and half minute mile. At mile two, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to finish without walking. At the two mile mark, I knew I had to slow my pace or I wasn’t going to make it. I watched as my boss (who was also running the race) eased farther ahead of me.

I tried to concentrate on my breathing and the water splashing around me. By mile three I had warmed up, but I was soaked. I could feel the water seeping through layer after layer. I kept trudging ahead.

I suppose the goal for the race was 55 minutes. This was my longest race so far, and I was counting on an 11 minute mile - especially not knowing if the course would be flat or hilly. It was both flat and rolling. There were a few bumps and gradual inclines, but in my opinion, not any hills that I would consider daunting.

I did have a few unpleasant moments when I was struggling terribly to breathe, and all I could smell was dairy farms. But the scenery was nice, even through the rain.

At mile four, my time was a little over 41 minutes. I knew that if I really pushed through, I might, just might come in under 50. By this time, I had lost sight of my boss. In fact, several of the people who were around me in the beginning of the race were long gone.

In the past, as others would steadily go past me, I would quit. I would just give in and let myself walk as I felt my pace slowing. But I didn’t. I watched them as they passed, and I heard the others as they approached me, but I kept going.

Yes, it might have been slow, but I didn’t stop.

At mile four, when I realized I might have a chance to make it, I sped up. A guy behind me yelled and said slow it down. I wasn’t for sure if he was talking to me or not, so I kept going. Then I heard him again, “slow it down, slow and steady wins the race.” I assumed he was talking to me. Maybe he was talking to himself or someone else, but I took the advice and slowed it down a little.

I guess he saw me looking at my watch, as he came up beside me I told him I wanted to run it in under 50 minutes. He said, “not yet”. I said ok and kept the same pace. A few moments later, he said “now”. I said “now?” He said “now” and I kicked it in. I ran with passion as I wound my way around the final stretch desperately looking for the finish line, turning the last curve to go up a hill to finally see what I had been waiting on for quite some time - the finish line.

The guy behind me cheered as did the few others who had listened to my labored breathing congratulating me at the end with a “good job”. My boss also yelled out a cheer as I turned the final curve. She had finished 2 minutes earlier.

All I could think was that I did it.. I did it.. And I think I’m going to vomit. Fighting down the nausea, I was smiling to know that it was over and although I might have been close to last, I didn’t stop.

I ran the race in 49’43” just under 50 minutes.

Today, I was not a quitter.

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