(This video was posted right after last years 1st Santa 5k. In actual truth, this year's 5k had 500 more people and even more states (and countries!) were represented. Although these aren't shots from my actual race, this video so perfectly represented the excitement and enjoyment that I had to include it. Even if only for my own memory).
I could say that when I finally ran across the finish line it was in slow motion, angels sang and confetti flew, I had run my best ever pace, and I was so amazing that I never even broke a sweat. But that would be a lie. A big huge lie. The reality is that I was WAY too freakin' hot (that stinkin' santa suit is fleece and if the rules hadn't clearly stated that all runners had to wear their full Santa suit, I would have ripped that bad boy off mid race and finished in just a sports bra and running britches). In addition I had such awful double-over-and-feel-like-you're-about-to-give-birth-to-an-alien-baby cramps midway through that I had to raise my arms above my head and power-walk for 10 seconds. And finally (the icing on the cake, of course) was during the last 100 feet when, as a direct result of being so unbelievably overheated, I had to frantically beg myself not to puke as I smiled for pictures in front of hundreds at the finish line. The reality of that race sure as hell wasn't as perfectly glorious as I'd pictured so many times in my head. I can tell ya that much. But as I shoved my way through the crowd towards a grassy park clearing (where I could puke my guts up peacefully without hundreds of onlookers) I wiped tears from my cheeks. Not because I was angry with my body for having awful cramps, or the fact that I was about to puke, or even because that obnoxious Nike Run App woman told me a pace I didn't want to hear...I had tears streaming down my cheeks because I actually did it. A goal, a dream, a huge achievement I didn't ever really think I was capable of had just been achieved. The chubby-big-boobed-Amanda-who-used-to-fake-being-sick-in-order-to-get-out-of-running-track-during-high-school-P.E. had just crossed the finish line. She did it. I did it. Me. That once pudgy-self-conscious-girl actually did it.
It was like walking on cloud nine...in the middle of July after a long car journey without Dramamine.
And after a short recovery time (in which I guzzled water and impatiently stripped off a santa hat, beard and coat) I headed to join Carl and Jordan beside the finish line. After 10 minutes of hugs and kisses from the hubby and more guzzling of water, a familiar bright red face jogged towards us with a determination in her eyes like I'd never seen before. And I frantically tapped my iPhone in hopes of capturing her moment of glory. Although its blurry I love this frazzled picture because that determination and fire in her belly still shines through the speedy fuzziness.
My baby sister, Sonya, crossed the finish line, her inhaler in hand, at a sprint after 41 minutes. I could not have been more proud. And as she made her way towards us, I hurried to hug and say "smile!" (Yes, I really am that obnoxious family member who always wants to document everything).
I think we may have found a brand-spankin' new family tradition.
Watch out folks, we'll be back for more.