Sunday, May 29, 2011

I DID it!!!!

Amy & I after the race

What an emotional roller coaster yesterday was for me!  Amy was telling me by Thursday she had butterflies in her stomach!  I didn't have any, but boy I sure had them by Saturday afternoon.  I think there's nothing I hate more than waiting to go somewhere, which I was waiting to leave, and hoping Todd would get home in time to come with me.  I think that's the least I can ask for my partner to be at the finish line for my first race!

It took us a little longer than expected to get downtown (we had picked up my best friend Christin on the way, being at the finish line is also a best friend duty).  There was a bad accident that really backed traffic up, and of course we were reaching 30 minutes before race time so there I was FREAKING out.  So at an opportune moment I jumped out of the car to walk to the starting corrals.  I was in the purple corral which is for those of us who think we can finish the 10K in 71-80 minutes, the corral right before the walkers.  Yes, I'm that slow!
I was somewhere around this group of people its the purple corral coming through but neither of my photographers managed to spot me at the start line

For awhile I milled around in my corral with all the other cattle.  Suddenly a cheer went up, it was 6:30 and the race was starting.  Of course it was a little while before we started to even move (being that far back), we walked most of the way up to the start line then off we went in a slow jog.  It was pretty warm and humid out so I made up my mind within the first few minutes to just take it at an easy pace (for me) and not kill myself.  Also considering this was my first 10K and there were sooo many people that at times you slow down navigating around walkers and slower runners.

Its a huge event imagine everyone with faster finish times than 71 minutes had already gone by!

Before WW

I had a couple of emotional moments shortly after the start when I was running along Queen Street in Downtown Ottawa.  The tears started to well up and my breathing got ragged, I just wanted to cry.  Just amazed at how far I've gone/come since I started my Weight Watchers journey in February 2008.  Once upon a time I was over 200 lbs, with a badly injured foot (torn & partially torn ligaments, because I was over 200 lbs doing Taekwon-Do), and even before that injury the only time you would catch me running was out of a burning house with a cat under each arm. 

Here I am about three and a half years later having lost all my weight (well pretty much, the last 10lbs just won't budge), something I would never imagined I could have done at some point.  I thought that I was just meant to be fat, that it was genetics.  Not only did I loose over 60lbs, but here I am, I find myself a RUNNER!  Something I started doing because it was my Achilles heel, my most hated and dreaded activity.  Not only was I running, but I was running a 10K in Downtown Ottawa at the year's biggest running event!  I can tell you its not easy running and crying at the same time.  I had to get my emotions under control and choke my tears back and just RUN!

What was my other emotional point you might ask, why the obvious moment of course!  CROSSING THE FINISH LINE!!! 

The race wasn't as easy as I had imagined it would be, part of that I would put down to the humidity and the heat (not that it was that hot, but I'm still getting used to running in warmer temperatures).  I was very glad for the new hydration pack I bought at the Sports Expo on Friday when I picked up my race kit.  I did need sips of water as I went along (I don't normally run with water on me) and we didn't get our first water station until 5K and well when you're running you know you end up wearing more of that water than drinking it!

The first kilometer felt very long, but tings didn't feel rough until I hit the 8 KM mark I was really struggling in terms of my pace and psychologically!  Up to that point I had managed to catch up to and get ahead of the 70 minute pace bunny, but slowly that slipped away and I just didn't have the omph to go any faster and I could feel my pace really struggling until I got to that last kilometer.  The crowds thickened, with cheering, cow bells and noise makers.  Little kids were reaching out for high fives (and I made a point of getting a few along the way).  As I got closer to the finish, I could hear people in the crowd cheering go Danielle!  There were complete strangers taking the time to pick up my name off of my race bib and cheering me on!  What a pick me up that was!

Sadly the closest Todd & Christin could get was just after the finish line so no victory shot but I will probably buy the over priced official photograph when they're posted!

When I reached that finished line I threw my hands up in the air, tears in my eyes.  There it was, I had done it, it was over!
After the race with my first run medal ever! 

I posted a finish time of 1:11:29 (or 71 minutes and 29 seconds), exactly where I had pictured myself to finish.  So now I have a baseline, and can stat to look towards setting a personal best!
The stats from my Nike+ sensor (see how I slowed at the last 2K)

My next race?  Why I've registered for the 2nd Annual Perth Kilt run!  This is an 8K race, where the kilt is mandatory!  I really can't wait this run is going to be so much fun, and hopefully I'll have some fun photos for you, I might just try to run with my camera, who knows.  I won't be doing this race alone, my two buddies from Taekwon-Do will be doing the run as well!

Amy & OMG we're athletes!!!


Rebecca (AKA - Rebel In Ontario) said...

Wow! Sounds like an experience never to be forgotten. I hope you are super proud...your friends are super proud of you and all you have accomplished...GO DANI!

Rebecca (AKA - Rebel In Ontario) said...

And I love the photo of Amy at the village entrance!

Anonymous said...

Oh YEAH!!!!

Rachael xxx said...

Well done!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You are an inspiration to all of us!

Stacey in NS

Karen said...

Way to go Dani! Congrats on the fantastic time and all you have achieved over the last 3 years!

Laura said...

Congratulations to both you and Amy! What an accomplishment! You should be very proud.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your run Dani! I felt chills reading your blog entry! Keep up the awesome work, you are definitely an inspiration to so many!

Julie (julie_shep from WW)

Anonymous said...

Hooray!!! We rock!!! On to the 1/2 marathon (hopefully I will have toenails left:)) I am so proud of you. Thank for sharing this great experience with me:)


♥ Nia said...

uhuuuuu!!! :D Congratulations!!! Really really really well done :D

Medieval Needle said...

Way to go!! You look great. I'm running 5k races all summer and hope to be at 10k distance this fall. Going for the 1/2 marathon (Disney Princess) in February 2012.

geeky Heather said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Wow, this is such an accomplishment!!

Crazee4books said...

Well Done Dani!!! You are a winner any way you look at it. It's hard to reconcile the image of you before WW and the you we all know now. You are such an inspiration and I know my own journey would most likely not have started if I hadn't read your blog and followed your lead. Thank you for that. I'm so very proud of you!!


Anonymous said...

What an emotional story, I was welling up just reading about it! Well done Dani, you should be proud of yourself.

Lisa said...

Well done and congratulations on completing your first race, and a 10k at that! My first race was only a 5k and I was a wreck for that one lol.
I find every run emotional because like you it's something I never thought I'd be able to or want to do, and the fact that I can do it now still amazes me, and whilst I still find it hard the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is worth it.

Anonymous said...

well done Dani - I bet this is just the first of many and each finishing line you cross will be a new achievement to be proud of

Irene said...

Congratulations Dani !!