I Winned - Challenge Obesity 5k Recap

April 25, 2012

This past Saturday morning I was up bright and early.  I got myself ready… got my children ready and ate an English Muffin with peanut butter for fuel.  We drove – all 4 of us – to Lake Como in St. Paul.  I picked up my number and my shirt.  I have to say the shirt color… not a huge fan of – I’ll call it “baby poop” for lack of a better description. 

I was about to run in my first 5k since the fall of 2010.  I was about to celebrate my weight loss accomplishments with a bunch of other runners and walkers. 

It was the Challenge Obesity 5k put on by Charities  Challenge.

I pinned my number on and went back to wait in my car.  It was probably around 40 degrees and pretty chilly out to stand around for another 20 minutes.  I suddenly realized I should have probably worn gloves.  Oh well… too late for that now.  I knew once I started moving I’d quickly warm up.

I found Mariah and Samien who I knew were also participating. 

My biggest mistake was that I did not line myself up appropriately.  I went to the back of the group.  I sort of forgot there were runners and walkers, and also I misjudged my own abilities when it comes to running.  I’m not fast, but apparently I’m faster than I think.  I spent the first 5 minutes trying to get into a pace, and find my spot, as the course was so jumbled with people that were clogging up the small path and going much slower than I wanted to go.  It was definitely frustrating, and I’m pretty sure I could have finished about 2 minutes faster if I got a better start, but my goal on this race was never speed… it was participation and finishing.  I also got my iPod on the wrong playlist, and had some issues trying to switch it over and keep running, but I finally got that solved as well. 

Oh, and note to self here… buy some new running pants.  The ones I was wearing were too baggy around the waist, and I couldn’t get my iPod to clip on the waistband, so I had to hold it the entire time! 

A 5k is 2 laps around Lake Como.  The first lap around the lake was easy.  I had my slow start and just as I was getting into a rhythm I was already around once.  It was the second lap where I started to feel it.  On my last training run before Saturday, I was only up to running 14 minute intervals with 2 minute walks in between.  So by the time I was around the lake once, I had run further than I had in over a year!  I remember a few minutes into my second lap around look back and seeing the pavilion barely behind me… I was disappointed that I wasn’t covering ground quickly enough, and I didn’t think it would be possible for me to not stop and walk soon.

I just kept thinking to myself… I am strong.  I can do this.  I can do hard things.  I am strong.  I lost 115 pounds.  I had a nightmare pregnancy.  I did all of that.  I can do this.  This is easy compared to all of that.  Over and over again. 

I listened to Dara Maclean’s Free.  It is like my theme song right now.  I hit the back button on the iPod and listened to it again.

It has these words, which I find so incredibly poignant not only to running this race, but my entire journey, my weight loss, my pregancy, my miracle baby, and the day to day struggles we continue to live in the midst of:
"My strength alone will never be enough
But Your arms keep lifting me up

You tell me I've been made free
You give me everything I need to walk in my dreams
You whisper words that free my soul
You're the reason I have hope
You're everything I need and more
You made me
You made me free

I was caged in, then You opened
Every door that held me bound and You gave me the key
No more pressure I can just breathe
The girl I tried so hard to be, has always been me"

I rounded the last bend to the finish line, and several other runners around me started congratulating me and I them. 

I saw my family, and the finish line.

I crossed it! - HECK yeah I'm happy... check out that smile!
I finished!

I didn’t walk once! 
Goal #1 accomplished!
I looked up to see my time:  36:28.  Well under 40 minutes!

Goal #2 accomplished!

I did it!
I walked over to my family.   “L” gave me a huge hug and looked right at me and asked, “Mama?  You winned?” 
I looked at him and with the biggest smile I said, “Yep, I winned!” 
He beamed even brighter, “You did?  You really did?” 
“Yep honey, I really did.” 
He ran over to his daddy yelling, “I can’t believe it, mama winned!” 
I love that boy!

Teaching him to cheer on other runners
Overall I finished in 46th place and 7th in my age group of out 20 people.
And best of all... I winned!  In so many ways.

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  1. Sounds like it was alot of fun!

    And good lord that is an ugly color for a race shirt! ugh!

  2. You totally rocked it. I hope to see you again soon for another event!

  3. Sarah, you look amazing! You did amazing...heck, I just think that you are amazing. Working up the courage to start a running plan. Not quite there yet, but I am working myself up to it.

  4. Without a doubt, that's the sweetest thing!

  5. Congrats Sarah! You did it!

  6. You winned!!!!! I am so darn proud of you and what an inspiring blog posts, race day, and song...I can't wait to download it for my ipod shuffle tonight. Thanks! You are amazing and still one of my #1 inspriations! And I have to agree - those shirts are TERRIBLE...LOL - but you rocked it!

  7. Sarah - so happy for you and proud of you! You totally winned! Love it!

  8. Great job, lady! You are amazing!!! :)

  9. I've just started reading your blog. You have really inspired me and make me want to try harder.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I've just started reading your blog. You have really inspired me and make me want to try harder.
    Thanks for sharing.


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