Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#PriorFatPack 5K Recap

So, it's been awhile since I last posted.  I have started posts multiple times and have just had to leave them - not ready to post and tend to other stuff.  I wish I had more time in my day to dedicate the kind of time I would like to dedicate here!  Alas, life calls and I must answer! 

Since the last time I was here I had a weigh in - I lost another 1.2, bringing my weight loss total to 69 pounds.  When I weighed in my favorite lady says to me "are you still trying to lose?" and I sheepishly answered "well, yes, I am".  She was fine with it - she just wanted to remind me that at some point I am going to have to figure out how to go from weight loss mode to maintenance mode.  I don't have to tell you friends - that notion scares the crap out of me!  I know that I am at a good weight for me, but honestly would like to round out my weight loss at 75 pounds.  I feel like at that point I will be at a place that I can maintain and still feel strong!  We'll see how that goes.  I have my third "maintenance" weigh in tomorrow - I trust she will not have to ask if I am still trying lose on this one!  I have been very hungry this week and there isn't much I have denied myself.  Sometimes I get stuck in that mind set of "I am burning calories, I can totally eat that!".  Oh well, this is a process and I am not going to nail it all of the time!

This weekend was a biggie for me.  I have found some very cool friends on this here interweb.  It started with the PriorFatGirl events and has branched off from there.  A couple of months ago, some of my peeps were on Twitter and they got to brainstorming and the #PriorFatPack was born.  If you are not on Twitter the hash tag may be a weird concept - but it's quite the deal on Twitter!  So, this group was formed and they decided to run a 5K together.  I had already run a couple with Melissa but I really liked the idea of getting on board with this and running another one and being there to support a bunch of great people as they embarked on their first 5Ks.  So, I persuaded them to take me in to their pack (it didn't take much convincing) and it was official! 

We chose a Memorial Day race at Lake Como in St Paul.  This race was to bring awareness to Healthy Hearts and Minds and is part of the Charities Challenge that is organized and run by a guy named Gary.   I had never met Gary before, but to finally meet Gary yesterday was an honor and a privilege.  Our #PriorFatPack weekend started on Sunday with a potluck at Ann and Jay's party room in their apt complex.  I had previously met several of the pack members but it's still always nerve wracking to walk in to a room full of people that you know so well from their blogs but you don't talk to in real life every day.  As usual, I was instantly set at ease by Kris who came up and gave me a hug immediately when I walked in the door - she has a way of making you feel like you are the only person in the room and I love that about her.  I opted to leave the girls at home with Grandma even though they were perfectly welcome - I really wanted to be able to talk and connect with people instead of chasing two crazy toddlers around the place!  I love them dearly but they don't allow for much chatting!  The room was full of so many great people at different spots in their journey but we all had the same goal in the front of our minds.  We were going to run/walk a 5K together - we would all be together at the finish line - we would ALL FINISH!  It was a really fun night and I was bummed when I had to leave to go pick up my girls.  I am already looking forward to our next gathering!

The next morning was the big day!  Our 5K at Lake Como!  The weather was not good - it had been pouring earlier in the morning and the sky was still not looking very friendly at race time.  I really should know better, if I plan to run a race - the weather is going to suck!  There was a nice chilly breeze coming off the lake so I kept my jacket on until the last minute before ditching it to run.  We took a couple of "BEFORE" group shots and then it was time to head to the start line.

PFP in full effect!  Raaawwwrrr!
I personally had a goal to finish the race under 30 minutes again.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to push myself because I was having some hip pain but it was in the front of my mind to do what I could to finish under 30.  We were introduced to a lady at the beginning of the race that was overcoming a brain injury and had recently lost 50 pounds because she had put on weight while she was recovering and not able to exercise.  It really put the whole day in to perspective - if she could come back from a near fatal brain injury and run this race today - so could I, sore hip or not!  The first mile was good, I could feel my hip but it wasn't anything terrible - my 1 mile split was 9:30.  I knew if I could keep up that pace I would definitely finish under 30 minutes.  My second mile split was a little bit faster, not much though.  The third mile was tough - my legs were really tired but I knew I could finish and I knew I had to finish.  There were two girls on the course with me pretty much the whole race - we kept trading who was in front, I was determined to fnish with them or before them - they really kept me motivated the whole time - I hope I did the same for them! 

Me (front) - 1.6 miles down!
I ended up finishing at 28:36 and felt good at the end of the race.  When I was done running, I grabbed a water and apple and got back to the finish line to cheer for my friends that were still coming through!  It was so much fun to be there cheering and yelling for everyone that came through that finish line.  Most of the other races I have done are so much larger and standing at the finish to cheer wasn't practical.  I absolutely loved the set up of this race and the intimate feeling I got from everyone there.  Everyone was so supportive!  The #PriorFatPack was a huge presence at the race that day - on the course and off!  Another person who was a huge presence on race day was a girl named Angie - she has Cerebral Palsy and she walked the 5K with her mom.  I passed Angie right before the 1 mile mark and I was just overwhelmed that she was out there doing it - she was doing a 5K - she wasn't letting her physical ability get in the way of what she wanted to do.  I don't think I will ever forget Angie - in fact at the finish she got in a picture with all of us and I am so glad!  I am not sure that we all knew how emotional the day could be.  I know for me, it wasn't about finishing the 5K, it was watching my friends finish their first 5Ks and the pride that I could see in their faces and the smiles when they crossed that finish line.  It was also Gary (the race organizer), this guy could be one of the most amazing and inspiring men I have ever have the chance to meet.  You could see the love he had for everyone that was there that day and the inspiration he gets from those he meets on these adventures.  I can't wait to run another one of Gary's races - the whole day was inspirational and emotional - I loved every second of it. 

PriorFatPack - 5K FINISHED!
Okay - this post got really long, but I just wanted to get it all down - for fear I would forget the feeling!  I feel incredibly blessed to have the friends and family that I have in my every day life.  I am just as blessed to have all of these wonderful friends from my blogging life.  I am so glad to have had the opportunity to turn some of my online friends in to real life friends.  The support and inspiration that all of these folks provide to me every day is priceless.  So, the PriorFatPack has one 5K in the books - with many more to come!  Thank you to each and every person that is a part of the PriorFatPack for taking me in to your group and welcoming me with open arms.  I am a better person for knowing each and every one of you! 

And for good measure - RAAAAWWWRRR!!!!!

Be happy and healthy friends!

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