This week’s big news: I ran my first 5K, a fundraiser race held in our new hometown of Conyers, Georgia.
Well, make that our first 5K, as my wife Jody did it right along with me. I’ll tell you, there’s nothing to calm pre-race nerves like having your best buddy beside you for support.
Not wanting to be passed by a bunch of experienced racers (definitely not good for the ego), we started off way in the back — but soon realized that was a mistake, as we was surrounded by all the walkers. (It occurred to me, of course, that at this time last year I would not even have been able to keep up with them.) We sprinted a little to get to the middle of the pack and I was pleased to see the first part of the course was sloping gently downward. Pleased, that was, until I remembered that what goes down must come up.
I rejoiced as we ran passed what I thought was the first mile marker. But as I struggled up the steep incline that followed, I ran out of breath and had to slow to a walk. At the top of the hill, I was chagrined to see the real mile marker. So much for running the whole first mile.
But I got right back into my run and the second mile went more smoothly and quickly. A little ways into the third mile, I got side stitches but Jody talked me through them. I walked for a stretch, jogged a stretch, then walked again, trying to work through the pain. Finally, the finish line came in sight. My heart was pounding, the side stitches were killing me — and Jody was demanding that I run. Unbelievable, right? (I think she’s been spending too much time with Wendy, my trainer.) So I did what every other husband would have done: I ran.
Pain aside, it felt pretty terrific crossing that finish line. If someone had told me a year ago that I’d be finishing a race running, well — let’s just say I would’ve been pretty darned skeptical.
We decided to stay for the awards, and I’m glad we did, because here’s what I heard: “In the 55-59 age category, with a time of 37 minutes and 37 seconds, our second place finisher is . . . Mike Lamb!”
Now that was a good moment.
I am planning to hang both my bib (number 441) and my medal in my classroom. Maybe, just maybe, seeing them will inspire a struggling student or two to stick with it and dare to defy their own expectations.
I told Wendy about my win at our workout later in the week. She told me how proud she was of me — then promptly tried to kick my butt with our most challenging workout so far. Check it out here:
Thanks to the healthy eating and all the exercise, I dropped 2.2 pounds this week, putting me a mere half pound over my next weight loss goal of 75 pounds. With your help, I know I can make it there next week.
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File under: Lose It