I would say I am a runner, or at least I like to call myself one. I've had shin splints for the past semester and a twelve week break from running still didn't seem to fix it. After an x-ray and lots of ice, I think I might just have to suffer the pain with some home remedies. Although, when I run the pain is nothing compared to joy it brings me to be able to run and escape my mind.
This past weekend I was able to run my first race in over two months and it was amazing!! It felt so good to be able to run in a race and just be able to go. There was a finishers medal at the end as well, which is a big plus for me. I personally just really love medals. I ran with my two very good friends who are in the running club with me at school. We started out running together and then slowly separated into our own speeds. As I was running, I had a huge smile on my face. I was running and I wasn't in pain. It was one of the happier times of my life. I love seeing people run 5ks. It makes me so happy and proud of them because you know pretty much every person worked so hard to be able to get to run that entire 3.1 miles. Some people probably believed they could never do it, but when they turn to see that finish line the energy they didn't think they had left is right there. While I was running people passed me and I passed them. Every time someone was next to me, once we spread out, I said "good job" or "you're doing great!" Those little words of encouragement brought a smile to each of their faces as they returned the compliment to me to keep the smile on my face for the entire race. When I was almost near the end, I had a small conversation with someone as we laughed and were excited to round the corner to the finish line. Our encouragement kept us going.
As I finished, I got to do my favorite part of the race... the sprint! I used to not sprint because I thought I didn't have any energy left in me, but when I discovered I did it was life changing. Since I found that out, I can't run any race without a sprint and if I don't sprint I feel like I didn't finish the race. I got ready with my breathing when I rounded the corner and saw the big, blue blowup finish line. Once I felt like I was at the right distance I started to open up my stride until I couldn't feel my legs anymore and I was flying through the air. It hurt yes, but it is one of the best things, in my opinion, to do. I ran past three people and as I went under the blow up finish line I walked it out to breathe.
I walked up to that corner where I got excited about the finish line to wait for my two other friends. As I waited, I got to cheer more people on and tell them they were almost there. One person said it was her first time back since pneumonia and another smiled at me with no energy left to say thank you. I was proud and happy for all of them. I clapped for a long time for everyone that came by because everyone deserves a cheerleader. I know that when people cheer for me, it keeps me going. My one friend ran the 10k version so we were waiting for her for a little longer and got to see some of the people in the 5k who were doing walk and jog mixtures. It was so exciting to see how happy they were and grateful that we were cheering. I ran the finish line three time, one for myself and twice for my two friends. As I ran with my friends, I cheered for them and I think that brought smiles to other people's face as they saw us and how we were enjoying our time.
When we walked to the award ceremony we laughed and smiled about what happened during the race. I was so excited that I finally ran 3.1 miles since 12 weeks. Then just this Thursday I did four miles! I have missed it. I can't wait to get back completely! They gave out chicken noodle soup during the race, which made me very happy and we waited together for the award ceremony. I ended up getting second in my age group! It was an amazing day that we were doing for ourselves, but simply by smiling and thinking of others we could make it about so much more.