California Chrome won the Preakness.

Stacey and General George made the top 10 and will do their freestyle. One goal down, two to go.

And I finished a 5K walk.

routemapI work for Multnomah County, which has been doing a series of heart awareness events. This is where I won my Nike Fuel and new i-pod; this inspired me to start my recent quest for lifestyle improvement.

I decided to try this 5K walk as good way to get some exercise on a Saturday and do something I’ve always wanted to do: walk the East Bank Esplanade.

I have walked a 5K before, but it’s been many years.

Before I begin, let me say this. I had a good time, but being among so many people is really not my thing.

afterstartSo at 9:30, Finn and I started.

My safety net was there was a 1-mile turnaround for those needing a shorter route. But at the 1/2 mile mark I felt okay and kept going.

quarterJust before we reached the Steel Bridge, things were thinning out, but the bridge clumped everyone up again.

steelbridgeAfter the bridge was the halfway mark, and there was a hydration station. I had brought water for Finn and I, but he enjoyed drinking from a real bowl and playing for a few minutes with the other dog, and we were off again. Finn

From here it was simply a walk back to the finish line. I was definitely feeling it, but I knew I could do it. finish

As we were nearing the finish line and I knew I could do it, I got to thinking about this walk as a metaphor for my weight loss journey.

I had prepared with a few supplies. I had a buddy and support in Finn. I had taken breaks. I had a backup plan.

I hope I remember this day the next time I have a bad day with my new lifestyle. Because while California Chrome’s owner had a dream about hose this horse would win the Kentucky Derby before he was born, and while Stacey Riggs wishes to win her competition, it’s really work that makes it happen. One step at a time.