Saturday I ran the biggest loser 5k in Miami! it was super exciting because me and Tory (my friend whos lost 90lbs that i met at the biggest loser half marathon- PCB) managed to pull together a team of 32 people (technically 34, but one of my coaches and her husband didnt get to register for the team but were there running) to run the 5k!! most of the runners were beginners or never had done one before. i was so excited they were so brave to come out!!
the race started at 7am so i had to wake up super early. you know what that means! couldnt fall asleep. i did manage to get about 5 hours though. it was actually cold (for miami) this morning.when i got there it was still dark. i went to packet pick up and it was a zoo. the L-R line was like a mile long and no one was in the S-Z line. the dude just kept yelling "ANYONE S-Z??" while we all gave him the death stare. im still mind boggled as to why he never offered to help out the woman struggling to keep up with our line. im willing to bet they were short on volunteers because this was my 4th BLRW race and it was NOT like the others. much less organized. much less personal. no cheerleaders or live bands at the mile markers. It also wasn't a premier destination" thought. I felt kind of bad because i told everyone how awesome this race series is, but then it was kind of like a normal 5k except biggest loser contestants hosted it. fortunately they all seemed to have a really good time anyway.
because we had a group of 25+ we were supposed to get a team tent. unfortunately, they didnt have tent for us. they did give us a table with our team name on a sign behind it. i never got to see all 32 of us together, and was sad post race when i saw on IG there were people on our team there who just never found our table. Bummer, but just the way the cookie crumbled!
anyways. i didnt get to do a group stretch before the race as planned. but those of us who found each other did get to start together. that was nice :) even though we were a team we raced as individuals. as Jackie Evans says " running races is the most social alone thing you can do." SO TRUE.
I prayed with a few of the women from the team before the race. I am not necessarily religious but it know I believe in something an my belief in some type of higher power has definitely grown over the last few years- but noticeably in the last few months. All I know is I believe in feeling good and being part of their prayer circle before the race felt really good so I am glad I was able to be a part of it. i am glad i took the opportunity to push myself today because i ran my fastest recorded 5k to date. my first 5k i ran just below a 16 minute mile. this race i ran just above a 10 minute mile. i took more than 5 minutes off of my mile!! thats insane! to think if i can take off another 2 mins i will be running at DOUBLE the speed of my very slow first 5k!
when i finished i ran back and high 5'd my team mates i passed along the way. when i got to what i thought was the last of our team i stopped and walked with two of the girls, Yani & Sandra. Yani has already lost like 170 or some crazy amount of pounds! she is still technically over weight and working towards her goals & i think this may have been her first 5k! I do need to verify that though, so dont quote me. when we got close to the finish i made them promise that no matter how slow they were walking right now, they would RUN over the finish line. I took their phones so i could take a pic and i waited. sure enough, they RAN OVER THAT LINE!!! We took pictures and hugged like crazy and Yani was so emotional. it was so beautiful. truly humbling and such a good reminder WHY i am doing this now. its still very much about my own transformation, becuase i am not done. but its also SO MUCH about others. had i never started posting about my weightloss on the internet Yani would not be following me. She wouldnt have been on my team today, i wouldnt have had a team today! and she may not have ever done the 5k. SHE deserves credit because SHE did the work. she registered, she got out of bed, she showed up, she took all those steps. however, i feel so honored to know a little piece of what drove her to make all those choices was my influence. whether its bragging or not, i am very happy to say that i am literally slowly changing the world, one person at a time.
after the team finished the race i gave out some business cards, some shakeO samples, and had made Shakeology energy bites for everyone to try. i also did a raffle and gave away a shaker cup and some sample packets. i sent the leftover bites home with Tory and a really fun photographer, Steve, because even if it is healthy, if it TASTES like junk food, i will eat ALL of it in a moment of weakness. last thing i need is to eat the equivalent of 4 scoops of shakeology, a jar of peanut butter, a cup of oatmeal, and a half cup of almonds and shredded coconut in one serving LOL
unfortunately i didnt get to meet Bobby Saleem(runner up of the most recent season)! i was in packet pick up line for too long before the race, and then after the race i ran back to finish with my girls, and then was busy Shake-ing and Share-ing. By the time i got to even think about finding him for a picture, he was gone :( i got to see him on stage and he shouted out the girls with the tutus though lol so the love was there. I did get to see Dan & Jackie Evans again! I am beginning to feel like theyre my friends. I have met them at 4 races in a years time. I have best friends i have seen less than 4x in a year LOL at by this race they recognized and remembered me. Jackie gave me a big ol hug when i went over to the stage and Dan said i looked "beautiful as always". i just love them. Jackies so warm and mom-like and Dan is just a cool guy. They make me feel good and give me hope that in 5 years ill still be living this life just like they are- against the odds.
i got to see Nick, the guy who videotaped me at the half marathon, again! that was pretty cool! i love all these familiar faces!! He asked if i had been in touch with Francelina and Jeff- contestants i met at the half marathon. I told him id done some instagram commenting and stuff, but didnt really get the vibe they liked me very much, so i was still following but not really interacting. he looked at me like i was crazy and told me that Francie told him " that girl ashley is so brave for that, i want to do that" about my skin pictures! So i am not crazy!! my pictures really DID influence Francelina to show her skin! do u have any idea how heartwarming that is to me?! She has a larger following that i do, so she can encourage more people than i can to stop being so damn ashamed and hiding. i know how FREE i felt sharing those pics, and i hope she did too. i know biggest loser contestants are just normal people- but i loved Francie on the show! so naturally, when i got to meet her in person, i want her to like me too! i dont NEED validation from anyone, but its nice to know someone you support and look up to feels the same way about you. im going to stop telling myself she thinks i am an annoying, weird, superfan, and just continue to comment on her posts like i used to. She's getting surgery in 13 days!!! And I'm pretty sure it'll be well documented so im really excited to follow that!
Next biggest loser run walk stop will be may 3 in Beaumont Texas. There is a mud run at the Spartan Race in April - but I kind of want to do the whole 8 miles- not the biggest loser abbreviated chunk. we shall see!!