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Monday, July 11, 2005

LivingAfterWLS Contributor Completes First Race

One of our frequent contributors, Kim Stover, finished her first official race yesterday, a 5K. She finished in under 49 minutes and placed #430 out of nearly 600 participants. With her permission I’m sharing her beautiful accomplishment. I know you will be as touched and inspired as I was to read her story!

I DID IT! By Kim Stover



I completed my first official race today (July 10, 2005). What a thrill! Have you ever done one? This was a 5k/10k. I opted for the 5k since it is just a bit more than I usually do on my daily walk. It was odd to walk without the dogs! I was sort of lost being by myself.

The energy was incredible at the race and I actually started out jogging. Everyone else was doing it, so I joined in. I had my number pinned on (had to scope out the other gals to see where to pin it on my shirt. Turns out that it goes right below your boobs) my iPod was going and my adrenaline was pumping! I just wanted to scream, "Look at me! Look at me!". I refrained, but came pretty close to popping a couple of times.

I didn't have a goal, other than to just finish the race and not come in last place. There were almost 600 competitors and I was in the pack. My young cousin, who inspired me to enter, was there with her Team in Training for leukemia. She passed me up out of the gate and that was fine by me. She is 10 years younger, so I used that excuse to justify her better pace.

At one point, I realized that I was keeping the same pace as this 70ish man and thought, "I'll be damned if Grandpa is going to beat me at this thing". So now my goal was not just to finish, but to beat the old guy. I can do this. I started to find my stride...who knew that I'd ever have a stride...and ended up passing my younger cousin. This was one of the moments that I almost let out a "Look at Me!".

I jogged a little, but walked most of the course. They closed down streets for the race so it was nice to not have to worry about traffic. About 3/4 of the way through, I had my Oprah moment and started to cry. Hold yourself together girl! You can't fall apart now! I gathered myself and continued on, feeling really good. My body was working for me. I could feel the muscles in my arms aiding in my movement. Circuit training was paying off. I could feel my spine in perfect alignment. Yoga was paying off. My breath was controlled and my heart rate was good. Amazing. I could now see the finish line. What? It's over?

Okay...now I know that they take your picture as you cross the line, so what's my plan? Sunglasses on my face or on my head? Is my number laying flat? What's my fanny pack doing? The clock! As I looked up, I could see the digital clock ticking away the seconds. It read 48 minutes and some odd seconds. In two seconds, I decided that my goal was to finish in less than 49 minutes.

I kicked it into high gear and sprinted across the finish line. I did it! Here comes the second "Look at Me!" moment. OH MY GOD! The picture! What was I doing when the picture was taken??? I can't wait to see it. I'm sure that my face is all screwed up with me mouthing the words, "Look at Me" silently to myself. I probably would have cried at this point, but I knew that I had to stretch. Then my cousin crossed the finish line and I had to greet her with open arms.

No time for crying, as free stuff was being handed out! Tons of vendors attended. First stop, Alhambra water. The best water I've ever had. Second stop, goodie bag...I'll look through that later. Third stop, Emerald Nuts. Had to be the best mini cup of mixed nuts that I've ever eaten. I savored ever single nut, one nut at a time. Chew, chew, chew. The salt, the fat, yum. It was like the first bit of soft food that I got to eat after being on liquids post-op. Gosh, wasn't that the best scrambled egg? I refrained from getting a second cup of nuts. Fourth stop, PW Markets. They had a huge display of fresh fruit. I surveyed what was being offered. Apples, oranges, plums and apricots. I picked up an apricot and took a bite. By far the best apricot I've ever eaten. I only had half, since I'm so sensitive to sugar and tossed the remaining half with a grimace. Hard to throw away such good food. More water! It was as if I just finished filming a series of Survivor.

This was by far, one of the best moments of my life. A simple 5k. I cried on the way home. A good ugly cry, by myself, in my car. Life is perfect. I came home to three wagging tails, only to take them on a mile and a half walk! They needed it and I was still riding high. Quite the day for me.

4 comments:

kim said...

WOW!! Kaye, that is fantastic!! It is my dream too, to be in a race---a bike race. Here we have a week long "Tour de'Toona" (Altoona, PA)that gets riders from all over the country and Canada. I dream of being able to finish that race. I am pre-op and just at the beginning of this leg of my journey with weight loss. I don't have a surgery date yet, but I can tell you, your site has really helped me get some perspective and some hope toward being "normal" again (i have been normal weight a few times in my life) and staying that way.
Thanks for the inspiration and congratulations again!
Kim

Kaye Bailey said...

Thanks Kim, for the compliments on the site, I appreciate it so much and wish you the best as you pursue your "normal" and new life. We look forward to hearing about your bike race in the near future.

I just wanted to point out Kim Stover, one of our contributors, is the one who completed her first 5K over the weekend and so generously shared her story.

Best Wishes to All,
Kaye

Hummingbird1964 said...

Oh Kim what a wonderful story! I am so happy for you! I did my first 5K last summer here in Chicago so I totally identified with all the feelings you described. I had trained for about 6 months because I wanted to run as much as I could of the distance.
I (probably like you) had no idea what to expect at my first race so the excitement of the starting line really gave me a rush...they played the theme from chariots of fire. I so identify with you having to pass grandpa. My similar moment came at about the half way point when I thought I couldn't run another block. Then I saw this skinny young chick from Purdue university. I locked eyes on the back of her tee shirt and determined to pass her. I couldn't believe when I did it! Then of course, I had to keep my lead. I didnt want to look over my shoulder and make it obvious but the adrenaline kicked in as I thought "I can't let her pass me!"

When I crossed the finish line I cried and I couldn't understand why. There I was boohooing as a volunteer handed me a banana and a bottle of water. My start and finish pics that were taken by someone at the race were so funny. The start pic has me smiling and looking joyful. The finish pic shows my face all red, sweaty, and screwed up with determination.

On July 31 I'll be running my first 10K. I'm hoping for even half of the excitement and joy I got from that first race.

Congratulations on a job well done! I hope this is the first of many wonderful accomplishments for you in your new life!

Kim said...

First of all, thank you to Kaye for publishing my story. It started out as an email to her! Second, how wonderful it is that I have the opportunity to inspire a pre-op patient. If I could implant any single thought into the brain of a pre-op, it would be "you need to exercise to be successful". It just pains me to hear of patients that refuse to exercise. You need to become obsessed with it and it is important to set small goals for yourself. I think that it is very important to push your limits, but not so far that you fall off of the cliff. Know what is easy for you and then push just a little bit more. I know that I'm not ready for a 10k at this point, so I'm not even thinking about it! I wish that there was a 7.5k, but no such luck. For now, I'll keep entering races and work on improving my time...minute by minute.
Third...Hummingbird, your story touched my heart and I got a bit teary while reading it. I think that it is just terrific that you've trained and are now ready for a 10k. Just fabulous and I'll be thinking of you on your eventful day. Isn't it wonderful that Kaye has provided us with such a positive forum? We are all here to inspire one another!