Yesterday I slept-in intentionally, in order to be rested up for my 5K after work, and my day started in higher-than-usual spirits. I had a great day at work until about 2:00 in the afternoon, when I learned that my younger son will be kicked out of summer camp at the end of the week, due to "bad" behavior. My mood really sank then. I began feeling sorry for myself, feeling like I am not a strong enough person to handle being the mother of two special needs kids, wishing just for one day to be able to leave them in someone elses care and not have to worry that the phone call will come where the caretaker says, I can't handle them. As I was wishing for "normal" kids, I thought about them, and what they are going to have to face their whole lives, people treating them as if they are wrong for being who they are. And now, we are faced with having to quickly find an alternative, which will only raise my stress level in the following week or so that we have care arranged. Needless to say, I had some rough moments yesterday, and my mind was definitely not where it should be for running, but when I told my husband that I was thinking of not doing it, he said, "F*#! everything else, do it!" So I did.
The 5K was along the beautiful Fox River Trail, just a few feet from the river. It is a nice paved path with a beautiful view. Even as I started running, my mind was still not in the right place, and I seemed to notice every single step, feeling challenged straight out of the gate. For a while, I was happy for the distraction, for having something else to focus on, my tired legs, my ever-tightening hamstrings, the furnace that was building in my shoes. I kept looking for the halfway point, and it seemed to never come. Then, finally the halfway, a quick drink of ice-cold water and back on the trail. As soon as I turned around to begin my last half, my hamstrings tightened to a level I have never felt them, but it was followed shortly after with a slight rush of endorphins. I wanted to stop so many times, but then I would think, the finish line is right beyond this next turn, and I kept going. Plus, I told my self that this is likely the only time I will ever do this, so I needed to know if I could do it, and I would never find out if I quit. So, I decided that no matter how slow I had to go, I was going to finish this thing running. At the end, I could see my husband and kids waiting for me, and it all came together in one moment, I waved at my adorable kids and said, "Yes!" as I crossed the finish line. I didn't break any speed records, finishing in 46:46, but I did what I set out to do, despite everything else, and that was truly a priceless feeling. And, it is symbolic of my journey in general. I know if I keep pushing, I can and will get where I want to be, it is just a matter of time. I am okay with my pace being slow because I know the race is not for the swift but for the sure and steady. I ran a 5K. It isn't front page news, but for me, in my life, it is something I will never forget!
Here's to reaching goals! Happy day to all my awesome readers!