Tuesday, May 27, 2014

steph and the 5k (summer of happy #1)

As I kick off The Summer of Happy -- 100 happy things in 100 days over 75+ posts and 75K words -- I thought what better way to start that with someone who makes you happier than I do... The Lovely Steph Leann guest posts on her 5K adventures. She wrote it in early April, but I held it until now, just for this purpose.

This past weekend, I participated in my first 5K. I use the word “participate” as I walked most of the course. One of my dearest friends (we’ve known each other since 9th grade), talked me into it, in only a way a best friend can do. She knew I needed to work out, and was hoping this would give us both the motivation to a weekly routine. We started out meeting at Valleydale Church for a weekly aerobics class. Little did we know it was like some fitness routine out of The Biggest Loser. I must admit, I cheated most times we did any running by cutting out a lap or two. Otherwise, I might still be trying to finish. But, all that’s beside the point. Back to my 5K experience.

DeLisa signed us up for the “Color Me Rad 5K.” I gotta be honest here, a color run isn’t something I was all anxious to do. Much better than the “Warrior Run” where you run through mud (umm, no thank you), this still required that I would be getting “dirty.” And, breathing in colored cornstarch. I can’t imagine that it’s GMO-free cornstarch, either. Lucky for me, we haven’t completed our conversion to GMO-free dieting yet, so my only obstacle is getting dirty. And the fact that DeLisa wanted me to run at least part of the course. I have a philosophy on running, and it’s pretty simple. I don’t. Run. Things don’t stay in the same place when I run, and it hurts. Not to mention the last time I tried to run for exercise I ended up with stone bruises that hurt for a week. Yeah, never tried that again.

But, DeLisa asked me to and I’m a sucker to do anything my friend asks me to do (at least, for the most part). You know, it’s pretty funny that we’re even friends, now that I think about it. She’s athletic and enjoys the outdoors. I’m about as girly, girly as you can get and the outdoors has things that live there and I don’t want to be exposed to them. But anyway, race day.

Fortunately for me, the race didn’t start until 10. So, I got to sleep in until about 7:30. I’ve read on some Disney Blogs about people having to get up at 3 a.m. (this hour exists?) on race day, and I’m thinking, not sure about that. I get up and shower, and yes, I showered before going to sweat for an hour with colored cornstarch all over me – if you had my really superfine hair, you’d shower, too. DeLisa and a couple of other ladies, Jane and Jillian, picked me up and off we went to the Hoover Met.

The excitement is building on the way as I eat my breakfast – apple slices and peanut butter. I remind all the ladies that it will most likely take me an hour to finish the race – I’m realistic that way. But, they’re all cool, no biggie, it’s going to take me about that long – yada, yada, yada. We get there and there are people of all ages and fitness levels. All in their white tees and some in white shorts/pants. I saw this one guy in some really tight white shorts. Burned into my memory, I tell you. Scarred for life. There was even a Yeti.

We all made use of the port-a-potties (I didn’t really have to go, but preventive measures and hope that I wouldn’t have to be bothered again the rest of the morning came to mind, so I took advantage of the opportunity) and then gathered and people-watched until the race started. We were casualties in other attendees’ color warfare, so we were already a little painted before we started. Then they called us to the start line.

We ended up being in the third wave, which was cool. The announcer guy yelled “go” or something like that and off we went through a thick cloud of colored dust. I tell you, I jogged all the way down the hill with my friends. Then I ran out of jog-steam, and yelled to them to have a good race, and I slowed my pace. There were some hills, and I wasn’t expecting that. But, I kept going. I didn’t cut one corner, though there was opportunity. I kept hearing DeLisa’s voice in my head telling me that she knew I’d walked at least 3 miles at the Disney theme parks, so she knew I could walk this, even if I didn’t run it. BUT, what she never knew was I doubt I’d ever walked 3 miles at one time in a Disney park. And most of those are pretty flat. I’ve been close, the Soarin’ debacle of 2007 comes to mind, but I doubt it’s been a whole 3 miles.

(d$ note--The Soarin' Debacle was in 2007, when The Lovely Steph Leann and I were around the American Pavilion in Epcot, when we realized our Fastpasses--the old paper tickets--for Soarin' ended in the next 15 minutes. Not knowing that we could show up past the "end time", we high tailed it across Epcot... and when I say "across Epcot", I mean across the ENTIRE PARK. American Pavilion was about as far from the front gate as you can possibly get, while Soarin' is in a building near the front... so it was a fast walk in 15 minutes, a walk that The Lovely Steph Leann paid for dearly with sore feet, heaving lungs and bruised calves. Not magical, I tell ya, not magical indeed)

I heard lots of great conversation. Moms/Dads and their kids, encouraging them to keep going. I tried to encourage this one young lady. After our 6th hill, we approached a pretty steep climb. I told her just to take it slow, it’d be ok. She made it up, but after that, she was pretty spent. I think she cut some of the course. And, you know, that was ok. But, for me, I had to complete the whole thing, no cuts. I’m not always good at finishing what I start. I’m a procrastinator. And, I’m lazy. I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. My twin sister is Scarlett O’Hara, and never have I met a motto I like more than “Tomahrrah is anutha dayuh.” Thank you, Margaret Mitchell for giving the world a valid reason to procrastinate. So, I pressed on.

Up and down the last hill, through the last blasts of yellow, then pink, my shoes rubbing my pinky toe raw, and through that Finish line. I never saw a clock, so I have no idea how long it took me. I know I finished in under an hour, but only barely.

DeLisa on the far right, The Lovely Steph Leann looking colorful (and
lovely) in the middle, and their two 5k mates on the left.
What did I learn? It’s good to finish something. I hope I can pass that on to little Campbell instead of my legacy of procrastination and laziness. Will I do it again? Probably, though I don’t know that I’d actually run the course. Did I mention the hills on that thing? Maybe I can jog the flat parts. The girls are talking about doing the 5K in the fall, and David and I have briefly talked about the Disney races (though, those are timed, and I really have no desire to do actual marathons).

That means I need to get a little serious about training. Unfortunately for today, my inner Scarlett has won and I did not bring workout gear for the exercise room. I go to Atlanta tomorrow for work, returning Wednesday. So, I’ll bring the clothes Thursday. Maybe I can do the fall 5K in 45 minutes…


  1. You did great Steph! When do you want to start training again? ;)

  2. Thanks, DeLisa! Umm, obviously my inner Scarlett is winning the war. But, you're right, we need to start again. Sigh.

  3. I'm proud of you, Steph! One step at a time, and if some of those steps involve later having to scrub pink dye out of crevices you didn't know you had, all the better!

  4. Thanks, Lesley. The dye tends to get trapped in my fat rolls....


I want to hear your response! Click here!!