NAMI 5K – October 15th, 2011
I took up running in the Summer of 2011 as a way of cross-training to offset all the road biking that I had been doing. I initially did not enjoy running as much as biking, but eventually I came to like it as much as being on a bike. Many of my co-workers were into running and had many years of experience, along with a string of successes in marathons and other racing events. I knew that I too would want to compete, but I would have to start small, just in a local 5K, to see if I could keep up.
My moment of trial by fire came in early October, when the NAMI 5K was presented as a goal to acheive by my neice and her boyfriend, whom both planned to participate. NAMI stands for National Alliance on Mental Illness, and is a very worthy cause, in my opinion.
I almost did not run, but at the last minute I jumped in the car and headed out to Collierville to run. I was happily surprised when I arrived and had not missed the start, so I began filling out the registration forms. As soon as I finished putting my name on the dotted line, someone shouted ‘GO’ and we were off!. I had to put down my tote bag on the ground and ask a food provider to watch it while I ran. I ran as hard as I could to catch up with the pack, but they were way out in front. Somehow I managed to get through the 3.1 miles that make up the 5K run, crossing the finish line in 29 minutes and 43 seconds. I did not know if I had placed or not, so I waited around for the awards ceremony. It was a pleasant shock to find out that I came in second in my age bracket!
I accepted the medal and was encouraged by this to go on to run again in November. You can see the snippet from Races On Line with my time posted – it was just an awesome moment for me, considering that I had just taken up the sport a few months earlier.
Running seems to clear your mind to focus on other things, and some even say that it promotes the growth of new brain cells. I need all the new ones that I can get at my age!