Sunday, June 13, 2010

My First 5K event!

So yesterday I participated in my first 5k event! It was the Susan G. Komen for the Cure 5k. For years I have been wanting to participate in this event but I was always ashamed to because of my weight. The truth of the matter is I have spent most of my life in hiding because of my weight ,and that's no way to live. I used to worry about people staring or about what they were thinking when they saw me, or the whispering and the snickering. But very recently I came to the conclusion that the same people who would criticize me for being overweight are very likely the same people who would criticize me for trying to get healthy. I actually think there are people like that, they just want to beat you down for any possible reason. I don't care what those people think anymore, this is my life and I am taking it back and I wont let anyone stop me, and YOU shouldn't either.

So the night before the race I started to feel nervous, I set 6 alarms on my cell phone so I wouldn't oversleep! I woke up every hour that night, its funny how your brain knows you have a big event the next day. 630 am finally came around and I got up showered, had breakfast and headed to the event. I met my mom and little brother at 745 am and we started walking up to the event. It was already hot and humid that early in the morning! I was amazed at how many people were actually there, I had no idea the event was that big! I instantly felt self conscious and uncomfortable. This might sound weird but thank god I had my sunglasses, I don't know why but I always feel like they are a small protective shield for me. I really wanted to turn around and walk back to my car but I wasn't going to let myself do that. I was there and ready to do what I came to do. We had about 30 minutes until start time so we walked around to see all the different booths.

This is a pic of me and my mom waiting for the start, I think you can tell from my facial expression I was feeling a little out of my element.

They finally announced it was time for us to approach the starting line. Once again I was amazed at how many people were participating! We walked up to the starting area and 5 minutes later we were off! It felt great to pass the starting line, I knew I was doing this and there was no going back. Me and my brother teamed up to walk together while my mom walked with her friend. The energy I felt while walking with all those people was indescribable. I slowly but surely started to feel that I belonged there like everyone else. About halfway through mile 1 I again realized how hot it was, the heat waves were bouncing off the ashpalt and onto my body like rain drops. I just told myself one foot in front of the other until I cross that finish line.

This is pic of all the people as we started the race: 25,000 people registered!

We reached the mile one marker and the clock said 22:35 , now my goal was just to show up and walk the event, but deep down inside I had a goal for a 20 min mile pace. When I saw that clock I knew I had to pick up the pace and get moving!

I started to push myself harder, I knew I could make up the 2:35 on the hills. I have strong legs and the will power to push myself up those hills! And that's what I did! When people were slowing down on hills I was passing right by them. It was such an awesome feeling, I know a few people did a double take! I marched up every hill like it was nothing! The people on the sidelines cheering us on were amazing, a few people even yelled out my bib number and said looking good! It felt good to know people were behind me, I have the bad habit of always expecting people to be against me.

Finally reached the mile 2 marker! I had shaved exactly 2 minutes of my pace time!

After reaching the 2 mile marker I started to develop a blister or something on my left foot, I should not have worn my Nike shocks since they aren't completely broken in yet! Blister or no blister I wasn't slowing down. By this time I was soaking in sweat, the heat was almost unbearable. A saw a few people quit the race because they couldn't take it. I was feeling amazing right about now, I loved looking behind me and seeing all those people. I am used to being in the back of the pack but not on this day!

The finish line was finally in sight and a huge smile filled my face. Alot of people started to run towards the finish, I wanted to do the same but I haven't built up the courage to run in public yet. I will fight that battle on a different day.

I finally got to the finish line and saw my time! 1:00:13 !! I would say I accomplished my goal of a 20 min mile pace!

I don't have a word to describe how I felt after crossing the finish line. Yeah alot of people can walk 3.1 miles, its not that huge of a thing to most people. To me it was more than just walking 3.1 miles, I do that at the gym 2-3 times a week. It was the fact that I came out and showed 30,000 people that I am taking my health back! I wasn't hiding that day, I was out in the open doing something that I have always wanted to do. A huge wall came down inside me after crossing that finish line,I was so proud of myself.

This is me right after the race, soaking wet with sweat! It was truly a sweating_it_off day!

Another pic of me and my crazy mama after the race!

This was my first 5k event and it wont be my last. I fought my own battle that day while helping to fight the battle of breast cancer. I was able to raise $160.00 dollars for the cause, and I want to recognize the people who sponsored me in one way or another.

Ryan Sobus RD - *my personal RD*
@FitInMyHeart -
@travelgirl007 -
@DareToBecome -
@prnewman -
@BetterFitBody -

Thanks for the support everyone!

check out my slide show of pictures from the event!


Foodie McBody said...

I loooooooooooove race recaps. And this is such an awesome one. I am so inspired by you!! Keep going. I can't wait to hear more and more.

Patrick Rodgers said...

So freaking awesome, I am so jonesing to run my first 5k but alas I live in the desert and the next 5k is like in October. The biggest loser got me to want to run one so bad. I run a 5k on the treadmill 3-4 times a week or more, I want to get my time under 30 minutes stuck in the 34's right now. And I have been outdoor training the other 3-4 days a week running 2 miles outside (I need to try a 5k outside but its just so bloody hot that I don't like to run tell like 9pm when its starting to get dark and I can finish 2 miles before it gets dark).


travelgirl said...

You're inspiring you know that?!

Cassie said...

Wow - truly awesome job Al! Great pictures, I think that was one thing I missed out on was getting pictures. And I love the idea of having a time piece at each mile... I love that check. Great job on picking up the pace and completing your goal!

spunkysuzi said...

You and your mom did awesome!! I'm doing a 5K later this summer and can only hope i do as well as you.

Danielle said...

fantastic!!! are you now hooked on them? I'm gearing up to run one in October. congrats Al

Cathy Cox said...

Oh *awesomeness* Seriously tearing up reading through this...congrats to you, taking it back! I'm on that journey too *Hugs* for you...more to come :)

daretobecome said...

You know this post just gave me goosebumps. Events like these are so defining. You are so right about the "Dream Killers", as my friend Monique calls them. I find that most of those criticizers couldn't even get out there and do what you did. That is THEIR problem, not yours. But seriously - Nike Shocks for walking/running? We have to talk my dear friend :-)

Heather Iacobacci-Miller said...

Congrats to you. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is simply an awesome event.

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Yesterday I was ready to quit on my goal of walking my first 5k on June 27. Your story changed my mind.

David H. said...


cie said...

awesome awesome job! ive only did one 5k and it didnt go so well (not my fault lol) so it is truly amazing!

Superwoman Spirit said...

Way to go Alan! So cool and I love the list of contributors. You will now forever be hooked on 5k's ;) Your mom is so cute!

Kyra said...

Way to go on your first 5K Alan! Shannon's right. You'll be hooked now!

merrberruns said...

I love your pink headband! Bad ass!! :)

Anonymous said...

You're such an inspiration!!! God bless you & your family -

Kuku :)

Caro said...

Awesome job! You should feel pretty bloomin' proud of yourself! Congrats :)