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Firsts.

Exercise isn't something I'm shy about, but doing it in front of other people scares the hell out of me.  I don't know why - I think it's because I've been blessed (?) with such a high level of extreme awkwardness that the concept of doing anything in front of people makes me freeze up.  I didn't want to walk down the aisle at my own wedding for fear of tripping and falling (I wanted to furtively rise up on a platform from underneath the floor, like an elevator, and just appear at the front of the church to say, "I do!").  I am nervous about going from my table to the podium when I speak at events.  So the idea of crossing a finish line with an audience and an event photographer made me wish I was a WonderTwin and could morph into "shape of innocuous shrubbery!" or something, last minute. 

Which is why it was a big deal, to me, to participate in my first "official" (meaning where there were other people and a start/finish line and people were wearing bibs with numbers instead of lobsters on them) 5K race.  Thanks to a husband who understood that I wanted to try this first one out on my own, I headed out early on Saturday morning, still making excuses in my head as to why I didn't want to do this. 

"I'm really proud of you for doing something that is so far outside your comfort zone," Chris said, and that's exactly it.  That's why I felt compelled to follow through.  A few of my runner friends have these t-shirts they wear, boasting about a race they completed, and I wanted to earn a t-shirt, too.  I started attempting to run back in November and at the beginning, finishing a mile without stopping or pitching backwards off the treadmill was a big accomplishment for me.  Since November, I've built up some endurance and wanted to try the 3.1 mile race with the aim to finish, without walking, and without falling into a ditch.   

Finished!

"Do you know where the registration table is?" I asked a lady at the event, who was wearing fancy sneakers and a worn-looking t-shirt that claimed a marathon finish back in 2010. 

"I actually have no idea," she said, and since we were both alone, we walked around the venue until we found the small table staffed with caffeinated volunteers. 

"Oh, here we go!" she said, and we both checked in, grabbed our bib numbers, and stood off to the side to pin them to our shirts.  

"Where should I be sticking this?" I asked, fumbling and awkward and ready to bail because my nerves were fraying.

"They want them pinned to the fronts of our shirts for this one," she said, gesturing to my belly button.  "Is this your first race?"

"It is."  I pinned the number to my shirt, noting ruefully that the "138" was just three points higher than my Dexcom was reading. "Can you tell?"

"You'll be fine.  Once you start, just keep going until you finish, right?"  She pulled on her gloves to warm her hands against the unseasonably chilly April morning.  "I'll see you at the finish line."

So far outside my comfort zone that I couldn't even see the hazy edge, I finished the race.  I didn't walk. I didn't come in last.  My pace was decent.  My blood sugars didn't tank.  I felt proud of myself for following through on this, and not backing out in the end because I was self-conscious.  Now I have a t-shirt, and I earned that shit.  Oh, and I didn't fall into any ditches and roll down a hill or anything.

And oddly enough, I am looking forward to doing it again.  

Comments

That took guts, Kerri! Very proud of you! How many people were in the race? Glad to hear your BG numbers behaved!

So proud of you, Kerri! :)

Awesome job Kerri! I know how good that feels! I want to get back to running again too. Thanks for sharing!

I was actually telling Pete about your 5K and saying the exact same thing that you just wrote - which is that we had talked about how running in front of people is very far out of your comfort zone and about how I was extra extra proud of you for doing this 5K because of that fact!!! You rock!!

And now, I'm inspired to set a goal and conquer something too. Although I've done a few 5Ks, I've never ever been able to run the whole thing without a walking break. So that is want I'm going to try to accomplish (even though deep down inside I'm sure I can't ever actually do it).

Congratulations on finishing your first 5k!!!

Running at all is super far outside of my comfort zone, to the point where I haven't even tried since I stopped playing competitive sports in high school. I really need to get back into it and this posting might be just the incentive I need- knowing that it is outside of other people's comfort zones as well is somehow, oddly, well... comforting.

Thanks!

Congratulations on finishing your first race!! This is where it all begins :) before you know it you will have a whole bunch of shirts!

Congratulations, Kerri! You are amazing. I just registered for my first 5K, to take place this coming August. I have the same exact fears as you. :)

Congratulations! I am extremely happy for you!

Seriously, after the horn sounds at the beginning, nobody notices you. Unless you fall into a ditch or roll down a hill or something. Or if you have one of those badass t-shirts that says you finished!

That is so awesome Kerri! You *should* be proud of yourself :) Running is definitely not my thing but I'm hoping one day in the future to be able to partake in some kind of bike event. I can imagine the feeling of accomplishment is wonderful.

KERRI! This is SO AWESOME! YOU are so awesome!

I'm super proud of you!

Kerri, I'm so happy for you! Congratulations! Racing is a lot of fun and a good way to stay motivated with your exercise. At least it works that way for me! Glad you had a good experience.

Let the addiction begin! Better decide where you want to start hanging your finisher medals.

Good for you. That first step is the scariest.

Carry on!

WTG Kerri! I'm looking forward to running a 5K again hopefully by fall. I absolutely love the excitement of runners! Congrats and wear that shirt proud!

I wish I could do this! How did you keep your sugars from going low? What was your prep routine to keep from tanking? I can't use the elliptical for more than 15 mins at a medium pace without dropping to quickly

Now I have a t-shirt, and I earned that shit."

Classic!

Congratulation! Did my first 5k 3 years ago. My 4th sprint tri is Sunday. This running thing can be addictive.

you sound JUST like me two years ago. I hated running. Couldn't run a mile. Started with a 5K... HUGE accomplishment. Told myself if my husband and friends are doing it, why can't I? Decided it was just all in my head that I hated running. Flash forward to now. I just finished the LA Marathon and my 5th half-marathon! I'm hooked. I still don't love running but I do LOVE finishing a race and the sense of accomplishment, not to mention my never-EVER-before toned thighs. Congratulations on your huge achievement!!

Congrats! I'm so proud of you!!! Keep up the great work!

I remember my first 5k. I too was very nervous and sure what the heck I was doing there. I have asthma and since moving here to Az. I felt a challenge. So I trained for it I came 2nd to last but I finished and it felt sooo good. I have improved since then. I have walked/ run about 10 now. So I think you have out done yourself congrats.

Dude, I'm super proud of you, and I'm glad it went well. Running is a fabulous world filled with all kinds of little gifts, such as things that hurt seemingly spontaneously and toenails that fall off. On the flip side, it enables you to eat more cupcakes, so there's that. Congrats on your new shirt! :)

YAY. Congratulations. It's hard to push ourselves out of that zone - you should be SO proud!

Very proud of you running.That is awesome. I used to run Now I am going to a RIPPED classwhich is like a Zumba class on stroids. Hopefully the class will get my A1C down from a 8.2.
Have a good one

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