I did it!
I’ve been participating in 5K’s since May of 2012, and usually do 12-15 races a year. There are usually a few 4 milers, and a couple of 10K’s, thrown in – and I tried once for a half-marathon. I got about 6 miles, fell, and then probably walked another mile before my husband could get to where I was to pick me up. (That’s the day I decided 10K’s are my limit – and I’m good with that!)
Anyhoo – At the beginning of 2020, a thought occurred to me – Hey, why don’t I do 20 races in 2020!! Sounds kinda catchy! So I started making plans and signing up. I have between one and 12 friends that do them with me – depending on their interest and availability.
The first three – Battle of The Bean, (I was a little disappointed that there was a coffee mug instead of a medal for B of the B – but that’s ok!), Kick Off 5K, and Sweetheart Run were done as usual – except I was alone – none of the others had signed up, but that’s ok – I learned a valuable lesson in 2019 about going it alone. Then itthatshallnotbenamed showed up in March, so the Westport St. Patrick’s Day 4 Mile Run went virtual. I did the St. Patrick’s at the local hospital campus with the help of my handy dandy “Map My Walk” app from Underarmour.
I was hopeful that the lockdowns would lift, because of course, it was supposed to be “two weeks to slow the spread”, but I was naive! The next four were also virtual. Noah’s Crown Town, Run for Heart Heroes and the Memorial March (no medal 🙁 ) were all done around my neighborhood. I didn’t complete the The Trolley Run 4 Miler until late September. The Itthatshallnotbenamed had done a number on my mind, and it just didn’t want to do four miles. Many in our group had signed up to do a race that I wasn’t interested in, but I did get together with them to do a virtual as a group, and I went the extra distance for it to count as the Trolley.
The summer group was next – Run, Grill, Boom was for the 4th of July. Then the Hero Hustle! Woot! Bodies Race Company worked some magic, changed the venue, and created a way for the Hero Hustle to be a live event! That is particularly important, because my MKE friend, Jen came to visit on her quest to see all 50 states, and we were able to do this event while she was here! Then the Royal’s Charity 5K -that I usually do with my son, Dan – cancelled – so did that virtually as well. Last winter, I had planned our summer vacation around the Columbia River 5K in Vancouver, Washington, along the – duh – Columbia River. It was to be on a Friday evening, before a Saturday Triathalon – apparently a big weekend for racers in the great northwest. Of course it was cancelled shortly before the trip started, but our vacation went on as planned and we saw some great friends and cool stuff – waterfalls, volcanoes, riots and wildfires, and did that race back at home.
Then it was time for the fall races. The Zoo Run 4 Miler, Spooky Sprint, Monster Dash and Veteran’s Voyage were all done virtually in the neighborhood or a park close by.
Winter races included the Veteran’s Day 5K – which the great folks at the KC Running Company were able to create LIVE! Yay! Shortly after that, we did the Turkey Trails virtually – then itthatshallnotbenamed hit me personally with two races to go to get to 20. Would I make my goal? During the time I was sidelined, I received a box in the mail from a far-away friend with a lovely card. In the box were two sweatshirts and a long-sleeved T. The front said “20 in 2020 – 5K” and the back – “Team Nancy” – a giant compass – and “Do it now”. The card was an encouragement to keep going!
It was such a blessing – of course I shed a tear at the thoughtfulness! – –
But wait -there’s more!
On the morning of December 12 – messages started to pour in. You see, December 12 was to be the last race of the year – the Candy Cane 5K, the culmination of my goal. There were pictures . . .
. . .of seven lovely ladies wearing my special shirt! Upper right is dear Bonnie – creator of the surprise – living in Louisiana with all her friends. (Except Bobbi – in the white – who lives in Washington!) The text as follows: “Today is December 12. Covid messed up your plans. And a thunderstorm messed up our plans this morning. But this is our journey. We make the rules. We don’t bend. We don’t break. We set our focus on what we want, and we go get it.”
“All these people were planning to run for you this morning, plus two more who are now prepping for a wedding. We will run tomorrow. And here is the bride who was also planning to run for you this morning, on her wedding day.” I replied with much gratitude whilst boo-hoo-ing tears of unspeakable overwhelm at the effort put forth, and the support offered, just to help me reach my goal!
The text then continued: “The original plan was that Bobbi and I were going to fly into KC and do the race with you. Then Danielle set her wedding date on this day, so my sweet friend came up with Plan B. Bobbie is doing it today. We are doing it within the week, maybe tomorrow.” The overwhelm and boo-hoo-ing cranked up to another level!
As I was recovering from illness, I felt like trying a walk – it was a nice day on December 17, so I sent Bonnie a message saying I was feeling better, needed to get out, and was going to try to walk a 5K that morning. Just as I was getting ready to start, the pics and texts started coming again. They had decided to do their 5K that very morning!
I set out from home, and they set out after their morning CrossFit session. They still finished before me – I’m not setting any personal bests this year for sure – but it really did help to know that 790 miles away, Team Nancy was rocking that 5K!
Two days later – which is about how long it took for me to recover from #19, friend Lori came over and walked #20 with me.
It happened. I succeeded in my goal of 20 races in 2020. Certainly not how I planned, but in reality, much better than I could have imagined! Doing races alone gives me focus. Persevering with virtual races strengthen my – well – perseverance muscles. Setting a goal and completing it is an important way to vanquish procrastination! AND – I felt supported and loved more than I could have imagined. BTW – Bonnie and Bobbi are former MKMMA tribe members of mine! Probably the best part of the Master Key experience are the friends made along the way!
I hope you achieved all your goals this year – in spite of itthatshallnotbenamed, and all the chaos it brought!