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June 7, 2014

A Little Reflection on the Night of Race-Day

As I mentioned yesterday, I ran the Hospital Hill 10K today.

The 10K race went very well! I ran it in 59:02 which is 10 minutes faster than last year. :)

Check that out! I got 14th in the 40-44 division of females (and there were 157 total). I got 153rd out of 1022 women total. That is kinda cool, huh?

There was TONS of rain. They even delayed the start by about 30 minutes because of the rain and lightening. Then when they did start, they did not use the wave start mostly so they could just get everyone started since the weather would threaten throughout the race. There was actually a stall in the rain at the start, but around mile 1.5, it started coming down pretty good. I shed the trash-bag-poncho around the end of the first mile because I realized it just didn't matter if I got poured on or not and I didn't want that thing around me the whole race.

I pray the rosary when I run these races. I start with the Joyful Mysteries and make my way through. Today I made it through all five Joyful Mysteries, all five Luminous Mysteries and three of the Sorrowful Mysteries before I closed it out and finished the last mile. I try to pray for others while I pray the rosary and come up with intentions that usually line up with whatever mystery I am on. so for today, here were my intentions:

  • The Annunciation -- mothers who have just recently found out they are pregnant (i.e., a woman at work just found out she will be a grandma!) and also those who are waiting for the blessing of a baby and may be struggling with Infertility or sub-fertility.
  • The Visitation -- those I know who are about to have a baby (my youngest sister, whose due date was earlier this week, etc)
  • The Nativity of our Lord -- those I know who just had a baby (a friend -- Lauren; a bloggy-friend, Dwija :) )
  • The Presentation of our Lord -- Those who are newly baptized (baby or not)
  • The Finding of Jesus in the TEmple -- this one I pray for the parents of 12-year-olds. Typically we hear that Jesus was 12 at the time when he departed from his parents and was found after three days search, teaching in the Temple. I think parents of 12-year-olds will understand why I pray for them. :)
  • The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan -- on this one, I prayed for an increase in obedience, in general. Not sure why, but that popped into my head/heart.
  • The Miracle at the Canaan Wedding Feast -- I prayed for newly engaged and newly married couples
  • The proclamation of the coming of the Kingdom -- I prayed for strength to continue to guide my children in the CAtholic faith
  • The Transfiguration -- there was a big hill, I don't remember adding an intention here
  • The Last Supper -- I prayed for our newly ordained priests of the diocese
  • The Agony in the Garden -- gotta be honest here, I prayed about my very sore muscle that really started hurting during sprints Tuesday and was really hurting right as I was praying this mystery
  • The Scourging at the Pillar and The Crowning with Thorns -- on these I simply prayed knowing the pain I was feeling was nothing compared to what Jesus did for you and for me.
This year, this race seems to mean so much more to me than i remember it meaning before. I ran this race the first time in 2012. I had never run the 10K distance before and had not really been running to regularly then. I was just grateful to finish it. Last year, I wanted to run it faster than 2012...and I did. But that was really my only goal. I was getting back into running and working through grief -- running helped me feel better. I worked through a lot of grief while running. I still take some time to talk to Gregory while running, every so often.

When I finished last year, I was happy with the fact that I ran it about 9 minutes faster than in 2012. I was just starting on this journey to become stronger and healthier and my confidence was not quite there. I struck a pose and posted to Facebook that I was feeling strong following the finish of the race. And I did feel strong. I was happy to have finished it so much faster than the year before and I felt really good about it. But I was still much heavier than I wanted to be back then. And I was hopeful that I could continue losing weight and getting stronger.

When we decided late last year that I would have surgery that would correct a problem that would make it easier on me to work out harder, I couldn't imagine the benefit I was really signing up for. I started Crossfit November 1 and continued to run a couple of times a week. I made it to Crossfit workouts at least 3 times (usually 4) a week and ran at least one time most weeks. I joined Weight Watchers -- and we all know how that has turned out :) 

So, as I was running the fourth mile today and praying the Rosary, I was also thinking about how far I have come in a year. I mean, here I was, running at a pace about 1:30/mile faster than last year, wearing size medium running capri pants that I couldn't pull up past my knees a year ago and about to finish this 10K race 10 minutes faster than I had run it a year ago. It gave me chills. Really, like...I almost started crying about it, I was so happy thinking about it all.

Tonight, I was sitting here thinking how I needed to write this post because I had all these thoughts about running, about the race, about how far I have come in a year...and I scrolled through my photos on Facebook and found the one I took after the race last year...here it is:

In 2014, I was happy to finish 9 min faster than the previous year
But then I looked at that picture in contrast to the one I took this morning after I completed the race.

I think I look like I have more confidence. I mean, in last year's photo, I kind of half-heartedly "flex" my "guns" and look like I think it's silly. But in this year's photo, I hold them up there like..."Yeah, look at my 'guns'!" I have more muscle definition, The higher level of fitness helps with the confidence, too. I wouldn't wear tanks last year because I was embarrassed at my arm/shoulder fat/flab. I think my smile even shows the increase in confidence that I have. 

Top is 2014; bottom is 2013

I guess the point is: I can see where I've been and where I am now.

And I am going to keep crossfitting and I am going to keep running and I really can't wait to see where I end up in the future.


  1. I love that your 2013 photo is celebrating increased strength, but I can see that you are kind of just being funny there, too. Which makes this year's photo just all kinds of awesome because everything about it says "I really am strong and I know it." Also, you really do have the guns for that tank! :) Way to go! That is a really great finish!

  2. Congrats Michelle! I love that you pray while you run, I've been trying to do that. Love the picture.


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