Friday, October 12, 2012

Goals and Maple Syrup


Partner in Crime and his girlfriend
I quit drinking for a month and a half. I ran before work, after work, at a track, in the road. I sprained my foot, iced my shins, got shin splits, and blisters, and was tired, a lot. And all the hard work was for one day and one goal. October 7th, 2012, to be under 24 minutes.

Of course, as I got in my car, confident with my GPS...it stopped working. I had no idea how to get to the race, so I called my Partner in Crime and he gave me bulletproof directions. Soon, I met him and his girlfriend at the registration tent.

Though we talked and chatted, and Baxter got to meet other dogs, my nerves were in my stomach, very aware of the tuna sandwich I'd eaten on the drive over. My hands were shaking, it was hard to breathe. I'd had a knee surgery last year. My foot was sprained. But...

I'd trained a month for this race, and it was finally here.

And, it wasn't even raining.

After a warm up, and a hand off of Baxter to the Partner's girlfriend, we stood at the starting line. "If I beat you, you owe me ice cream," I told him.

He chuckled. "If you beat me, I'll buy you ice cream." Days before we'd both said we wanted to defeat the other. He'd been faster than me each time we'd run. I wanted to beat him. I also wanted ice cream.

Then suddenly, the line started moving. We were off. I manged to weave through the bodies first, but within the first two minutes I saw his green shirt pass me. "Son of a bi@#$!" I yelled, while people turned their heads.

 Us looking like thugs
before the race
By the first mile, my foot hurt. My knees ached. It's just a run, I started telling myself. You don't have to beat him. You don't have to prove anything. But I did. I had goals (both realistic and unrealistic). Not only that, but this time last year I was planning my suicide. This race, the fact that I was alive to run it, meant more to me than words can express.

So I talked myself out of slowing down...until I hit the hill.

Take it hard, your legs will have time to recover after. Only...it turned out, I lied to myself. Because right at the bottom of Mt. Everest, was the turn around point...and having to go back on the stupid hill. My legs did not get a break. They did not recover. Breathing was harder. I'd hit the wall. My mind started coming up with every reason why I should stop:

Goals don't matter, just run the race. It's just another run. Who is going to care if you ran a 5K in 25 minutes? At least you ran! 

My feet began taking walking-length strides. My speed slowed. I'd given up. Ahead of me I still saw the green shirt I'd been trying to pace myself with, but I didn't care as he moved farther and farther away from me. I couldn't care. I was in too much pain, I wanted to give up. I seriously considered walking. And then more hills came. Then I considered crying.

But I stayed in motion. The sissy-jog turned back into a somewhat faster jog/run.

And then I saw this:

The finish line
My legs stopped being tired. I threw my arms as if they were independent from my body, as though they were wings carrying me when my feet couldn't. Just as I crossed the finish line, I saw the time: 23:58.

No way. No way!!! I crossed the line smiling. Beaming. Welling with tears of pride rather than pain. I'd reached my goal. Though my Partner in Crime had finished nearly two minutes ahead of me, and though I didn't beat my sister's time, I'd done what I set out to do. And no one was happier than my biggest fan:

He was cheering :)
I was very excited.
After a few rounds of chili trying (and Baxter getting into my cup), and a dog trying to attack Baxter later, we decided to wait for the race results because the PIC was hoping he'd placed. They announced the chili winners first (it was a cook off), then the kid's fun run. Then the announcers separated the ages and began calling out the top three runners for male and female. When they got to the Women's 20-29 division (not 100% sure that that was the age bracket, don't hate), I didn't even flinch. Until they said, "In third place with a time of 26..."

 My eyes popped open. "Sarah, did they just say 26 minutes?"

"Yea," she answered.

"My time was in the 23's..."

Her eyes got big, too. "You placed!"

We did a mini jump while they announced the second place woman. Her time was also in the 26's. My eyes nearly fell out of my head. "Lynne! You got first!!"

Then over the loud speaker, I heard, "In first place with a time of 24:01, Lynne Schmidt." And I giggled (possibly allowed a joyous yelp). HOWEVER, you'll see the time said 24:01. Not quite accurate considering for the first few seconds the PIC and I had to stand still while the people moved in front of us (this is why I don't like un-chipped races). My watch says 23:57, so that's what I'm going with.

Either way, I went to the tent and received my batch of maple syrup and a medal, which I promptly put on Baxter.

"Purple is really his color," Sarah said. We all agreed.

Then, as predicted, the Partner in Crime also placed! The crowd went wild! (Okay, not really, but our small group did!)

We walked away victorious that lovely day in October, our heads held high. The people we loved with us (for the PIC his girlfriend, for me, my pup) to celebrate our achievement. And then I went home, ate a bag of popcorn and a dinner of oreos and napped for four hours.

Cue We are the Champions

And for those of you who say you can't reach your goals, this is living proof that sometimes without meaning to, you can exceed your goals, without even trying :) Keep your head up. Even if you're tired.

Cheers!








10 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!! Way to go!!! Good job!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You got first!!! You're amazing! You did better than what you set out to do, I love it!! :)

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  3. What a huge accomplishment! You should be proud of yourself! CONGRATS!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome awesome! That's so awesome!
    Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well done, Lynne! Next up - the publishing contract!

    ReplyDelete

Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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