5k Run…Done.

It’s race day.  I’m in the crowd at the starting line and they are counting down to the blast of the horn.  I feel a lot like I did when I went into labor with my second child, knowing that I was facing something excruciating and there is no way out except to do it.  I’m worried about turning on my music, that I won’t hear the horn.  I waver between songs, which should I start with…This Girl is on Fire, a good song for pacing and channeling Katniss, or Lose Yourself, an old favorite?  I am deeply regretting making my goal public.  I’ve told too many people that I was going to be under 30 minutes and I don’t think it is possible for me today, or any day.  My sister is jogging in place, my mom is giving me a pep talk, my stomach is in knots and there goes the horn.  We’re off.

I quickly press play, Lose Yourself it is.  I’ve already lost sight of my sister who is aiming to be under  25.  I’m about a hundred yards from the start and I realize I never turned on my stopwatch.  Runners stream past me on both sides.  I cannot let myself be swept along.  I make a promise that I may pass some of them later if I keep my own pace.

I listen to Whistle, Wild One, and by the time I’m on Shake It Out the race is well underway and I’m approaching the halfway point.  I turn the corner at 13:30 and scare myself that my pace is too fast.  Negative talk takes over until I start my mantra, “I’m okay right now, I’m okay right now.”  And for the moment, I am.

The second half is tough, a few hills, a stretch along the lake, a brief section through the camp grounds.  Spectators sip coffee, hold plates of breakfast and clap for us.  I’m so jealous of their pajama pants and lounge chairs I could cry.  I check my time and know I won’t finish in less than 35 minutes.  There are no mile markers but I’m pretty sure the finish is just too far away.  I ponder the ethics of writing a dishonest blog.

GnR’s Sweet Child of Mine is too slow, I forward to You Could Be Mine and pick up the pace.  Finally, I turn the corner and see the finish line far ahead.  I glance at my watch:  26:40.  Trouble by Pink begins at just the right time.  I start to sprint…or my version of a sprint at this point.  And suddenly it is possible, I know I will make it.  I can see the timer as it turns to 28:00.  I run harder.  My sister is on the side yelling something I can’t make out.  I give my last bit of effort and cross the finish line.  I’m dizzy and afraid I’ll pass out.  I’m afraid I’m hyperventilating.  But I’m not afraid that I haven’t met my goal.

Official times are posted and I see it in black and white:  Stacie Angel 28:34.  My parents, brother and sister-in-law all earned first place medals in their walking divisions.  My sister achieved her personal best in the 5k run with a 24:09 and earned third place.  I came in twelfth.  They don’t give medals for that but I don’t need one.


  1. Rob Heeren says:

    What a great story and I am sure your family is proud of you!

  2. Yay Stac! You rocked it and I love the play-by-play of the race. So proud of you 🙂

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