Frostbite 5k - January 22nd, 2011

 Waking up at 3:30 am the morning of the 22nd of January felt kind of like I remember as a kid on Christmas eve, eyes open wide, staring up into the darkness, thinking about what was to come in the morning. After about 8 weeks of training, and starting out having a hard time just running for 2 minutes straight, I, along with my wife,was about to run my first race, a 5k race amptly name "The Frostbite 5k".

  Like that kid, lying in bed awake early on Christmas eve, I did get back to sleep but awoke a short time later around 6 AM. Vicki was right behind me, both of us excited yet nervous as could be. It was the unknown, the wonder of how we would perform, could something go wrong? I was really wanting to be able to run the entire distance without stopping. Vicki just did not want to come in last. I assured her she would not come in last and that just finishing this will be a huge accomplishment regardless of what place we come in. She agreed.

I am not sure really how I got to this point, looking back, I never have been interested in running nor did I think I could really do it. I have had issues with my knees on occasion from far less stress that the impact of running would cause. I have always had the yearning for fitness and workout routinely, just not in the way of running. Then I did Insanity... twice! Two rounds, 120 days of 100% total body strength and endurance training.  Completing that set my thinking in a new direction of what I might be able to do physically. Running, at this point just seemed to be the natural progression that my fitness endevour has lead me to.It was Vicki that introduced me to a program called "Couch to 5k", a program essentially designed to take you from lazy to run 30 minutes without stopping in 6 weeks. She suggested we both do it! And so, like most challenges that come my way both personally and professionally, I accept them with open arms. Some turn out successful for me while others may not. The key is in the doing, because if we do not try something we will never know just what we can accomplish. It's okay if I fail and I am not afraid to... or am I? Could it be the fear of failure drives my success in certain circumstances? Maybe. I think to a certain extent it may drive us all, and that's fine, as long as it does not stop us in our tracks. That's the kind of failure that is unacceptable in my life! So I did the C25k, worked through the pain and sure enough, 6 weeks later, I am running 30 minutes without stopping!

The Race that morning started at 9 Am and Vicki and I arrived about 15 minutes before the start. It was cold, very cold. Snow was in the forecast and it did, in fact, snow later on that day. On the site of the starting line were lots of people, decked out in their running gear, sporting their running bibs. Some people wore them on the chests, some pinned them lower on their stomachs, while others had them on either side of their thighs -  This rookie had not thought of that! Most the participants were lightly bouncing up and down, trying to warm themselves from the cold. It was about 30 degress and one guy was prancing around without a shirt on. Most everyone had gloves, including Vicki. I had thought about it, but chose to go without. A decision I second guessed once my friend Ed said "..your gonna need something on your hands.."

Ed Montgomery, a great runner, friend and my "cancer compadre", a phrase he coined after we met through a common friend because we both had the same kind of cancer, only ran the race after asking me if I had registered. Ed was there to run my first race with me, what a guy, and would run at my pace, a pace I might add, just a wee bit slower than his.

At the starting line I felt exhilarated, energetic and ready to go! I was pumped up!! The gun fired and off we went. The start of the race was crowded, I started off fast and I was dodging people and trying not to step on the heels of the slower runners in front of me. It wasn't until about a quarter mile into the race that front of the pack broke off from the rest, suddenly everyone seemed to have their own space. My pace slowed after the first mile but we were moving pretty fast. I think Ed might have been surprised!

I arrived at the finish line and the time read 23:51 and I could not have been happier! Once I caught my breath, my mind turned to Vicki. i wondered how she was doing? I had passed her shortly after the turn-around point and she was looking good, running and moving right along. I watched other runners one-by-one cross the finish line. People of all ages ran in this race, as young as 8 on up to 60, it was really great to see people out there doing their thing. I was and still am very inspired! As the timer approached 33 minutes I spotted Vicki coming towards the finish line. I called to her to let her know her time and cheered her on to the finish line where she finished at 35 minutes! We embraced each other with congratulations as we both had just done our personal best! It must have been the adrenaline that runners get from being in a race, even for the runners that crossed the finish line AFTER my wife!

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