Veni Vidi Vici – I Came, I Saw, I Conquered.
That’s what was going through my head this morning as I was waiting to start what was the toughest race in my life. The moment you realize this is it, there’s no turning back, that and my car was 9 miles away so I had no choice but to run. I’m about to run 9.23 miles over 2 bridges and a killer overpass, WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I was surrounded by 3000 racers, I could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air. This was the race I had signed up for back in July, BEFORE I had started running. I had been freaking out about this race since the moment I registered & the closer it got the more scared I became. But now its race day, ready or not my moment had come. My alarm had gone off at 4:15am so I could get to Pensacola Beach and catch a shuttle to the Wahoos stadium.
The sun was starting to rise over the water behind the stadium when we got there, and it was absolutely gorgeous. As I’m walking around I start seeing more and more people I know, my nerves are starting to calm down. I have my black ninja fast Phat Girlz shirt on, my new black snake skin running tights on, my favorite pair of shoes, and my friend Amy put her confidence boosting red lipstick on me, I’m ready.
Then the all the Phat Girlz meet up for our group picture, there are a lot of #badass women in this group. Phat Girlz is the girls only running group through running wild that I joined back in August. When I first heard about this group I was nervous about joining because I wasn’t as fast runner and didn’t think I would fit into the running community. Boy was I wrong, through this group I’ve made some amazing new friends, who have all pushed me to always do my best. When I first started running I was turtle slow, and even though I may not be Cheetah fast, now I’m somewhere in between. I am a PHAT GIRL and love it. There is also a few ladies running from my Biggest Loser group today too, we take another group photo and LOTS of selfies.
We are all about the selfies. Made sure to go to the bathroom one more time and then it’s time to get into our starting pace corrals, we all give hugs, high fives and say see you at the finish line. I’m in the 12min mile pace group, my goal is to finish in under 2 hours. My friend Miranda is running with me today, whois one of my close friends and this is our 2nd race we have ran together. It’s great having encouragement and support along the way.
The national anthem played and then we were off. Just before we hit the bridge, we heard cheering and saw 2 of our friends taking pictures. Thanks Nina & Kelly!!!
About 5 miles into the race we hit the 1st hill, I had my music playing and the song Overcomer by Mandisa started playing. In that moment I thought “ok this is my race, I can do this”. When we reached the top of the bridge there was a DJ playing music and of course we stopped and took a selfie or what we like to call a runfie.
And then we were off again, through Gulf Breeze and then hit the next hill that had an incline and was slanted. As I’m running up it, I can feel my legs starting to cuss at me and I wanted so bad to walk. I told myself, “Come on girl just power through.” As soon as the words left my mouth the song Power by Dietrick Haddon played and I found my second wind. A few miles later I was at the last bridge and as I’m running up that last hill the song I Feel so Alive by Capitol Kings came on. As I came to the top of that last hill, I truly felt alive. I had 1 mile left and I gave it my all. I crossed that finish line at 1:50:28, 10 minutes better that I had wanted to. I crushed my goal and I got my 1st BLING!! The 1st person who I hugged when I crossed that finish line was my friend Heather, who if it wasn’t for her telling me about the Biggest Loser weight loss group we’re in, I would have probably never accomplished any of this.
Today has been probably the best, toughest and most exhausting day of my life. I’m so proud of each of my friends that ran today, we all crushed our goals. We are a #badass group of women!!!!! I’m so gratefully for each person that I ran with today and who came out as support. You all mean the world to me, thanks for all the training, the tough love talks and being a part of my life. Love you all so much. Next big goal to crush my 1st Half Marathon on March 21st.
Always, Angie B