Yesterday was one of the best days of 2009 for me. The 2008 Flying Pig 5k was the first event I ever entered and it changed my life forever. This year, I have been working to increase my walking speed and even add in some running. Have you seen my legs? Let's just say, they are pretty short so to cover the distance, I've got to really move them. In 2008 I finished the 3.2 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes. I was thrilled just to have finished. Yesterday, as I crossed the "Finish Swine" the clock read just over 58 minutes. My goal was to do it in under an hour since my two previous 5k times had been an 1 hr. 2 minutes. What a day!
I was thankful to have my training buddy/coach, Maura with me the whole way. She pushed me to run and helped me keep my walking pace fast. I must say that I surprised myself with my ability to run as far and as fast as I did--keep in mind the short legs and add to it about 60 more pounds than I would like to be carrying next year. This has been an amazing year for me. I have experienced so much personal growth and have found out some really neat things about myself along the way.
There were so many great things about yesterday. The first thing was that we had ten people representing Pink Princess Racing in this years Flying Pig. Maura, her daughter Mikayla and her sister-in-law, Rhonda, all ran the 10k event. Eric called them "The Three Ten-ers." My sister, Margaret and my step-sister, Laura walked the 5k with me and Maura. My niece, Cortney, Maura's daughters, Mikayla and Jessica and Maura's son, Tanner along with his friend, Joe, joined Rhonda in running the 5k. We all met or exceeded our personal goals for the day.
For several weeks I have been visualizing myself doing well in the race and beating my previous times. That morning I had prayed for extra angels to help me on my walk. One of the highlights of my walk came about the 1.5 mile mark. I was walking as fast as I could go and I looked down on the ground. There right in front of me was a leaf from a ginko tree. I looked up and there on the side of the road was a ginko tree just full of beautiful green fan-shaped leaves. I knew this was an answer to my prayer for angels to assist me. Years ago, I worked with a special friend, Debbie Brown, who is an angel in my life. She loves the outdoors and especially waking outdoors. She would frequently go for walks during her lunch break. In the spring she would bring me ginko leaves. "They are a symbol of good luck." she told me. I knew at that moment that my dear angel friend, Debbie was with me. This gave me an extra push to move on and finish what I had started.
Seeing Eric on the sidelines near the "Finish Swine" was another wonderful moment. Hearing him cheer me on, gave me the extra boost to run as I finished the race. His love and support has helped me as I have traveled this journey. I am thankful that I can count on him to help me and I look forward to being there for him on his first 5k.
After the race, we headed over to my Dad's house for our first annual post-race Pig Out. Bobbye had prepared homemade spaghetti sauce and we enjoyed a wonderful spaghetti dinner, complete with salad, garlic bread and ice cream for dessert. It was an awesome way to end the festivities of the day.