Well…Saturday’s race was interesting. I was waiting for Alpha to get off work to come home and KT tape me up. We were set to meet Florida Dairy Farmers Build It Team at 2:30 p.m. It was 2 p.m. and Alpha still wasn’t home! We were about 20 minutes away from where the race was. Start time for the 5K was at 3:15. He finally decided to make his appearance and taped up the important parts, aka my ribs and we left. We literally made it with about 5 minutes to spare before the race started.
He decided to run with me in case I was in need of help. We took off into a beautiful Lake Nona area! It was so nice to see beautiful homes, cheering neighbors, and DJs along the course with great music. I was feeling fine and was going at an easy slow pace. I knew I had to run the 15K after I was done so I didn’t want to aggravate my ribs….at least not yet 😉
We crossed our first finish line! The weather wasn’t ideal because it was H-O-T, muggy, and extremely humid. We went back to the Florida Dairy Farmers tent to fuel up for the second part of their 20K challenge. We managed to take a few pictures and stretch to get to the start line.
I love having our friends Patty, and Scott around for races. They are energetic, loving, and and always support me. Even though they are ‘Noles fans, I am not holding that against them 😉 I must say that Scott has been a warrior lately. He is battling a tough heart condition and still manages to do the impossible. So honored to have him as a friend. I think of him at times when I start to struggle. We both share similar medical issues where not many seem to understand. He is always positive, smiling, and running! Keep running with your heart Scott!
OK, after the quick chatter, we headed back to the start line and took off. I, again wasn’t trying to win, or get a PR. My goal was to survive, and hoping my ribs didn’t break. I kept a steady, easy pace where I didn’t have to take deep breaths. At around mile 3, I got a sharp jab in my right side, and then another that made me double over. I stopped to kind of massage it, and walk it out. It never went away and I knew what was happening.
My ribs were giving me a warning. I needed to slow down. But I was already going slow. Any slower and I had to walk. “I don’t want to walk. I want to run.” I told Alpha. He was a little concerned and worried. Though he didn’t say anything I saw it on his face. But he will never, and has never asked me if I want to stop. He knows me too well. So what does he do to help? Keep me laughing the rest of the way to keep my mind off of the pain.
We would walk and run. We stay along with the 12 minutes pacer. I wasn’t doing well at all. I didn’t tell him, but my right leg had gone completely numb. I kept shaking it out, trying to get it to come back, if you will. It sometimes gets painful, but it’s mostly VERY uncomfortable.
It started to get dark, the start time for the 15K was 4:30 and the sun was going down around that time. So it was kind of good that the sun set because it was nasty out. We kept slushing along until we crossed the finish line for a second time.
I didn’t feel beaten, I wasn’t down. I felt accomplished. For me, running has never been a promised activity. It’s always a questionable one. Any day I am able to run a race is a moment to be appreciated, and celebrated. With how my health has been lately, I take running as a privilege. No matter how bad a run is, I NEVER take it for granted.
Some people have told me that they don’t understand why it’s so hard for me. Saying “running is easy”, and “anyone can do it” but that isn’t the case. It takes a lot of heart, dedication, and the will to reach your goals. I have to work so hard at it, and it takes a lot out of me, but the feeling that I feel when I am done is indescribable. It’s such a huge feeling of accomplishment that it keeps me going. Knowing that there are very few people with my level of pain who manage to look past it in order to live the dreams.
Running is a gift, NEVER take it for granted! Thank you Florida Dairy Farmers for allowing me to run in your honor. It’s always a pleasure to run for you. All in all, Florida Dairy Farmers 20K Challenge was successfully accomplished =)
-the Scoliosis runner