Our first ever 5K run was back in October. We ran for our kids school's 5K benefiting Agape house, a Lake County charity that helps local people who have fallen on hard times. We got up early, and our "fan base" came out to cheer us on. They include our kids and our close friends Heather and Mia. Our kids have watched as we trained week in and week out, so they were super proud of we older Kountanis', as we crossed the finish line. Our friend Heather joined us in our running journey a few months earlier, and has been a dedicated runner ever since. So, she understood the magnitude of this day for us, and was such a sweet support to have with us on this day.
Being a novice 5K runner, I had no idea of the details. For instance, I had no idea that you are broken down into age groups, then awarded a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals in each division. I always just thought that whoever crossed the finish line 1st was the winner, and everyone else just came in whenever they could. I also had no idea that their is a such thing as a walk/run where people run, then take a break by walking. G and I had trained to run straight through with a motto of slow and steady wins the race. No walking allowed!
It was a brisk morning, but the adrenaline was pumping at the start line, so we were plenty warm. We got in a nice stride groove, and ran the entire race, never stopping. It took us just over 33 minutes to run the entire 3.1 miles. As we came around the corner and our kids and friends saw us, they cheered us across the finish line. I honestly get teary even typing it because at the time, my body was pushed to the very limit and hearing their cheers made me so emotional. I am usually the cheerleader of this Kountanis family, and having the roles reversed was a new experience. To hear Amanda Lily's little voice yelling at the top of her lungs "GO MOMMY GO DADDY!!!" and Steven cheering "WOOOO HOOOO!" was almost too much for me. I literally almost hyperventilated because I was at the end of a 3 mile run, and I was trying not to cry. After we crossed the finish line, I felt proud of myself for the first time in many years. It was EXHILARATING!
The icing on the cake was that there was a medal ceremony of sorts after everyone finished the race. There were around 80 runners. Get this, I received 1st place in my age division (35-39) and G got 2nd in his (35-39). What?!?!?!?!? Woot! Woot! We had no idea we were even racing for medals, but we each left with one. I have since framed them and they are hanging in our living room. They are there as a reminder that we can do whatever we put our minds too......even at the ripe old age of 35.
Before the race.
Crossing the finish line.
We did it!
Principal of kids school giving me medal.
Embarrassed but proud!
G after being given medal with a kid on each arm.
My favorite picture.