It was Valentine’s Day, 2017, and I don’t think I had fully thought through the choice I had made. My foot was still bothering me, but there was hope it would get better and I needed to do some training and lose some weight to meet this new goal….but I pressed submit and signed up for the Disney World 10K for January 5, 2018 during Disney’s Marathon weekend.
I could do this. I had a plan.
I was going to walk, fast. I knew that. And it meant I needed to get back into fighting shape….I wanted to complete the 10k at a 13-minute mile pace…. I could do that…. After all, when I was younger I had completed a 5k at a 13-minute mile pace…. (but I am a little older now…ugh!)
The year went on and life got in the way.
So did fear.
I feared the pain in my foot returning and every little twinge since last February made me contemplate not being able to complete this race.
But I kept planning for the race…. Not really thinking about the complete picture and what it meant for me.
Not only was there fear about my foot and my back acting up, but there were some other deep-seeded fears beginning to bubble to the surface…and I kept pushing them aside, ignoring them.
After all, I had a plan—
–train for the 11 months leading up to the race
–follow what I know and love about Weight Watchers and drop the 20+ lbs I wanted to lose
–get to the race and get in the front of the corral to create a buffer between me and the 16-minute mile pace balloon ladies (the ones who pass you and then you get picked up because you couldn’t keep up the pace, but I wouldn’t have to worry about it because I would have a buffer and I would be going faster….)
And then January 2018 arrived and I decided my goal this new year would be to continue to step outside my comfort zone, to try new things and to continue to take the leap. And little did I know when I signed up for this 10k back in February that it would test all of this and more…..
I don’t like to do things on my own, especially things that I have never done. Yes, I go shopping and travel alone. I have done a lot on my own, but each time was a test for me to push myself outside that comfort zone and to see what I was capable of. The thought of doing something on my own scares me, makes me anxious, and has my mind finding excuses to NOT do those things. And though I have done things on my own, there are still some things I cannot do—go to a movie alone, go to a restaurant alone….. It is just completely outside my comfort zone……
And this race was testing me, scaring me and making me anxious. As we packed for the trip I realized I was going to be doing a 10K alone….sure there would be thousands of others out there with me, BUT I wouldn’t know them. I had never done this! I would be alone. I have walked this distance and more with friends and family….but…..never alone.
My mind was trying to find ways out of it….I was just getting over the flu. My foot might “pop” again. What about my back? It is going to be FREEZING!!
And then this morning arrived.
My husband drove me to the start at Epcot and walked me to the corral area. I was a NERVOUS WRECK!
Remember that plan I mentioned that I had when I signed up for this race….well…….
–I didn’t train. No. Not. At. All. Life just got in the way
–I didn’t lose the weight. Not. One. Ounce. Life got in the way
–I was in the LAST corral. And tried my best to get toward the front. I was somewhere in the middle of the corral….until……..
The race had started. I waited for my corral to get the chance to go. We were last. But I could see a lot of people behind me. A LOT! And then the corral began to move to the start and they broke us into two waves. I knew I was far enough ahead in the coral that I would start with the first wave and create that buffer…..until……..I looked behind me…..there were only about 50 people there.
WHAT??? HOW did that happen?? I was now at the very back of the racers, thousands ahead of me…..and the balloon ladies were right behind me. CRAP! There goes my plan for a buffer!
And we were off. I took off. I didn’t look back. I focused on those in front of me, picking one person to pass. And then another one. And another. I was going to put space between me and those pacers and create a buffer.
I felt good. The first mile done. Then the second. And I knew that when I reached the 3 mile mark I would be almost half way done and would be in World Showcase in Epcot. As I turned the corner and saw the flames in World Showcase I knew I was half way done. I could do this!
I had passed a lot of people and with a quick glance back I felt I was doing well. So, I stopped for what should have been a quick bathroom stop…….and there was a line……..and that quick bathroom stop turned into minutes……..and I was finally leaving the bathroom, just as the bicyclist stopped to tell all of us in the bathroom we were now BEHIND the pacers…….
Ugh! That bathroom stop.
There went the last bit of my plan.
I was NOT going to let it stop me from finishing. So, time to adjust. They were 1 ½ minutes ahead of me at that time. Okay. I hadn’t come this far to ONLY get this far! I was going to FINISH this race ahead of the pacers!!
And I left that bathroom and ran.
Yep. There went the plan to just walk.
No training and now I was running (slow, but faster than my walk!)
I could see the ladies ahead of me. I had to stop running and walk fast for a bit, but even walking I was gaining ground. And then I ran again, getting very close. I could hear their conversation. I walked a minute and then ran again. I ran right past them. Me! I RAN right past those pacers. Now, to create some distance between me and those balloon ladies.
I focused on one person at a time to pass.
We ran around the boardwalk and then back into Epcot. Mile 5 done! And when I looked back, I couldn’t see the ladies. I was building that buffer and passing a lot of people. Walking fast with short moments of running.
And then mile 6. Emotions started building.
Only .2 miles to go. The longest .2 miles ever.
I rounded the corner. There was the finish line. Yes! I was going to finish!
And I jogged across that finish line! I did it! As I crossed the finish line, I told myself just how proud I was of ME!
I am not often proud of myself, really proud. This morning I was proud. I had pushed past the fear. I had pushed past the discomfort. I had silenced the excuses and negative thoughts. And I DID IT!
I DID IT!!
My husband was there at the finish waiting for me. The look on his face when he saw me, the pride in his eyes……brought me to tears. My husband believed in me even when I didn’t and he knew I could do it, even when I doubted. That hug was the BEST hug ever!
I did it! I realized that by pushing myself out of my comfort zone I am so much more capable than I thought, I can do so much more. I can accomplish a goal even when the plan gets derailed. And when faced with the possibility of not finishing what I started, I found that my determination will get me there. I won’t quit! I will succeed!
I took a chance. I took the leap and I finished!