You know how sometimes I agree to things because they sound like they’ll make for a good story? Well I did it again. Except this time the joke was on me because it kicked my out of shape ass.
A couple of months ago my Mom and Bonus Dad started talking about doing The Fat Boy 5K. It’s a local race that’s been happening for years. Only 1,000 people can sign up and everyone gets stickers that say “Fat Boy 5K Top 1,000 Finisher!” Finishers are greeted with free beer, chocolate milk, Cokes, Kristy-Kreme doughnuts, Moon Pies (the full sized kind not those tiny ones that they throw at Mardi Gras), and gigantic sausage poboys. Individuals compete but are also invited to join teams. Teams must weigh a minimum of 650 lbs to qualify and you can have as many people as you want. Prize winners get things like chocolate Easter bunnies and other snacks to go with their medals. What’s not to love?!
My Bonus Dad wanted to run the race. Mom wanted to participate but not hold him back so she mentioned it to me. In a moment of silly loyalty to my mother I enthusiastically said “I’ll do it!” At some point we decided that pushing the twins would be a great idea. People can’t judge you for being slow if you’re pushing two babies in a double stroller right?! I’m not sure who’s idea it was but for the sake of story telling I’m blaming her for this one. So Bonus Dad (aka Grandy) signed us all up and then poof! I forgot about it…multiple times.
I got up the morning of the race at 5:45am and couldn’t help but wonder what the hell I was doing with my life. I spent a considerable amount of time mentally cussing Past Diana for agreeing to this dumb crap. Ya’ll! I don’t do physical activity! I have no idea what possessed me to believe that this was a good idea. I love my Momma though and, as we’ve already established, I’m an idiot. I got the girls ready and loaded them up and headed out to the race site. I should have turned back when I got there and saw real racers. My stupid ass soldiered on though. Did I stretch? Nah! It’s just walking right?! Did I drink water? Oh no girl! Who needs water when you have tea? Green tea is healthy right?! Idiot. Of course, in true Diana fashion my stomach started feeling sketchy. Looking back it was probably my body telling me to turn around and go home. You can’t wear the shirt if you don’t do the race though so I powered through it. I even turned down a Krispy Kreme doughnut which is something I never do.
The race started and there was no turning back. We were walking. We were talking. It was beautiful. I felt so confident that I offered to be the stroller pusher. The twins gave us side eye and looked around at all of the houses. By some miracle they went to sleep. Around a half a mile in my hip started to ache. My hips were bad before the twins but they are an absolute nightmare now. I kept pushing. I ignore the pain most days so why would today be any different. It’s just a 5K. If Mom can do it so can I damn it.
At about one mile the sweat really started rolling. Talking became more difficult but I was still doing my best to joke and laugh. Somewhere in there I was informed that there were hills on the track. By “informed” I mean that I rounded a corner and BOOM! Hills! I already knew I was in over my head at this point but I was determined. I cursed and we kept moving. The crowd around us started thinning. We were quite obviously at the back of the pack. We were just there to participate and not race though so I wasn’t bothered.
At the half way point I went from having a conversation to trying to motivate myself. My breathing was heavy and I stripped down to my sports bra. And in case you were wondering, $5 leggings from Walmart don’t breathe well. AT. ALL. It got harder and harder to distract myself from the fact that every part of my body was sweating. It wasn’t really hot but the air was thick and muggy. Between the sweat and the humidity I felt like I was walking through soup. We started to see people on their way back to the finish line. They cheered us on. We politely waved and smiled. I mentally flipped Past Diana the bird. The pain in my hip was now shooting down my leg and I could feel a blister forming on my toe. We powered on.
With one mile left I started seeing black spots in my vision. Hyperventilating probably. This is what happens when you have kids after being out of shape to begin with. With a half a mile left motivating myself turned into me cursing everything in sight. “F this road. F this race.” I wasn’t even saying things that made sense any more. “F u stupid birds!” I’m convinced that the last part of the race I was running completely on irritation and a desire to get to the van and be done with it. My Mom barely complained the entire time. She’s walked half marathons. I have no idea why I thought I could keep up with her.
As we approached the finish line the smell of hot sausage poboys filled my nose and helped lift my spirits. The seconds were ticking away on the time clock. We had thirty seconds to cross the finish line before our race time would be one hour. So we ran it. We crossed the finish line laughing as our fellow racers cheered us on. It was glorious. We were two of the last people to finish but damn it we finished and we did it in under an hour. I’m convinced that my Mom would have finished before then if I hadn’t been with her but she’s nice enough not to say so. Grandy greeted us with hugs and cold beer. I have no idea what kind it was but through the fog of my exercise-addled mind it tasted glorious. I wolfed down a sausage po-boy the size of my arm in about 5 minutes. The twins toddled around and played in the grass. I was so worn out and dizzy that my Bonus Dad drove me home.
I nearly keeled over. I put my post baby body out for all to see even though it made me uncomfortable. My feet were blistered, my hip felt like it was being stabbed, and I was covered in sweat. But we finished and we finished with Joy and laughter. I learned just how out of shape I am. It was a little sad to learn but it helped me to remember that I need to take care of my body. It also helped me see my Mom in a new light. She frequently downplays herself but she’s a G. Next year I’ll be better prepared.