Saturday I did something that a few years ago was only wishful thinking. I completed walking a 5k. The energy at the fun run was catching.
I was in the third wave released from the starting chute. Several times I wished I’d had a friend to walk with me, but being alone gave me time to think.
The morning was cool and bright. The start of the walk took us around a large pond with a fountain. On the other side was the pink powder archway. It was after this initial excitement as I headed on to the next archway and my muscles began to complain that I wondered what had I gotten myself into.
It helped to think of it in terms of my weight loss surgery. All the excitement at the beginning. Passing under that pink powder station and getting doused I made the comment that *now* it’s a color run. In 53 days I will have my surgery. This will be real.
As I continued on, I thought of all the posts I’ve read about postOp regret. There’s no going back. There’s lots of nausea and pain. But we keep on.
Just before the 1 mile marker was a steep hill around the back of the speedway. Halfway up the hill I felt lightheaded. I paused, breathed, and continued on. Getting to the top and seeing that fluffy white inflatable marker gave me reason to celebrate. I’d made it! Perhaps this will be similar to when I get through the postOp liquids and pain and nausea stage.
From the top of the hill I realized it’s a kind of elevated parking lot. I could walk to one side and see into the speedway. The other showed me the long trail of people ahead of me. I had so far to go. Even after I’m past my regret period of a new stomach, I will also have far to go.
The second mile was a breeze. I passed the green powder archway, then down a steep hill and around to the water station. I stopped and drank 2, saving the plastic color run cups in my pocket, a bit dismayed by the pile up in the trash. I hope they recycle. I continued on, feeling more confident. My muscles still complained but I was used to it now. It was good that I’d spent so many weeks walking at work.
I passed under the purple powder archway, passed the first responder truck in the field who was waiting in case of emergencies. Then came the marker for mile 2. I was on the last leg. I looked back behind me, I looked over at the hill, and there was still a steady stream of 5kers in white t shirts, like ants in a line. I had come so far! Holy crow, I was proud of myself.
Halfway through the last mile was the hardest. I was tired, hurting a bit. Even though I saw a bench I didn’t sit down. In my mind it would only prolong what I was feeling. I wanted to reach the end and have my finishers medal. Runners who had been there were now walking back past our line, sporting powder color we’d not seen yet.
Then a great thing happened. I knew a coworker would be attending and I’d kept an eye out the entire race. From behind I heard her calling my name. It was super to see a friendly and supportive face. Even as they ran past I felt lighter. I imagine this is what it’ll be like when I return to work in August, and people comment and support me positively on the weight loss changes.
I passed through the yellow powder station, and could see the finish line in the distance. There was also a “foam zone” with suds in the air. I stopped to play and take a few pics. As I went through the finish line and grabbed my medal and a packet of color powder, there was my coworker, cheering me on. It meant so much to have her praise me. This amazIng woman who does tough mudder races. I commented that perhaps next year I’ll be light enough to actually run some of the 5k.
I didn’t stay for the powder dance party and give away. I walked back to my car and cleaned up. I know that my weight loss journey will not have an end like a 5k. Just new goals to reach. New fitness goals that keep me centered and active.
I sent my mom photos of the day. She was so proud of me. Upon seeing my medal she asked if this was the first of a collection. Why yes, yes I think it is.