Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Journey - One Year Later (Fox Cities 5K)

I bet when you clicked on this blog, you thought it was all going to be about weight loss, how my clothes fit, etc. Well, the weight loss happened (down about 40 pounds) and yes my clothes fit better (a nice size 16 instead of a size 24), but todays journey is a fitness one. 

You see one year ago, I trained and ran my first 5K today. I wasnt sure I could do it, and I was struggling. I participated in a 5K prep class through the local FleetFeet FoxValley running store. That class gave me the confidence to not give up. Come race time, one of the coaches was nice enough to pace me for the race. I finished, confidently, and ready to start my running career. Since then I have run a ton of races -- too many to count -- and tomorrow at the very same event I will be running my FIFTH half marathon (and still training of course for my first marathon at Walt Disneyworld in less than 4 months)

Sure thats an ok story.... but thats not even the journey I am talking about today.  
A couple of months ago my friend Leah (and owner of FleetFeet) asked me to be a coach for the No Boundaries 5K class. ME, a coach! I thought for sure there was no way I could do this ... I mean Im just me, not an elite runner. But I trusted her, and I signed up.

I had a blast this summer coaching the walkers and runners and helping people to reach their goals.  In fact today was THEIR goal race (the same place I was one year ago). 
I decided to run the race and pace one of my runners to a PR. She really wanted to finish under 47 minutes and I KNEW she could do it.

I was soo excited for today. Wearing my big red FleetFeet shirt that says Coach on the back, I felt so proud! The first mile my runner was like a grosshopper -- waay to fast and I had to reign her in. People around me were looking at me funny as I was telling her to slow down. The second mile was alot better. She was struggling by the 2.5 mile mark, but I just kept trying to think of motivating things to say. I picked a target runner about 1 block up and said "We are going to beat her out at the end."

Around mile 2.5 we met up with another runner (who had the same name as my runner) and she said "Ive been imagining your coaching me, your really motivating!" That just totally made my day! Around the corner at 2.9 miles we went ... I started preparing my runner for the end. "As soon as we see the finish line, we are going to run it out, ok" We got to the 3 mile mark and all of the other coaches were at the sidelines (and some of the mentors too) and they all hopped off and ran it in with us!

I have never been soo proud to be part of a team. One of the other coaches said "who said running isnt a team sport. I was next to my runner, a couple coaches were behind so she couldnt stop. She PR'd ... finishing with a time of 43:08 almost a full 4 minutes off of her PR!

I knew coaching was fun ... but I am sooo fired up right now. Its almost more fun to help others reach their goals than to reach my own!

So the journey -- one year ago I was finishing my first 5K and feeling like I was going to throw up after crossing the finish line ... fast forward one year and I am strong enough to help others reach their goals, at the same race!
And last but not least ... one year ago when I was leaving the expo I ran into a girl from work who was running the half marathon. I remember her saying "maybe next you will be doing the half marathon with me" - I smiled and walked away thinking "no way in hades will that be happening...

Tomorrow is my fifth half ... Its gonna be amazing!  

1 comment:

  1. You have quite a way with words and telling the story AnnMarie. Thanks for sharing this with all of us!