Hey guys! I felt like this guest post is very timely since we seem to be talking about pets a lot this week. I met Adrianne through my old job in Spokane, and we have kept in touch since I moved to Texas. The poor thing had to listen to me rattle on for hours about Ironman and even nag her to do a race over and over again! She recently completed her first 5K, and I asked her to write about her fitness journey and do a little race recap for you guys. I thought it would be interesting for some of my readers who haven’t quite bit the bullet and signed up for a race yet! We have got to get out of our comfort zones in order to grow, people! ~Nicole
Hi There! My name is Adrianne, and this is my story.
I came from a single parent family and have 2 siblings (sisters and yes, I’m the baby). My mother worked and always was in school, trying to better herself. I didn’t grow up eating typical junk food provided to children. Mama, an RN, believed that children needed good healthy meals in order to grow and most importantly function. So, mams taught me how to eat well, but young children tend to disobey their parents. Through high school my eating habits began to change (for the worse) and above all soda became my water. At the age of 17, thinking I knew everything about life, I became a smoker. I promised myself that I would be a smoker for 5 years only and then quit.
It was cool to have that ciggy in my hand. For some reason I was invisible with it. Plus, I thought it was cool to smoke with my mama. Mama was a smoker for 30+ years. When I was a child she quit for 15+ years, and towards the end, she picked up the nasty habit again. By this time, I was about a pack a day smoker and mama and I would discuss our days over that damn cigarette. I guess smoking was our way of connecting during my teenage to young adult years. Unfortunately, in 2004 at the age of 62, my mama passed away of a massive heart attack (among many other health issues). She left this world in pain, all the time, and ate nothing but pills. At 20 years old, I couldn’t believe my mom was gone. Do you think I quit smoking after this tragic event occurred in my life? No, I smoked more. Why? Stress, of course.
As I continued to live life and getting through college I knew that there was something missing in my life. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I felt “crappy”. I tried quitting smoking but always went back to it. Every time I quit I used something (gum, the patch, etc.). I graduated college in 2010 and in 2011 married the most amazing man (in Jamaica). Our wedding reception was June 25, 2011. The day after our reception my husband (a 17 year smoker) quit smoking, and I quit 3 days later. I quit smoking cold turkey. OMG, that was a brutal decision! My body hated me!! I wasn’t sleeping (working crazy lots of hours) I had massive headaches, I couldn’t think of anything but having my ciggy, and needless to say people didn’t want to be around me. I had to change EVERYthing about living my life. I had to change my mind. I knew I needed to replace my urge of smoking with walking. So I put on the walking shoes and hit the pavement. I never thought about taking my exercising to a new level, marathons, triathlons, ironmans, etc.
So, almost 1 year after I quit smoking, and at the ripe age of 28, I signed up for my first 5K. I am a dog lover and it just so happens that our local humane society’s biggest fund raiser is a 5K. Roxie (the greatest doggie in the world) began training. Our training schedule consisted of walking daily (with resting on Sundays) and incorporating biking into our daily routine. Training was perfect as we just found out that Roxie suffers from arthritis in her spine. The cure – WALKING/RUNNING!
The weather forecast for the day of the 5K was rain. Great, now I have to get a rain gear suit. The morning of the race the rain was not letting up. RoxieRoux is happy to be going somewhere.
Driving to the location was a nightmare. All I could see was car after car for miles, everyone was trying to park. As I was sitting in the middle of the street waiting to park, I begin to look around and am thinking the side street is looking like a great parking spot.
Oh, RoxieRoux has discovered TONS of doggies all around us.
We walked towards the starting area of the 5K.
We were not quite sure what to do with ourselves as we were not used to SO many activities and doggies around us. So, it’s raining but we are excited to begin this 5K.
And we are off.
I keep thinking to myself the rain will let us let’s just get going because I am beginning to be cold.
Look at all of the dedicated parents who are participating in their health, as well as their children’s health, as we all push forward to the finish line.
RoxieRoux is super excited as she pulls me trying to meet the other doggies. We just met another doggie so we have slobber on our nose.
We can continue with the 5K now. Let’s go mommy!!
This is the first mile mark.
Woo-Hoo! I’m feeling great and enjoying all of the energy around us.
At this point I have increased my speed and can really feel it in my legs. Not to mention I have this heavy rain gear on. We passed 1.5 miles and the next mile is all up hill.
We begin the uphill battle and I am becoming a little nervous. Can I really run up this hill? Oh, my, I am tired already, and the rain is not letting up. I kept thinking “this is what I have been training so hard for” so I focus on RoxieRoux with each step. My chest was beginning to sting and my legs were hurting. My feet were completely soaking wet by then.
Water, water, thank goodness for water.
We are getting tired now and don’t want to continue. Some other runners and doggies pass by us and that gives us the courage to continue on. “Keep going, you don’t have that much further to go” is what one gentleman and his doggie tell RoxieRoux and me as we continue our journey. “Thank you” I yell back as my breathing is very heavy at this point. “Good job RoxieRoux, you’re doing great”. Are we at the top of the hill yet?? Yes, we’ve made it!!”
And it’s still raining!
Both RoxieRoux and I made it to the top of the hill! Again, thank goodness for water! This is our view from the top as we begin our journey towards the finish line.
Let the downhill journey begin!
“Let’s go mommy, hurry I want to go meet those doggies!!”
We are halfway down the hill.
Now are are off the hill and dashing for the finish line.
Oh, I see some doggies, let’s go mommy!
I am wanting to stop. I am cold, my left arm has been extended because Miss RoxieRoux has pulled on it, my arms and legs are burning, and my feet are wet. I am still excited to be doing my first 5K.
Another half mile to go.
We can finally see the finish line, and it’s just straight ahead.
Keep going and ignore the pain is what I am screaming to myself.
Miss RoxieRoux is not letting up. She is jogging right along side me loving every minute of this 5K.
YAY, we did it. We FINISHED our first 5K together!!
Miss RoxieRoux needs some water as the slobber hangs from her mouth. After the 5K we received a goodie bag and we began walking to the car. No time to look around or visit with others and we are tired and our feet are wet!
Phew, we made it to the car. It’s time to dry off.
Now it’s time to take a moment to catch my breath. I have come so far in my life to have accomplished a 5K. I begin to reflect about how I have overcome some very tough times in my life. I courageously quit smoking and 1 year later I am running my first 5K. I begin to cry because I never thought I would sign up, train for, and complete a 5K. The tears begin to really pour as I think about how my mama was unable to see me accomplish an amazing goal. I think about and reflect upon her journey, and how I don’t want my journey to end like hers. I also think about how everyone needs someone there at the finish line to cheer them on and to encourage them to cross the finish line. With sweat and all, I am done .
It took RoxieRoux and me 1 hour and 49 minutes to complete our first 5K.
There you have it…my story about how I completed my first 5K. What an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I am super proud of myself to have experienced such a journey. I continue to learn about eating healthy and training. It is truly important to live a healthy life and to incorporate exercising into your daily life. I have learned that life is way to short and that you have to embrace it. Nothing comes easy and you must continue to stand your ground and define who are. I was tired to being the smoker who was over weight and could never find that shirt that fit well on my body. So I did something to change that. Don’t ever be afraid to try something new. As Christopher Columbus said “ You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Thanks for reading my story, and I hope you found some inspiration in it!!
What race are you going to sign up for in the near future that you know will push you out of your comfort zone??