After I ended 2012 with a 10K, I started 2013 with a 5K. This time I ran the Commitment Day 5K, a race produced by Lifetime events that was run all around the country to encourage people to kick off their year with a commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
Each participant was given a bib number with a blank for them to write their name and their commitment for the year on it. When I initially signed up for this event I thought I would commit to nourishing my body and soul, but as the event got closer, I knew I had to change my commitment.
I haven’t been very happy lately. I have a great husband, a beautiful & healthy baby girl, a loving dog, a good job, a nice home, so many things… yet I have been letting those things also be a source of great stress in my life. I fail to see the humor in things, I’ve lost some of the playfulness that I used to have in my relationships. It’s like the posters for The Dark Knight with the Joker on them that said “Why So Serious?”
The moment that I thought of that as my “commitment” for the year, I knew it was right. The challenge will be in figuring out how to maintain that. But if it was easy then it wouldn’t be that much of a commitment, right? I could have always copped out and wrote “Brush My Teeth” on the bib. But since I already do that, it would be pointless.
I woke up in the morning, at a Clif baf while I got dressed. Then Alex started to wake up at 6:15 so I went into her room to feed her and get her dressed for the day. I took her downstairs and left her hanging out with my mom to get to the race. It was cold out, but beautiful out too. And unlike my race the day before, I was jazzed and ready to go this time. The night before had re-invigorated me and helped me to remember that I really do love to participate in races. I love being a part of a bigger community than just a runner of one.
I got to Lifetime Fitness, where the race started, and followed the throngs of people dressed in Lululemon to the front doors. It seemed like that was some kind of unspoken dress code at this event! I felt kind of frumpy in my Target C9 jacket and Nike capris that were a tiny bit baggy. But I felt super cool in my Brooks PureDrift shoes! I hung out inside the club for about 10 minutes and then ventured out toward the start line with about 3 minutes to spare before the race kicked off.
The race started off with a bunch of announcements about the course, but nobody could hear them. The RD needed a louder microphone. No one paid any attention, but it didn’t matter. The course was marked well. There were a couple of places where the course narrowed a little too much for the size of the crowd participating, which meant you had to slow down and trip over one another a little. But for the most part, it was a nice course, pretty much flat the whole way.
There wasn’t any chip timing with the event. And while I didn’t have any goals for this race, I was kind of curious to see what my time would be so I wore my Garmin. I started it at the beginning and it immediately gave me a warning that the battery was low. I changed the screen to only show me the time of day, I didn’t want to look at it and think about my pace during the race. Making that switch helped me to ignore it the whole time. I glanced at it as I went across the finish line, just in time to see the screen flicker off as the battery died. I synced it when I got home and saw that it read 28:23. Good enough for me!
After the race participants could pick up their swag. We got a little drawstring bag (I have about a billion of these things, they seemed to be the hot race item for a while. I wonder what will be next “thing”.) that contained our t-shirt and a training journal.
The training journal is a hardback book that has a yearly calendar and several training notes and tips throughout. It has a calendar for the entire year, broken down by each week. It allows you to set a goal at the beginning of each week and then mark how you feel you progressed on that goal at the end of each week. It also comes pre-scheduled with several Lifetime events… so there is an element of advertising to it! But it’s pretty nice.
I walked through the food line, I was one of the first people to go through this. (Most people were still on the course, there were a lot of walkers and families participating.) I grabbed a bottle of water, but they also had Gatorade and G2 available. The food included mini muffins, croissants and something called Aussie Bites, which I grabbed one. It’s something made out of oats, flax, dried apricots, honey, etc. Kind of a healthy mini muffin, it was a little dry but pretty tasty and kind of addicting. I wanted to go back for another but the food line had really filled up by then. They also had a bunch of fruits and yogurts available.
After I ate a little bit, I went back to my car so I could get back home. Alex usually eats at 9:30, so I wanted to get home and showered before she was too hungry. When I got home she was sitting happily in my husband’s arms. She had taken a nap in my mom’s arms after I left and was a well-rested and content baby.
This was seriously the best end and start to a year that I’ve had in a long time. I posted it on Facebook, but it was an opportunity to feel like ME again. And by getting to have that bit of myself back and to regain that joy, it makes me better when I am in MOM mode too.