Well, today was the BIG day! That's right, the day I have been preparing since the end of May. I made a commitment to run a 5k race and today, I can mark it off my official bucket list. I can tell you that when I started, I could barely jog for a 60 second period. I can tell you that in the first 4 1/2 weeks I had tremendous doubt that I would complete my goal. I can also tell you that the first time I ran 20 minutes, it was the milestone of milestones. At that moment I knew that I could do this...and today I did.
The day started out with Little Brownie waking at 3a. Daddy Brown sprung from the bed to attend to him while I slept a while longer for the big day. Once my alarm went off at 4:45a, I snoozed until 5:03a, then realized it was RACE DAY. We started out with the Brown family running on schedule. This is an unusual statement, because we are usually ALWAYS running behind. Little Brownie apparently did not return to slumber after his 3a awakening, but enjoyed resting and playing in his crib for 2 hours. I sprung out of the bed and hopped into the shower, dressed, woke Daddy Brown and the Brownies and everyone was dressed and ready to depart the house at exactly 5:35a. Daddy Brown went to put The Brownies in the car and we hit our first snag...I had left the car on all night long. WHAT? Yep, that is right, something I haven't done in MANY MANY YEARS. So, the family truckster was out of commission and with seconds counting down, Daddy Brown whisked the boys car seats out of the car and into his work truck. I ran around trying to fasten and buckle as quickly as possible. In a bit of frazzle, we buckled in ourselves and out the driveway we went. Not before a note of encouragement from a friend. Tacked to the mailbox, a special note... and in small print, Phil 4:13 which reads, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me". That meant so much to me.
As we continue down the road to drop the Brownies off at Gran Gran and Pops, Daddy Brown realized he had forgotten his wallet. We made the decision to turn around and retrieve it. Precious minutes are slipping away and I'm getting more and more anxious. Daddy Brown runs inside, grabs his wallet and it is now 6:03a. We get to Gran Gran and Pops house and drop the boys without any issues, switched vehicles so they could take the boys to eat at Cracker Barrel and we headed to our destination at approximately 6:25a. I talked to Daddy Brown about my anxiousness. Self doubt entered my mind and I began to worry. I had been worrying for several days after having a couple of bad runs. Several late nights and extremely early mornings during the past week had prevented me from getting a few extra "good" runs in and I felt unsettled and uncertain.
We arrived at the race venue on one of the most beautiful mornings at 7:03a. As we pulled into the parking lot and parked, Daddy Brown grabbed my hands and we prayed. The weather could not have been more perfect for a day of outdoor adventure. Low humidity, only about 75 degrees and partly cloudy. Daddy Brown and I went to the registration table and out of the 4 of us that was running, my name was not on the list. My heart sank into my stomach. The organizers hustled me quickly to another table, registered me without question and handed me my race number...562. I pinned my number to my shirt and still had so much doubt. Aunt and Uncle Fudge were there and Aunt Berry arrived to watch us run as our own cheering section. We stretched and prepared for the run. I went all the way to the back of the pack. I didn't want to hold any body up and I was still not sure if I could run the entire 5k without stopping. That was my goal...I didn't want to stop. No matter how slow my pace was, I just didn't want to stop.
The horn sounded and off we went. Daddy Brown was with me in pace and stride the entire time. Many times I felt like I was going to stop. Then, I'd ask for strength. I'd ask for guidance. I remembered Baby Tyler from earlier in the week and how he will never have the opportunity to run. It helped push me. I asked Daddy Brown to run in front of me and asked him to lead me home. It hurt when an elderly gentlemen passed us with a smooth gliding pace. It hurt when I realized that the 2.5 mile marker sign we just passed was for the second lap around and I was only REALLY passing the 1 mile marker. But in the end, I did it, we did it. It wasn't just me and I could not have done it without the Good Lord, a little will power and of course, Daddy Brown.
As we approached the finish line, I began to tear up. I raised my hands and praised God. For I had set a goal 3 months ago and today, I realized that goal. It was monumental for me to have completed it. Once it was over, I couldn't hold back the tears. It felt good and it felt surreal. It was almost an out of body experience. We walked to the bathrooms and I took a deep breath. We ate wonderful breakfast food that the organizers provided and we talked about the race. We watched other runners as they interacted with each other and we recovered quickly. As awards and prizes were handed out, I looked at Aunt Fudge and thought how grateful I am to have such a wonderful friend who was so willing to go on this journey with me. I looked at Uncle Fudge and giggled as I knew he was in his element. He wanted so badly to crack jokes and cut-up, but because of Aunt Fudge, hewas truly on his best behavior. I looked at Aunt Berry, who woke up at the crack of dawn to come show support. I will be eternally grateful for her for showing up. And I looked at Daddy Brown, who has encouraged and help me to do this. I felt so many emotions, I couldn't really speak. On the way home, Daddy Brown asked me, "Are you proud of yourself?" I said, "Yes". He said, "You don't seem happy." I replied, "I am, I just feel odd". He said, "You did great and I'm proud of you"!
We picked up the boys, took the rest of the afternoon to relax and rest. As we pulled into home, there was a bouquet of red roses waiting for me on the doorstep. On the note, "We are so proud of you and we love you!" Flowers left by my sisters and just one more reason I feel blessed by every person in my life. Daddy Brown got the family car running...thank you Jesus! The boys and I headed to the store to pick up a few items and along the way, enjoyed a rainbow hunt. We found 5 on the way from our house to the store. They were so excited. Little Brownie yelled, "Wook, Mommy, Bainbow!" Big Brownie pointed out all the colors he saw. Yep, it was a good day. One that I will remember and cherish for many years to come. I set a goal, I followed a program to realize that goal and in the end, I met my goal. It could not have been better...well, except the part about the old man that passed me, that still hurts! ~Mama Brown.