Starting with my "No Spend Month" challenge, seems I have gotten into the spirit up pushing myself. And I like it. It feels good. And since challenges are more fun when done with another person, I came up with a challenge for my friend Courtney who's wearing the pink jacket in the picture below. Her challenge isn't financial. It's weight loss. She's been going to Beastmode workouts with me for the last month and a half but she said she's not seeing the results she'd like to see. So I challenged her, in addition to our working out, for one week, and possibly extending it to two, to only drink water and not eat any sweets. We're both half way through our first week and are proud to say that we are both doing well in our personal challenges. Whoo-hoo!!

But back to explain this medal I'm holding up in the above picture..

Last Friday night, after working twelve hours (and dealing with a particularly sick kid), I clocked out, crossed the campus, and competed in my first ever 5k race- my job's Memorial Health Healthy for Life 5k Run & Fun Walk. Being that I had never run in a 5k, I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I had purposed in my mind was to not stop running. Even if I got tired, too hot, legs tight, bridge too steep, whatever it was. I was determined to run/jog the whole thing. Even if it meant I had to trot a few steps.

Me and my fellow Respiratory Therapists posing before the race.

As I was running, I kept seeing people go around me. It started to take a toll on me. Now, I don't consider myself to be a runner. I like being athletic and physically fit, but I've never done a distance run. One man would pass, then another, then a guy and his baby in a stroller. I'm thinking, "Oh, my God. I'm pushing myself but all of these people are passing me. Even a guy and his baby. What the what???" By this time, I figured I was at the back of all of the runners and there were only walkers behind me and they were far behind. But with less than a half mile to go, I could hear someone breathing behind me. Another runner about to pass me?!? I was getting really blowed by this point. I wanted to look back and see who it was but didn't want to break my concentration. They were gaining on me. I could hear their footsteps getting closer. I could darn near feel their breath on my neck. I was determined to not let them pass me. Well, my mind was, but my legs didn't seem to agree.  And there she went. Inched right around me. I was upset to have let another person pass me. I knew it just couldn't end that way.

Now this is where the mind over matter kicks in. We were rounding the corner to the finish line. With all that was left in me, and the crowd and the Healthy for Life emcee cheering me on, I sprinted the rest of the way in, passing the last runner who'd just passed me a few steps back. Yes! I'd passed the last person who passed me and completed the race without stopping to walk. As far as I was concerned, I'd WON!!!

Ready to get it!

Once again, since I'd never run a 5k, I had no idea where to look for my time. So I missed it, but the girl who I'd passed, a nurse on the Telemetry floor, came over and we began talking. She said we'd finished in a little under 28 minutes. I wasn't really sure what to make of that because it meant we averaged a little over a 9 minute mile. I'm used to going a little faster than that, but whatevs. She (I never got her name) informed me that she'd run other runs- 5ks, 10ks, >>the Bridge Run<<, and was planning to do the >>Color Vibe<< in December. I've invited my friends and coworkers to do the Color Vibe as well. It's on my birthday. Not sure how I want to do it. The fun of the color vibe is getting blasted with all of the different colors, so I would like to experience that with them, but I also want to try and see if I can improve on my time as well. Hm.. Anywho, back to the story.

So I'd finished the race and was snacking on Powerade and a pastry waiting to cheer my friends across the line. The next of us to come in was my coworker, Jessica (who is taking the above pictures on her phone). After we all finished, we snacked, and line danced as the DJ was playing every Cupid Shuffle and Bus Stop known to man. Sidenote- if you really want to feel a burn in your thighs, run a 5k then jump into a line dance. Buuuuuuuurrrrrn.

We waited around a little bit longer hoping to win one of the many raffles that was going on, one in particular being for a bike. But before the raffle, they awarded the racers. The emcee called the overall 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place; Men's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place; then Women's 1st, 2nd, and when she got to the 3rd, she announced "Sasha Patterson"!!! I just stood there. I'm not Sasha. My friends were pushing me up to the podium. No way. The last thing I wanted is to walk up there and be turned around because the award was actually for "Sasha". Embarrassing. So no one walked up. She called again, "Sasha? Sandria? #217?" I looked down at the number on my shirt and began jumping and squealing. "Aaaaaah!" I'd actually placed?? What the what? 

The winners received a medal and some bread. Seemed comical at first, but it's come in handy on my "No Spend Challenge". "Heeey-oh!" in my Jason Pitts' voice.

An unexpected win on top of a win!! I had no idea. It wasn't even a goal of mine to place but I did!! It felt amazing and motivated me to think "What's next?" As I'm walking off of the podium, the Telemetry nurse I'd passed at the last minute to secure this spot came up to congratulate me and point out how close it was between me and her and point out the fact that I would not have even placed had I not pushed through on that last curve. That alerted me to how important it is to push and finish strong. Another female runner who was a little older than the two of us came over to congratulate both of us. She said she was behind us and watched us the whole race and thanked us for motivating her. It was so sweet. It was just an overall good day.

My coworkers and I are all on different physical and endurance levels, but we are all challenging ourselves to beat our individual times. I've set a goal for myself to come in under 25 minutes the next time. Let's go!!


Let me know what you think! But please be nice. Being negative is just no fun. K?