A Weekend Run

It seems runners may enjoy telling their running stories the way mothers like telling birth stories.  There is the preparation stage, the apprehension, the confidence, The Main Event with it’s painful battles and moments of easier breathing. Then, finally, there is the exhilaration of crossing the finish line with the support and congratulations of friends creating music for a weary body.  Here’s the story of my first 5K.

The Refuge Run was the first of what will hopefully become an annual tradition for the City of Refuge.  This year we were raising funds to buy desks and furniture for the new educational facility.  [If you would like to contribute, you can do so here.]

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8116

Friday evening I went for my last practice run.  It was a good run–one of those times the running didn’t feel so hard and I could enjoy parts of it.  I forgot to check the clock when I started, but I know it wasn’t my fastest time.  I was at peace with running on Saturday–knowing I would come in toward the end, but also knowing I had put forth my best effort.

The true measure of a runner

isn’t in time, but rather

in the effort it took along the way.

Jenny Hadfield

I was a little concerned about the whole eating in the morning thing.  I know my body needs food in the morning or it won’t function.  On the flip side I didn’t want to eat too much and confuse my body as to whether it should work on digestion or running.  I planned to get up early to eat a banana and peanut butter then give it plenty of time to settle.  I had been drinking lots of water that week in preparation.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8137
My friend Rahel and her mother

Friday night we went to bed early thinking we were getting a really long night.  Then Paxton woke around 3:30 and I didn’t get back to sleep until close to 6:00.  Because of that I ended up sleeping later than I planned, but I still ate about an hour before the race start time.

I was feeling pretty calm before the race, and glad the route runs through the familiar territory of our neighborhood.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8145
The cutest running shoes at the race

Saturday, unfortunately, was one of the days when I was not really feeling all that strong.  I shoved it aside until we were doing warm up exercise with Back on My Feet.  Within minutes I was getting very lightheaded–so disappointing and frustrating.  Steve prayed for me, and I promised him not to push myself beyond what I could handle.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8127
Steve and I after the race

The race started, and off we went  I didn’t get the adrenaline rush most people talk about.  It all felt very much like typical runs.  Some days the running is easier and some days it feels hard.  This was one of those days it was tough most of the way through.  Overall it went pretty well, though.  There was the funny moment when the train crossed right through our route!

Our neighborhood has some inconveniences, yet we keep running! –Photo and text credit: Phil Swanson

In the second mile my left leg started cramping.  It had never happened before, so I wasn’t sure if I should pause to stretch it or keep running.  I kept running and after awhile my entire left foot was tingling!  Otherwise everything went pretty much as it normally did–mostly running and some walking up hills.  (We had some steep hills on our route!  Steve overheard some of the guys who run a lot remark that it was a tough route.)

Steve ran his best time, yet.

When I got to the last half mile I knew it was mostly downhill.  I decided to run the whole way even if I would pay for it.  I wanted to sprint to cut down my time a little, but I really didn’t have it in me.

I came huffing in and my friend Rahel snapped a photo of me.


I think she Photoshopped it, though.  Because I’m smiling on this one even though I’m pretty sure I looked a whole lot more like this (minus the facial hair):

Was I ever, ever, ever happy to see that finish line, and I even reached my goal. I had been hoping to come in under 40 minutes, and I did!  My time was just a little over 39 minutes.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8152

I very nearly keeled over as soon as I quit, though.  I ran over to the side to find a place to lean onto.  Steve brought me some water, and I just sat on the ground for a few minutes until I could function again.  I was completely whipped, but also very happy.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8120
Delicious, warm, chocolate chip cookies by 180 Kitchen

It did feel really amazing to know I had accomplished something that took so much training and hard work.  It also felt pretty awesome to look at a group of runners and to know I was one of them.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8123
Awards Ceremony

Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.

It teaches us to push beyond

where we thought we could go. It helps

us to find out what we are made of.

This is what we do.

PattiSue Plumer

To look back to January when I wondered if it would take me an hour…to February when I wondered if I would have to give it up because I was getting lightheaded so often…to March when I kept trying to build up endurance…to April when I fought the mental battle of being okay with the best I could do…and then to come to race day and accomplish that goal–yeah, that is something worth working for.

I want to keep working at running stronger and building endurance.  I really need another goal to work toward….Anyone want to sign up for a race and be my accountability partner? =)  I just told you how weak I’ve been.  Trust me–if I can do this you can, too!

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8146
My friend Jordan and I
13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8141
Jordan’s sweet baby girl who was in her first 5K as well!

After the race the boys and I hung out with Steve while he worked a few hours.  In the evening we were back for the People’s Truck preview.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8199

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8212

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8206

The People’s food truck will soon be serving Atlanta their delicious food.  Each meal sold will help fund meals City of Refuge serves to the homeless.  You can see more photos here: People’s Food Truck.

13 April-CoR-Refuge Run--8216


9 thoughts on “A Weekend Run”

  1. The details and the pictures of your run…yum! I so enjoyed reading this. So proud of you for just.doing.it!! And I agree with Lydia above. ^^^^^ Love….

  2. Just had to come back and tell you that after I read this I was on my hands and knees scrubbing my floor and the image of your beautiful, smiling face kept popping into my mind. You look so alive, so fresh, so full of beauty and so full of God. Just wanted you to know that- esp. in light of the video and comment you posted on FB this morning. :)

  3. So proud of you! And love that picture of you running. Post it by your kitchen sink to remind yourself of how strong you are!

    I wanted so bad to start running and thought I was going to be able to but then my hubby started having to go into work even earlier than he had been. (leaves at 6 am) And so I knew there was really no feasible way for me to get a run in while he was here with the kiddos. I was pretty disappointed…and kind of annoyed at his employer for thinking they needed to start work so early! :) But then last week I discovered Jillian Michael’s 30 day Shred. I can do it in my living room while the kiddos are down for naps. I’m ready for day 3 and am finding it challenging but good. I’m also grateful that for just 20 min. a day I can hopefully get a bit more fit- which was part of the reason I had wanted to run.

    Still hope to try running someday though!

  4. Proud of you, Christy! You look awesome in that last stretch. i know i would look like that big eyed man instead!

  5. I lOVED reading about your run, all the details. Wish there’d be more for me to tell of my own:-) I was so so nervous right before, like cold chill nervous. And I can try to be your accountability partner. I too, want to do more, to get stronger and better, because I was for sure one of the slowest turtles in my race. I have the date of one in June, so I think I’ll try for that. I’d reeeally love to get really good by like June 1, because there’s the red rose run, which goes right through downtown Lancaster city. It would be so fun. But it’s 5 miles, nearly a 10k. And I just can’t see myself getting good enough for that by then. Anyway, We did it! Our very first 5k’s. Very proud of you!

  6. Way to go Christy!! So happy for you!
    I am getting ready to run my first official 5K on May 18 and am not sure why in the world I signed up for it, except to know that I can do it….and I know I CAN do it, because I’ve done it in “practice”! :) Just hope I can make a little better time!
    You don’t look at all like you just ran that far! Great pics!! :)

  7. YEAH!!!! So happy for you to accomplish something you put so much effort into!! You really do look great in that last half mile running photo! :)

  8. Wow, Christy!! That is so so exciting!! To not only finish, but finish below the time, AND to finish it running!! In my younger pre-kiddo days I’ve run the distance of a 5k, but not since, and I have GREAT admiration for you!! I only wish we lived close, because I would love to run with you! xo

Comments are closed.