Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My First 5K! (aka the Bacon Chase)

This post is dedicated to Jennifer H., with love & thanks & lots of bacon.

Okay, so technically it wasn't my first 5K.   My first 5K was 25 years ago and for that reason, I don't think it should count. This is my first 5K as an old person, okay? Point being, I could have done worse things with this midlife crisis.

You never know, though. I might still buy that Mustang convertible.

My daughter Cate ran the race with me! Like her mom, she's a big fan of bacon.

I signed up for this 5K back in March. I signed up as an excuse to get my butt in gear: start running; start walking; stop excuse-making; something! Anything to get me off the couch! Except...and here's the one big take-away from this post...I'm not the kind of person who sits on the couch. I'm a busy mom who spends her day serving others, and though I love my life--I truly love it!--I'm beginning to realize there needs to be more.

The Bacon Guy! I cannot FATHOM running a race in a suit.

More than just eating a rasher of bacon, I mean.

Unless it's the bacon at the end of this race.

Running SO fast, I'm but a blur!!
Um...yeah. That.

 That's Cate in the middle, next to the happy bald guy.

My 11-year-old Felicity was the official photographer and I love that she was willing to capture these shots. She is, by nature, a very shy girl, so for her to go up to complete strangers and ask to take their picture...

...required both confidence and a candy bribe from her mom.

I am thankful, too, for the early morning support of my beloved hubby, who forgave me (eventually) for gapping out the start time. I thought the race began at 9:00 and that he needed to get me there by 8:00. In truth the race began at 10:00, which meant two HOURS of downtime for a very twitchy man.

The waiting is the hardest part. 
(Unless you're, like, OLD and actually running the race.)

Like I said, I'm glad he forgave me.

He loves me despite my Alzheimer moments.

As for the actual race...

It was hard.  My body complained the entire time, making tiresome protests like "Your shoes are too tight" and "I'm sick of this playlist" and "The odds are good that you're going to die." As I passed the clumps of waving, cheering spectators, I tried to smile and would occasionally wave back. Eventually, though, I just needed to stare straight ahead and could only focus on the person in front of me.

I liked the guy with "Hold the Rope" on his t-shirt.  I'm trying, I thought, but it's starting to slip!

At one point, I passed a kid with a bike horn."Hee honk," it went, and I thought, "Please stop." Hee honk. Hee honk. Hee honk. Hee HONK.

 I would have veered to wrench it out of her hands but didn't want to make my race time worse.

Finally—FINALLY—I saw the finish line, and I thought—i.e. prayed—that I could do it. I did do it, too, despite the stitch in my side and the pain in my leg and the feeling that I might well throw up. (One guy did. It was my kids' favorite part.) I ran into the arms of my husband—staggered, actually—and gasped, "I did it! I'm dying! What's my time?"

(There was no clock so he went off to ask. My time? 34:00. Or something like that.) 

Why do I run? To keep up with THEM.

And then it was all euphoria: Hugs & euphoria & a Bloody Mary & bacon.

There was the thought, "I did it!"

And "Could I do it again?"

Yes, I could. I will. (I hope.) We'll see.


  1. Well done, you!! I had zero, zero, ZERO idea three years ago that my first 5k would lead to my impending doom of a 13.1 mile race this fall. It is an excellent midlife crisis. I have a new car. I don't want a new husband. There you go.

  2. Do you know how big I'm smiling right now? SO big. And that's after wiping tears of happiness, and laughter (the picture of your daughter next to the happy old guy...I spit my coffee..disclaimer needed for your sarcasm!). And really, bacon is a huge motivator for just about anything. Did you know there is a CHOCOLATE race? I'll have to find the link and send it to you. Anyway, wish I could give you the biggest hug're awesome, and my hero. And one of the funniest people I know :) I love races because of the random people you the bacon guy, or the little inspiration written on the tshirt of the person in front of you. Little stuff like, the question is...when is your NEXT race? :)

  3. Yay for you. Really...yay! Yay! Yay!

    I would have thrown up. No doubt about it.

    And I can't believe you're already thinking you will do it again. After all, running a 5k is not quite like leaving the hospital with an infant and thinking "I could do it again." More like detoxing and then saying, "I could do it again." Not that I have ever detoxed. I want to do that as much as run a 5k!

    You are awesome!

  4. That's a fabulous time for your first 5k as an old person!!!!! Well done! I wish we had a Bacon 5k around here!

  5. Congratulations! You are so amazing!

  6. Good for you! Good for you!

  7. Congratulations-that is just amazing and inspiring! Well done!

  8. Congratulations! That is a great race you ran...good time and no throwing up! Hooray :)

  9. Way to go Margaret! (Cate too!!) I bet your kids and hubby were so proud of you. :) Good Job.

  10. Yay! Yay! Way to go Margaret! I am so happy to read this post because I've been eagerly awaiting it. :) You did it! I just signed up for my first official 5K with you know, REAL people, next month. It should be a good group of Catholics since it's for a young Catholic single womens discernment house. There will also be priests doing the race so that's an added benefit, in case I don't make it and need anointing. lol.

    Again, thanks for inspiring me even more! As always.

  11. Just got back from vacation!
    SO happy to see this!! I"m so proud of you Maggie!!

    Way to go! Looks fun! (but I'm still never running)

  12. I'm not a runner (bad knees) but I might have tried it if the objective was to catch bacon!


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