This past weekend I headed home back to Nebraska for a few celebrations and events. I headed out early Friday to get to Ft. Calhoun, just north of Omaha, staying with friends. That Saturday morning, I agreed to run in the Gateway to the West 5k race over in Blair, just a few miles away. I've been consistently running the past few months, but nothing to be excited about.
The race started, and so did the rain. Luckily it didn't last long. My trick to running is to start off slow - keep some reserve in the tank. That and I hate running around people. I like my space. Once I found my grove, I focused on anything but running. I had music playing on my phone, a slight cool breeze and the rotten smell of a processing plant of some sort.
I decided to dedicate my race to the family of a girl who was found in the Des Moines River, after her abductor killed himself. Sadden by the news, I decided I would put all my effort into the race and run my best for them. That would be a 45-minute race with a solid 15-minute mile. Now, understand normal runners will come in at a good 8-10 minute mile. I am darn proud of my 15.
I came around the last corner and hit the homestretch. I have no idea where the energy came from - maybe it was freedom. Or maybe the rotten smell getting to me and I just had to finish? But I am pretty sure it was the 3 bottles of water I downed on the way to the race moments before. Whatever it was, I broke out into a full sprint - as if Zombies were chasing me.
I cleared the finish line to mark a 42:25 minute race -mini victory, number 1.
Not only did I run my heart out for the family back in Iowa, but I beat my own personal record shattering it by 4 minutes (last time I ran that race) - mini victory, number 2.
After getting feeling back into my jello legs, the announcer rattled off the list of winners and low and behold I came in 2nd in my age bracket. (There may or may not have been only 2 in my age bracket). - mini victory, number 3.
The rest of the day was set. I drove home to the family farm and attended a Bohemian wedding. Czech food, Polka music and family (video shown of the Polka dance) - mini victory, number 4.
I ended the weekend in Nebraska with a bridal shower for my little brother's fiancé at a local winery - mini victory number 5 and 6.
It was good to get back to Iowa. The weather was warming up, the rain had quit and the fields were drying up for the farmers. It's the little victories in life that make it worthwhile.