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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memories of the Meet Me Downtown 5K

Let me set the scene for you:

We had just moved back to the States from Guam four months prior. I was 14 months postpartum with child #2. The kids were visiting grandparents, and I was visiting my husband in an Army school. On a whim, we decided to sign up for a 5K that was happening in Tuscon. Had I done any training? Nope. Had I ever ever run 3.1 miles in one stint before? No. Did I think it was a good idea to do it? Absolutely!

I'm a Florida girl, through and through. I love everything about the weather in Florida: 80* on Christmas day... 30* a week later. 90% humidity for 87% of the year is simply bliss for me. Give me hot and humid and you have yourself a happy girl! So when we went to the desert (of which I am not a stranger, I just love my tropical weather oh so much), I got nervous. Suddenly 100* felt like 73*. I would sweat, and it would almost immediately evaporate off of my body. When I finished a "run", I would feel exhausted but never had the sweaty thrill of accomplishing anything. So to start off, I was doing something completely new in an area my body wasn't used to. But such is how things go.

Here are the memories I have (3 years later) for my first ever 5K:

How big of a dork was I? The hydration pack should start you on the right path to figuring that out!
I put on my brand new hydration pack, slapped my Vibram 5 Fingers on my feet, and "ran" through downtown Tuscon thinking to myself the whole time "Good gracious! Don't these people know how wonderful humidity is?!" I kept snorting (yep, I said snorting) water from the aid station and my hydration pack. My sinuses felt like they were shriveling in my face and my skin was begging to be slathered in Vaseline. No, not the lotion... the jelly.

The whole reason I even signed up to be there. Peer pressure at it's greatest!
Josh finished the race and ran backward on the course to pick me up and bring me in. I felt fine... if you consider "fine" to be the thought that comfort would come from chopping off both feet and hobbling for the rest of my life. For the record: I now "run" in Hokas. 

He had this very same smile on his face when he came back for me. It really cheered me up!
I did most everything in this race wrong except for one thing: I never quit. I never stopped on the course, and never once did my brain say, "Wait. You know you can sit down here and Josh will be more than happy to drive the car over to pick you up." Though I was hurting, most of it was in a good way. None of it was in a "you're permanently damaging your body" kind of way. And that last point was what kept me going forward. 

Some of the crazies who were in school with Josh at the time. 
The after party looked fabulous. They had live music, lots of beer and food, and plenty of downtown venues to visit who were happy to cater to all racers. 

If I had it in me at the time, I'm sure we would have had a wonderful time at the after party. But I hobbled myself across the finish line, and over to the car. When we got back to the hotel room, Josh grabbed as much ice from the ice machine as he could and dumped it into the bathtub for me. I plunged my feet into the icy goodness and waited until I gained feelings in my feet again... only to numb those feelings with ice. 

Glorious... simply glorious!

No selfie for this race, but I did take a moment to photograph my view from the back of the pack!
Color me a sucker for sunsets. I may love the tropics, but I so adore desert sunsets!

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