Monday, September 27, 2010

Race for the Cure

This past Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do.  I actually participated in a 5K.  The back story is quite interesting, so please bear with me for a moment.

Late Spring 2010
My friend Ryan asked me to join her in the Race for the Cure 5K in September.  Knowing that I needed to get in shape, I agreed.  She even had a code to allow me $5 off of the registration fee.  I began to do some initial planning for how to train, as I am not a runner.  Those plans were put on hold as I spent every waking minute of free time working on my graduate thesis.

Early Summer 2010
I found a 6 week program that seemed to work well for the training.  It was a combination of walking, running, and other exercise.  I decided to extend it out to be a 10 week program, allowing myself a few skip days, as I was still working on my thesis.  So there I started - 100 degree temperatures and I was running my heart out.  After my first attempt at running 1/2 mile straight (no breaks), I thought I was going to die and took a few days off.  Gradually I worked my way up to running a mile straight without feeling like total death.  (It still didn't feel great - I don't believe the people who get a runner's high).

Mid Summer 2010
I met up with Ryan to do a little shopping for the BFFs daughter.  She was telling me about her progress in losing her baby weight, and I mentioned that I can now run a mile without feeling like death.  My goal was to be able to run 2 miles by the end of the month (August) so I would be prepared.  Ryan asked why I was killing myself trying to run such a long distance.  I replied "for the 5K.  This isn't fun!"  Imagine how I felt as Ryan started laughing hysterically.  She informed me that she was running to work off baby weight, and that we had joined a group with a bunch of older women who couldn't run due to health issues.  WE WERE WALKING!  After the initial shock, I laughed too and decided that I have come this far, may as well keep up the running for my health.

Late Summer 2010
In the few weeks leading up to the race, I began to walk instead of run.  The weather was taking a toll on my allergies and horrible immune system, so walking became my new hobby.  I think my dog liked our extended walks as well.

Race Day - September 25, 2010
I woke up at 5:45am.  That was not fun.  I got ready in a zombie-like state, said good-bye to the husband and dog, and off I went.  Ryan and I got downtown early and walked around.  The buzz in the air was something I am not sure I can explain, but I'll try.  Thousands (I'm talking 18,000+) of men, women, children, and dogs were there, anxiously awaiting the festivities.  Booths began to appear with apparel, free samples, and trivia.  The survivors wore a distinct shirt and thanked the folks who were walking or running to show support.  Ryan and I walked around, taking it all in, and then it was time to walk.  Our goal was to walk the 5K in an hour.  We really wanted to do it in 45 minutes, but we weren't sure how crowded the bridges would be, and well, I am TERRIFIED of heights.  Our first mile was 22 minutes.  Lots of hills, and the crowd was still very thick through the first mile.  We stopped to play in the bubble machine and then kept trucking.  Our second mile was about 19 minutes, so we were improving.  Then, the fun really started.  At the second mile marker there was a rowboat, some water, and a small snack.  We stopped, and I showed Ryan the window to my office.  Then we realized we were losing a lot of time (about 15 minutes in stops so far).  We hadn't made it another 1/4 mile when we had to stop again.  An animal rescue group had a snake and turtle set up to hold/pet on the start of the final bridge.  Of course we had to stop and hold the snake and pet the gazillion pound turtle.  There went another 5 minutes.  We finally crossed the finish line at 1:15:06.  Not too bad considering we had about 20 minutes of goofing off along the way.  So, in reality, our walk took less than an hour, and we felt great!

Over $1,000,000 was raised just in Cincinnati alone for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  Ryan and I are already planning our team for next year, and can't wait to participate again!  What a great way to give back and enjoy some exercise with friends!

**Disclosure:  Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure did not endorse or sponsor this post.  The views in the post are those of the blogger.**

No comments:

Post a Comment