Friday, April 22, 2011

Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

I love songs with inspirational lyrics, and one of my favorite songs that inspires me is "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrman. But there's one line in particular that really was the theme of my night last night: "Do one thing every day that scares you".
At the last minute I found out about a 5k race on campus. The Eco Club at OSU was hosting their first ever "Earth Day Midnight Run 5k" race, and money went to a local organic movement charity fund. I love races (who wouldn't rather run with people and water stops than a boring routine treadmill run or loop around the neighborhood?) so I decided to enter.  Registration started at 11:30 and then the idea was that at midnight we would bring in earth day with a race. Because this race was so last minute, I couldn't get anyone to come along and take pics with me, so I apologize in advance for the lack of scenery on this post.

When I arrived I was beyond nervous. I have never run a race alone, so this was a big deal to me. Then I realized that everyone there looked like serious runners. It didn't look like a slow person was in the bunch. I seriously sat in my car for 15 minutes trying to convince myself to go run, but I was terrified I'd make an idiot out of myself. I don't mind being slow, but at midnight finishing 10 minutes behind everyone else sounded awful. I finally decided I should at least get out of the car and pay the entry fee so that I at least wasn't gypping them out of a donation. 

I made it up to the crowd and my anxiety kept growing as I listened to them talk about their expected paces and many other events they've run. I don't think I've ever felt so nervous. I must have looked as terrified as I felt because a really nice group came up to me and said hello. I told them how nervous I was because I'm so slow, and once again I was reminded how great runners are. They all were very encouraging and said "Just showing up is huge. We're so glad you're here and we will cheer you on at the finish no matter what time you make it there." I felt more relieved, but still, I didn't think my ego could take making everyone wait an extra 10-15 minutes at the finish for me to come slogging in. Not to mention, I was a little afraid to be alone at night running. I was still a nervous wreck, but I decided that I'll never grow if I don't push myself to do things that scare me. 

Ready for a midnight run
After I decided I was definitely running, a little miracle happened. A woman showed up at registration that looked as nervous as me. I talked to her and we decided we should definitely run together. Her pace was slower than my usual, but I thought I'd rather stick to the buddy system and play it safe.
Before the race, we were given glow-sticks for safety and numbers were written on our hands in marker as a paperless replacement for bib numbers. 

Soon the race began with "Ready! Set! Happy Earth Day!" (All of my races seems to start with something out of the ordinary). The course wasn't easy to follow when the group was so far ahead of us and we made a few wrong turns, but we eventually made it back to the finish line.The course was an out and back one, so we got to see the faster runners before long. The runners were absolutely amazing. People with less than half of my time made the effort to tell me "good job!" when they ran past us. When we finished there was a small awards ceremony for the top 3 runners (trust me I was no where near that). Overall the race was a blast and I really learned how good it feels to push myself to do things that I've never done before and to be a little afraid sometimes. 

In other news I've got a new article for my wheezers on healthcentral about asthma triggers. Next week is pre-finals week, then the OKC half marathon, then finals, so I will be a very busy girl for a while! Try not to hate me for taking a long time posting. Summer is almost here and that means more free time! I'll also be running a bunch of races soon, so be ready for some reports!

For a laugh I thought I'd share one of the search terms someone used to find my blog this month: "i'm rackin the wheezies again".  Hmm..... haha


  1. I LOVE that song! They always played it on the radio in high school! lol
    Great job on the race! I'm glad you found a running buddy!

  2. What a great success story. Good job on conquering your fear, and running the race!

  3. Thanks guys! It was a lot of fun and I hope to do it more!