Ever since J and I got married back in July of 1999, we have spent Thanksgiving with his folks in Southern Illinois. This year was different. His folks decided to visit J’s 94-year-young grandmother over the Thanksgiving holiday in South Carolina. So for the first time in 14 years we were home.

In our town there is an annual Turkey Trot through the downtown area on Thanksgiving morning. This 5K is held in memory of a man that worked at my high school at the same time I was there. The money raised for the “race” goes toward scholarships for high school students of character. As they state on their website: “The Bonfield Express Foundation is a fast-growing local charity working to build character and community commitment in high school students.”In the back of my mind I have always thought that it would fun to participate in this event. I think I also thought this because I knew I probably would never get a chance.

So, the chance arrived. I then looked at the weather reports. When I saw that it was supposed to be in the 50s and probably the 40s for that morning (the race is at 8:30) I began to think more seriously about it. I told J what I was thinking. His initial response was “You are going to be totally beat for the rest of the day.” I told him that I wouldn’t run the whole way and that I have walked in many 5Ks in the past. I would be fine. So I took the plunge and signed up.

On the Sunday prior to the race, I decided I better go buy some actual exercise pants since I had been walking/minimal jogging in my jeans up to this point. So after purchasing some good ole Target pants, I tried them out around the neighborhood. With the help of my fitbit I tried to go as close to the distance set for Thursday. I even tried to run most of it. This was a first for me. I took the plunge and was proud of myself for running longer than I had previously while taking periodic walking breaks. I was home in about 45 minutes and did about three miles.

The day of the race arrives. A beautiful sunny brisk day. J and the girls come with me to cheer me on. We arrive at the event and meet 6,000 of my closest friends. Wow. Biggest race turnout yet. I attempt to get in front of the walkers. I decide I am going to try to run this thing as long as I am able. J and the girls go off to the coffee shop and plan on meeting me at the finish line. The national anthem is sung. All 6,000 voices are silenced. Then the race began.

I am proud to say that I ran and I kept running. Didn’t even stop to get a drink of water or a donut (as some kind homeowner was passing out!) My jogging speed may have been the same as a fast walker but … I was running! It was so neat to see people coming out of their houses, banging their pots and pans and clapping/cheering us on. My end time was 43:41. Not too shabby.

One last thing. Remember how J said I was going to be all tired afterwards? Guess who was the tired one on Friday and had to take a nap and all? I’ll just say it wasn’t me.