Those aren’t Jitters I got the Shakes!
So As you saw on my Potluck recap my weekend was jam-packed with fun stuff! So what I neglected to share was that over that weekend my asthma had flared up significantly. I had a full-blown asthma attack Sunday morning. I had been asleep with my CPAP machine on when it started. I woke up scrambling for my albuterol, and coughing. I hate having to use my inhaler, it is the bane of my existence. I think of it as a sign of weakness, but also as a tool to empower me. I think the think I dislike most is I get the worst tremors from it. So anyway I obviously didn’t die, but it was not what I had hoped for the day before my very first 5k! I puffed the albuterol a few times throughout the day as I still felt the wheezing in my chest all day long. That night I puffed away again, and could not rest. The albuterol flooded through my body, making me shake. I spent most of the midnight to 5-am time watching the Weather Channel. There was a HUGE red storm cell larger than the 494-694 loop heading right towards the cities. I was watching holding my breath, hoping praying that it would make a beeline north and miss the cities, and sure enough. It did.
Running on Albuterol and Adrenaline
So about 6:00 rolls around and the albuterol shakes are still with me. Guess what the nerves are now with me too. I started to rethink what I was about to do. I consulted my What are you running for! post as a reminder that I had work that had to be done. I dug out my 5k gear, and applied my blister pads. (I need to be properly fitted for running shoes… Schuler Shoes=Fail!) I drank some water with an electrolyte tablet mixed into it and started to panic again. I grabbed a black sharpie from the kitchen drawer. I popped my leg up onto the bed and debated how to make the tattoo from which I draw my courage from empower me just that extra bit today. I wanted a superhero cape… but that seemed like a lot of work… so… I went with the old cartoon standby of “speed lines.”
Now I may be super flexible, but I don’t think I will be able to watch Neo (that’s my tattoos name) while I am running the 5k. So my mind went through the options. Jokes had been made the night before about me running with a notebook that had my running reasons in it. That just seemed silly. I thought about writing it in Sharpie up my arms… or making the #PriorFatPack hashtag on my arms just as a reminder to never give up, but that’s what the bondiband was for… but again I could not see it.
Then it occurred to me, words echoing in my head… sadly in the voice of George Lopez… “I got this” and I grabbed the marker again. I wrote 170+ on the back of my left hand. That is the amount of weight I have taken off since I started this journey in 2009. If I could do that, lose an entire person, I could do this. Failure was not an option for me anylonger. We gave that option up long ago.
You Got This! Adorned the underside of the 170+ hand. A testament to myself and anyone else that would need it that day. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Little did I know how much I would need those words.
Pump Pump Pump it Up!
Let me hear you RAWR!!!!! C’mon! Do it! Do It!!! That’s what you heard from me as members of the #PriorFatPack arrived at Lake Como. I had been there since about 6:30~6:45. I was way early. That’s okay, it gave me a chance to feel my pre-race feelings before the pack got there. As I saw the pink shirts start arriving I squeaked and shouted and jumped around. Clearly it was too early in the morning for everyone else to be up, but it was late for me. I had not slept. Sleep has been evasive lately, but we will save that for another time. I asked the pack members to RAWR! Get pumped up! Feel their inner animal inner monster growl! I was downright giddy every time someone felt comfortable enough to join me for a grunty growl! It is liberating!
I picked up my bib #311! and my shirt, and pinned my number on with my shaky hands. I manged to bleed again! YAY, next time I will ask for help. It was almost race time! The energy was starting to grow… I had gotten hugs from lots of people, but one very important thing needed to happen before the race!
We had to have our pre-race photo taken! We were ever so blessed to have Jen from http://www.PriorFatGirl.com come out to cheer us on! She even brought Iggy! What an awesome treat!! Without Jen I would have never met all these awesome people. It was because of her blog that I had the opportunity to meet all these people who are helping me along my path as I grow and change in my new life! (LOVE YOU JEN!!!)
Off to the Races
So after I exchanged a few more hugs and a few more good luck wishes it was time to head to the starting line! I puffed my albuterol again, Puff Puff Pass to JP, listened to the announcer speak for a few minutes and we were off to the races! Jenn (See Jenn Transcend) and her hubby Mal and I were the last ones to cross the starting line and begin the race. Fine by me! My goal was to finish. We strolled along the lake, chatting about god I can’t even remember. As we got farther along it was clear I was pulling ahead, we were already being lapped and as I had trained to run, it was time. Jenn and Malcolm told me to give it a go, and away I went, but not before shouting at the top of my little lungs at the pink shirted #PriorFatPack members that I could see across the lake!
As I jogged off from my friends I felt a bit sad, like I was letting them down by not staying with them, but I knew they had each other and I would be there to cheer them on no matter what! I rounded the corner and my jog went back to a walk. Lungs hurting… damn my allergies and asthma and those damn shots I had that knocked me out of my training. I heard footsteps approaching and then “good job, keep it up” and I kept moving. The tears started rolling down my cheeks. Who were these people, why were they giving me encouragement? What form of magic is this? I recomposed myself and started to jog again. I glanced down at my Polar my time was crap. It wasn’t about time. I heard more footsteps. I made sure I was all the way to the right, and I hear “I love your shirt, you got this! Dont give up!” More tears roll down my face. I reached into my fanny pack and turned the volume up on my iPod. We will have no more of this. I can’t take people being supportive. This is too much.
As I came upon the chutes “finishers” and “second lap” I knew I had more to go. I veered to the right and kept going. I could clearly hear Jen (@PriorFatGirl) Cheering me on. I can still hear her voice in my mind clear as day. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone in the crowd of people they’re cheering. I ran through the checkpoint took a sip of water handed my cup off and returned to a walk where as soon as my photo was done being taken by Amy’s mom I resumed my crying. I was almost done. Okay well not almost, but I was doing it. I looked at my hand, and held tight to my #PriorFatPack medal. I must have repeated this same behavior between every interval for a long time. I started encountering non-racers coming the other direction that would cheer me on. Bewilderment was a look I got a lot as I ran past people. Yes Virginia, fat girls do run! As I got about halfway around I saw Angie Johnson. Angie has Cerebral Palsy and this is I think she said 3rd 5k this year! She is currently training for a longer race! When I saw her I knew that my time on this race didn’t matter I needed to talk to her!
So I approached Angie and Robin with cheers of how amazing they were and to keep up the great work! I told her how inspiring it was to see her out doing the 5k and they immediately started asking about the #PriorFatPack! I filled them in on all the details about how we started on twitter one night, and how we all try to live our healthy lives, and some of us (but not all of us) blog, but that we are just a very supportive community. They have both lost a bunch of weight! Angie has lost over 30 pounds and I think Robin said she was down over 70! We chatted about motivation, and inspiration and how difficult it can be to stay on track in the face of adversity. Then it happened… this wonderful sweet girl managed to piss me off!
I told Angie how Amazing she was. You know what she said? No I’m not. Well let me tell you… that is so something I would have said, and have said so many times on my journey. There we are on 5k day, out walking running breaking down barriers, and here is this girl who won’t let me tell her that she is doing something amazing. Well this simply will not do. I turned around and started walking backwards rawring at her! I told her she was amazing and that I wouldn’t stop badgering her about it until she admitted it! She told me that I was amazing and that she would only admit it if I would. So I pumped my fist into the air and said I am amazing! She looked shocked that I did it, and followed suit saying she was amazing. A woman walking the other direction looked at the two of us and shouted “You Are AMAZING!” At this point I knew it was time to finish my race. I started to cry as I left them behind grabbed my phone and Tweeted “Quick someone tell me theres no crying at the 5k been a sobbin mess since i started running” A flurry of texts and tweets came back as I headed toward the finish line.
Pride and Shame
So as I rounded the last corner, I wiped one more set of tears from my eyes I had one of my earphones out, and I started to hear Gary speaking. Its hard not to when you recognize your own name being said. I saw JP standing there, He gave me a high-five and told me to go get it! I am so glad he was there, although I was choking back tears (again). He was the one who got me to the race. Okay, not entirely but it all started way back in March on Twitter.
Gary was talking about the #PriorFatPack, and specifically about me. He started speaking about the weight-loss that I had managed and let me tell you, while part of me was so proud of what I had accomplished, I looked at my hand and made sure it was real, the other part of me wanted to die! Here I am, doing my 5k, having lost 170+ pounds… and I look like this? Those thoughts lasted only moments! I headed through the grass, listening to the cheers of the #PriorFatPack and everyone else and … well… there are just no words. The emotions inside of me were too much. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry or fall down and kiss the ground because I had done what I never in my life thought I would do!
I was in a bit of a daze after I crossed the line… I needed a moment, a hug from anyone and everyone! I am so glad my friends were there. Jen asked me how I felt and I just started tearing up again. There are no words for how I felt and feel about having finished other than the shields that I wear when my emotions are too much which was. I didn’t keep it under an hour! The time was not what was important here. It was the experience.
I waited along the ropes for my friends to finish the race! I cheered as loud as I could calling them by name! I choked back more tears as Jenn and Mal crossed the finish line. I knew they could do it. So proud that they could prove it to themselves! I had more faith in them than I had in myself at times.
Apparently with these 5k races, if you have accomplished something amazing you get a loaf of bread… they call it being a “Real Bread Winner” I was recognized as one for having lost 170 pounds. I felt awkward picking up a loaf of bread and even commented to a few people around me, yeah sure give the girl losing weight bread, that’s what she needs. I do appreciate it though. I met some amazing people at the 5k! So as things come to a close, our beloved family has been through its first 5k together. We are strong, and bonded. Looking forward to many more races together. I am ready for another 5k, one that I can actually participate in, not spend most of the race dumping off emotional baggage on the course. (more on that later)
Thank you everyone for being involved! I love each and every single one of you and look forward to sharing and expanding the bonds that we all share!!