And That’s A Wrap: 5K

This morning I made it happen by completing my first 5K since March 2012. I feel accomplished. But let me tell you my mind was all over the place. First there was last night. I finally decided to hit the sack but little Miss Zee thought otherwise. Yes she woke up out of nowhere just past 11pm. Normally I would ignore her until she falls asleep but she was crying so loud and I really needed to get to sleep so I went in to sooth her. 20 minutes later I was free. Then my knee started to hurt. I am serious. I said my nightly prayer and ignored that knee.

And this morning…

6am the alarm goes off. I hit snooze but 3 minutes later I got up otherwise the race would have been over with me still in dreamland. Get dressed. Head down. Forgot to get bananas and the bread finished except the horrid ends. Fine I toast an end and slab on some PB. Make my coffee and go to start the car. Where is the key? My key? The one the husband said is mine and not his? I keep it in one place yet it’s not there. Now it’s impossible that man took my key? The one he said “here is your key leave mine alone.” Oh in his jacket pocket. How nice. Ok the car is warming up. I attempt to eat that dry bread back but fail after 3 bites. Gather all my things and I’m out the door. Turn on the GPS because this place is still foreign to me. Get to the main road and the light doesn’t change after 3 cycles. So I think “am I really going to have to run this red light?” I decide to wait one more cycle and finally the light changes. Maybe my car was invisible this morning. Then I get to the first signs for the race. I turn into the lot but I see people walking across the street. It’s too cold to park  far so I exit and hope for the best. I snag a spot right next to the start. YES! But then it hits me; I will be stuck in this lot when it’s time to leave. Who am I kidding these people will be gone by the time I cross the finish. Anyway, where is my water? At home. My armband that I keep in the console? MIA (The Hubs strikes again.) But I do have my lip gloss. There is a fabulous runner I know that always wears lipstick when racing. Shout out to Mrs. Rose of Black Girls Run NY. I am wearing my red lip gloss in her honor today. I can’t be totally fab but I can certainly do a little lippy.

Why is this man wearing a headband light? It’s dark now but it will be daylight when the race starts. But hey I have on red lip gloss and for some that’s just crazy. Rock your headband light Mr. The fanny pack decision was a big one. No armband for the phone means I have to wear the annoying fanny pack. Fine! I must find the good one I ordered.

I get out the car, pick up my number and then look around. There are tons of people here but I’m alone. Where is my person? My training buddy couldn’t make it but surely someone here will fit the bill. The Black Girls Run women are here but they are already settled in nicely with one another. I exchange a few hellos and introductions but then I make a dash for… the death hole otherwise known as the porta potty. I have an extreme phobia of foreign toilets but this is a race and a full bladder just won’t cut it. It’s still early and I have all my own personal supplies so I join the line. The women behind me are chatting about hand warmers. Darn I have some of those but once again they are home. Why didn’t I think of that and why didn’t I tape this knee? Oh well. It’s my turn to use the death hole. It’s early but it was still extremely bad! EXTREMELY!!! Ok I’m done and I’m alive. After that experience surely this race will be a breeze.

Me at the start

I walk to the start still thinking “where is my person?” I head to the back because yes I’m slow, I don’t like the push and shove of the crowd and it’s where I belong. I decide to ask a lady to snap my picture. We get to chatting and guess what I found my person. Erica is a mama of a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old and this is her first race post mamahood too. The most high never ever fails me. We snap pics of each other, set our watches and start this race. Erica asked if I walk some? I say yes but I’m trying to run this one. We get going while I am fumbling trying to get to my house music station on Pandora.  I land on Marvin Sapp’s gospel station and that is where I stayed. I quickly realize these tights are for the birds. Come on why are you sliding down already? No one wants to see my bum. I’m feeling pretty strong but I have to slow down and eventually walk so I can get these tights back in the proper place. I start-up again. Hey there is a familiar face. Brooklyn Tech stretches far and wide. Erica is ahead of me but I’m determined to stay with her so I keep going. She’s my person.


Erica and I are together at the midway point, I walk again (these stupid tights), grab some water and keep it moving. I cheer on a few women walking on the other side and then I see him. A man looks old enough to be my grandfather. I start to clap. Everyone follows suit. He is the last person and has his own police escort. Seeing him gives me a push along with “He Saw The Best in Me” playing in my ear.  I get up the hill with just a short walk break (#%^* you tights!) and then I see the finish line up ahead. Volunteers are cheering. Runners who finished earlier are cheering and my feet are moving. And here I am almost sprinting through the finish, smiling and saying a prayer of gratitude. I wait for Erica to finish. We share a high-five and a hug and I thank God again for sending me my person. She introduces me to a few of the women she trains with. Yeah this bunch is really cool and I am signing up for Saturday sessions with them. We grab some Power Aid and some yummy free bagels (carbs are the best reward post personal running victory) and then we take pictures together, exchange info and talk a little more. I take a pic with Shanta (my fellow BTHS alum) too. I thank Erica for being my person. Today was a great day. I still have work to do on breathing, hills and endurance. Back in the car and heading home I think “I hardly walked. I made it. I’m alive. No more excuses and God is amazing.”

MJ & Shanta

Let me register for the Women’s 5K and the training program and research some new tights.
And now it’s 1:30. I am completely famished, Zee is sleeping on my chest and my knees are on fire. New sneakers are definitely in order.

One last thing: Even though I was not focused on a set pace I did have a goal of finishing under 40 minutes. I met that goal with a tiny bit of time to spare. I am very goal and numbers driven so I had to confess this little secret.

There you have it my first 5K post mamahood is in the books and I am still “Half Crazy.”

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