I was lying in bed unable to go back to sleep. It was only 4:18 AM, I had another 57 minutes of sleep time till 5:15 AM, the time I had set my alarm to wake-up to get ready for the 5K walk at Dodge Stadium that would be taking place. The date was March 14, 2015. It was November 7, 2014 at about 7:31 PM when I registered to participate in the LA BIG 5K. After doing so I posted on my Facebook account the following:
So, now here I lay, eyes wide open, thinking about what is to come in just a few more hours. How will I do? I’ve been walking and preparing for this for 4 months now.
Standing in the nice cool air waiting with 3 of my sisters who came to walk this 5K with me. I ask one of them to take my picture with the LA Dodges sign behind me. This way I can prove to the world I was here. We move to the place where we will be lining up to start our 5K. We still have about an hour left till 8 AM so we go find a place to sit and stretch to ready ourselves. To me, time is moving very slowly. When I think it’s been about 30 minutes, it’s only been 10 minutes. Soon it’s 45 minutes till start time. I drink the rest of my water then walk a quarter mile to the restrooms and then walk back. 28 minutes left to start time. We then migrate closer to the starting line 15 minutes till start time. I stand calmly walking the course in my mind from what I saw on a map of the course layout. 8 minutes till start time we all move into the area were we will start our walk/run. We stand with others around us listing to the announcer telling us things. Someone is now playing the National Anthem using a trumpet.
Ready, Set, “Bang” goes the gun!
I start walking, moving to the left side so the runners can run by. There are others walking so I follow them. I soon realize I didn’t set my phone app to track my walk so I quickly turn it on. Soon we are out the of the Dodgers Stadium parking lot on the street going down a long hill. I think to myself this is a very long hill going down. I set my pace down the hill, not to fast or to slow, gravity is pulling me down. I breathe in and then breathe out. Soon I am at the bottom of the hill turning right. I now head through a park. Up ahead I see restrooms and water fountains, already there is a line of people with their BID numbers on lined up to get water and so forth. I look ahead and see a nice looking hill up ahead. Soon I start walking up the hill. Okay I take that back, I start walking up the steep long hill. Up and up I go. Wow, I thought I was ready for this thing… I slow down as I continue to walk up this hill. I now see one of my sisters in from of me. I walk behind her. Up the hill still we go, almost there to the top. I then get to the place we turn right and up still we go. I finally reach the top, I am out of breathe, breathing hard. I slow myself down and then stop to take a quick rest. I told myself I would only stop once if I really needed to. 5 seconds go by I start walking again, moving one foot in front of the other. I soon calm my breathing and I’m back into the game. About 15 minutes later I am really back to normal after that ‘killer hill’ and I did not want to think what is still left. I soon get into the zone. It’s just me and only me as I shut the world out around myself. All I think about is pushing myself forward asking Heavenly Father for the strength to finish what I started. After walking down a long road we come to the point where we turn left and up another long hill, but not as steep. Before the hill I notice my sister is near me. As I start up the hill I don’t think anything and just walk up the hill at a good speed. I keep my head down watching the road ahead of me not even thinking or caring how much of the hill I have left to walk, I just walk up it. Soon I am the top and then we are now walking on flat land. We curve to the left and then to the right and down a hill. Again gravity is helping. I start talking to someone next to me, we are encouraging each other that we are more than half way done and we can do it. I share with her what I’ve been doing the last 6 months. She says she is getting ready to walk more 5K’s to start collecting medals and how she has a weakness for fast food. We turn right and face yet another hill. We go silent and in my mind I start telling myself, “I can do this!” as I prepare to concur yet another hill. Half way up I can hear cheering. Almost there. Almost done. I reach the top of the hill and pass the 3 mile marker. Only .10 of a mile left. There are people with signs out encouraging us on, I move forward. Some reach out their hand to give out high five’s, I reach my hand out and give them a high five. I start feeling great that I am almost there. I see my sisters to the left, one up further ahead holding a water as my other sister tells me that water is for me, I smile (i think) as I get a water, I walk forward. 50 feet left. 20 feet left, they just announced my name over the load speakers. As I cross the finish line I raise my left hand in a fist cheering to myself, I did it! I now drink the water. I slow down but stay moving to cool down as I quench my thirst. After a few minutes I realize I need to stop the app on my phone so I do. I had walked an extra .10 miles before turn it off. I see they are passing out medals so I go grab one and put it on.
Over all I am feeling good about what I just did. At this point it still has’t settled in my mind I just accomplished my first official 5K. I now need to walk another half mile to find our car. On our way to the car I as one of my sisters to if they can drive home, she says sure! That wasn’t to hard, walking up a steady hill to find the car. At this point I start to feel tired, my legs feel fine, its the bottom of my feet that start to hurt a bit, not the entire foot just the front. I realize I been standing for the last 4 hours and this is really the first time I am sitting down (other then sitting for about 8 minutes before the walk) relaxing.
Yea – I Did That!
Now it’s been a few days it is finally sinking in that I really truly did do the 5K. This is a huge accomplishment for me. 1.5 years ago I couldn’t even walk 500 feet without needing to stop to breathe. 6 months ago would call it quits after walking 25 – 30 minutes and that was only about 3/4 a mile. I averaged about 20 minutes 15 seconds a mile, with all those hills. I set a new personal record for me, 1 hour 4 minutes and 53 seconds (according to my 5K marathon tracker).
I did it! I really did truly did it!
Thank you all for believing in me!
Till next time, set a goal and then set out to accomplish it! Know in your heart you can do it! Believe in yourself! Trust in yourself!