Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kathleen the Conqueror! - Part 2

Read part 1 here

After finding out about Kathleen's accident, I really wanted to visit with her to give her some support and I realized how much I missed all our good times together, so I proposed that we have a girls' weekend. Sometime in October, I made a trip down to visit Kat and we had a wonderful weekend. It was exactly like old times: we went shopping, ate yummy food, visited the Botanical Gardens, etc. Whilst she refuses to enter two story malls, I find it amazing that Kat was down for hitting the mall. Kat had been holding up well all day with her back after doing quite a bit of walking, but I could tell that her back had started to really bother her at the mall. We had a great time that weekend and really got to be girls together again, I was sad to leave and head back to Oklahoma.

After I returned to Oklahoma, Kathleen and I continued to stay in touch, we began starting to plan Kathleen's comeback - her first 10k! Kathleen wanted to do the Cowtown 10k because it was right around the anniversary for a year from her accident and she had been planning on doing the 10k before her accident. It was going to be a big day! Over the next few months Kathleen and I kept in touch until we drew near to the time for our 10k. The run was on February 23rd and I don't believe I realized until late January or early February that Kathleen was not planning on running the entire 10k. I remember feeling like an idiot and just awful for assuming that she was going to run the whole thing. I get so obsessed over running sometimes that I get tunnel vision, it's ridiculous! But for someone that had issues and pain from our girls' day back in October, I was damn proud that Kat was going to tackle a 10k no matter how she got there! Run, walk, crawl! 

The night before the 10k, Kat and I went over our game plan for the race. When we first got to talking about the run way back in the fall, I was planning on running it the fastest I could and meeting Kat at the finish line. I had run the 10k distance many times before but this would be my first official 10k and I really wanted to try and get it in under an hour. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that as much as that seemed important to me, it was not nearly as important as being there for Kat on her big day; so I decided I would stick with Kat for the entire race and try to be for her what Rik was for me on my Marathon Day. So, the night before Kat's big day, we went over her game plan and over her goals. I promised her I would do my best to get her to the finish line in at the very least her minimum time goal. Kathleen also told me a few sayings that motivated her when she was training.

The next morning we got up bright and early and froze our behinds off and we stood in line at the start line. We took pictures, pumped ourselves up and got ready to tackle the beast!
Friggin chilly!!!

Let me just say that I was soooooooo proud of Kathleen that day. We kept going and going and I know that Kathleen was wearing out, but I just kept chanting various things that I hoped encouraged her - ie: the sayings she had told me motivated her and telling her she could do it and that she would make it and that she was doing awesome! . For awhile the only saying I could remember was "Train insane or remain the same." and I just kept repeating it when I could tell Kat was wearing out. It was an incredible experience for me to be there for someone else's triumph. I kept an eye on the clock for Kat and let her know when she needed to make up time to make her goal and to just generally let her know where we were at as far as her time goals went and which one she was closest to, etc. I would tell her that if she wanted to make it in x amount of minutes that we had to pick up our pace but that we could go to the next goal if she wasn't comfortable with that. It felt good to be able to do that for someone else like Rik did for me at my marathon, and it made me all the more appreciative to him for it. I even did a countdown for Kat at the end. I started counting down a little less than a mile from the finish line and once Kat made the decision to run her way in I counted by minutes, it was exhilarating and I just about burst at the finish line. Kathleen finished and she had put her all into it, oh how proud I was of her!

Done and done!

In my head, Kathleen represented true determination and success by accomplishing her 10k goal. I'm so very grateful to have been a part of such an awesome experience. Thanks to my dear friend, Kat.