I came in first!

You heard me, but just in case you didn't I will repeat, I CAME IN FIRST!

Here is a photo of the medal I got for coming in FIRST.

Yes I did in fact pass Math in school, I know the difference in first and second,  and I know what I am talking about.

On Saturday I had the great pleasure of running in the 3rd Annual Wesley Ashberry Twilight 5k for the benefit of the Denbeigh House which supports brain injuries. As I stood there Saturday waiting to start I all of a sudden had a massive case of the nerves, something that hasn't happened to me for a 5k in a while now. I mean seriously, for Pete's sake, I just ran 10 miles last week and I am worried about this measly 3 miles on a relatively cool day?? Why yes, yes I was! It dawned on me at that exact moment, that I was running my first race with my family and friends actually present and watching or participating, add in one boyfriend who thinks I am going to fall over dead every time I run anywhere and well.. it was a nerve wracking thought. I had the thoughts of, what if they all beat me, what if I fall down, what if I lose my pants 100 yards in, what if I die? None of those things happen.... ok FINE one of those things actually did happen but I don't think we need to discuss which one.

The point is they were all silly thoughts, and in the end I still finished and I came in first. Yes I am still maintaining I came in first because I did. I beat the only person out there I was out there to beat, myself. My fastest 5k to date was run on my birthday with a time of 33:20, Saturday night I finished with a time of 32:32, even better yet I beat my time in this same race last year by 12 minutes, that is 4 minutes a mile shaved of. If that doesn't make me a winner I don't know what does.

There was one lady that came in before me in my age bracket, she was a doctor, my Daddy's doctor to be exact, and I never did catch her name but coming out of the start, due to one of the things above I said I was worried about, she managed to pass me. (How many commas is one allowed in a sentence?) As I ran along down the road towards the mile marker Doc slowed down and started walking, there it was, my chance to regain the lead in my bracket. I knew it would have been the lead because everyone else in front of us were either men or MUCH younger, all I had to do was maintain the pace I was at and I had her. It was that exact moment something happened that I never anticipated, I did what my brain initially said and held my pace but out of my mouth came the words "Come on Doc! Don't give in now, you got this!" WAIT A MINUTE HERE, MY OWN BIG MOUTH HAS BETRAYED ME!!! I thought "oh don't worry about it, if she is walking already she will surely walk again", and I was correct. What I wasn't correct about was the not worrying about it part. Each time Doc slowed down the betrayal happened again and again words of encouragement flew out faster than my feet could run to catch up to her, we held the same distance apart pretty much the whole race.  As we came in to the finish I did my normal "Jay Bowman/ Adam Swansen hollered at me to sprint so I am going to sprint" sprint, yes I do hear them in my head even when they are not there, and I finished ten seconds after the Doc. Some part of me figured I could have beaten her in that last stretch if I had started a bit sooner or if I had waited a second or two with words of encouragement for her along the path, but that didn't seem to matter much to me. I was happy with my second place (first loser, as Daddy says) medal and even happier with my FIRST place against myself, and who knows maybe Doc went home and said for the first time in a really long time that she ran the whole 5k because of some crazy loon behind her screaming at her to RUN!

I am not sure what exactly the point of this is, but it is what happened and I feel good about it, being an encourager is a pretty neat little role. Maybe the point is a play on my friends Jimmy John's boat racing policy which is "Doesn't matter what place we come in as long as we look good doing it" maybe my run policy needs to be "Doesn't matter what place I come in as long as I feel good about it".   After I went through the finish line I turned right around (after catching my breath for a second) and headed back out to fetch my Daddy and daughter, they weren't all that far behind but running back in with them was pretty darn cool too.

This is one of those posts that I could keep writing about for hours but will refrain from doing so to ensure you don't get to incredibly bored with me, but before I close, I want to say a HUGE thank you to Mark, Julie and Ed who all waited at the finish line for me,  Shannon who I have to say screamed the loudest when I got my medal, Steve who didn't beat me as bad I think he could have. And to Theresa Ashberry I LOVE your spirit, you are an incredibly inspiration to me, and don't you forget it! Love each one of you!

Much Love


Cindy Whitlock said…
You no longer fear the other runners - what an accomplishment. Yes you are in first place, in every sense of the word. Beating the doc would have been easy obviously, but that wasn't your test. You were a true athlete, offering words of encouragement and uplifting others. Now that's something to be proud of. Mission Accomplished! CONGRATS!
Christen said…
You WON! You won the battle of your HEAD! Major, major, major. I am so proud of you I could POP! Not only did you beat your personal best, you encouraged others along the way. You understand what the real race is all about. So glad to call you my girl. xoxo

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