Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 Komen Race for the Cure

Just as we have done in the past 3 years, we have pulled ourselves out of bed on an early Saturday morning to run and walk for a purpose. This year, I took the reigns of Team Captain for our company team and I happily welcomed some new faces. One of whom had never run a 5K before, so this was very exciting indeed. This is our team, minus one face who was ill that morning, so she had to bow out. Nevertheless, her husband rocked it out and could have run it twice before I finished. ha ha, but this year was just about finishing and honoring our loved ones.
All of us were inspired to run for someone, and the Friday before the race, I sent a note reaching out to my fellow co-workers to see if they wanted us to include a special name to the list. Here is the list that we all wore on the day. Survivors give me hope. People battling cancer right now could use a card like this one. I know I totally would have sent one to Margie!

Anyhow, here's a gratuitous picture of my sugarbean. Isn't she a doll? All cozy in the jogger with her juice, her iTouch (ready to watch The Princess & the Frog & Alice)
And the race? It was a resounding success, all-in-all. I say all-in-all because as always, the start is a hot mess. I pay extra to be timed, who knows why? Maybe just to see how I improve from year to year, not sure. And every year, I fail to get to the front to avoid the giant collision at the start. This year, maneuverability became even more taxing because Mari weighs more, I had more in the buggy, and I'm nearly 4 months pregnant. Not excuses, just obstacles I had to overcome. Which, when you throw in all of the aggressive people, amateur runners who aren't aware on the course, and people who just don't care, you are bound to almost run into a really cute elderly lady who was probably cussing you in her head. That image of fright and anger still lingers with me. Even though the near collision wasn't my fault because a guy had rammed his shoulder into mine as he and his wife/running partner whizzed by me, I still felt guilty. I questioned my sanity as to why I was even in the race to begin with. I just kept telling myself, make it to that first mile. Get to the mile and you'll be ok. Everything will be ok.

I turned the corner, and saw the first mile marker and I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Here is where my ego took a slight hit because the time said 14 minutes. Yes, I'm about 15 lbs heavier than normal, I was pushing nearly 40lbs, and I'm growing a human, but the inner athlete in me still wants to be in that sub 9 minute range. Dream big! I rubbed my belly, sent a prayer to our child for good health. Said a prayer for my good health. And prayed for Mari and her amazing energy and health. I'm still setting a good example and the goal is to finish the race healthy and uninjured. Mari pleaded with me to "go faster Mommy." I glanced at my heartrate monitor, and looked ahead. I thought, yeah, I can jog this part. It's all downhill. Not many people, and no harm. We had a nice mile-long jog at about a 10 minute mile pace. She was happy, I was happy. We told many people good job. I talked with a man pushing his 3 year old. He told me he had a 20+ child. I kidded that he had so much fun the first time around that he had to do it all over again. :D He smiled and looked down at his daughter and I could see the pride in his eyes. I knew he was running for her future. I passed a crafty 60+ woman who had fashioned a granny bonnet out of the scarves we had received. I passed a couple of survivors, and a couple of survivors passed me.

Then we reached the bottom of the last big hill, I glanced at my monitor and realized that I had to go back to walking. I was having a bit too much fun, apparently, and my heart rate had gotten out of control. I pushed the stroller up to the top and was invigorated by the sun kissing our sweaty bodies. The music grew louder, my legs began to tighten, and inside deep down, my body was aching to run. It took all of my will to keep that desire at bay. Mari continued to cheer on the walkers and runners. I happily cheered too, letting them know they were nearly done. Right before we were to round the last corner, this gal came up next to me and encouraged me to run. She told me that I was her inspiration and that we needed to finish it together. I smiled and let her know I appreciated her sentiments. I promised I would catch up. Just 30 more seconds. I can keep walking for 30 seconds to get the beats down. But my excitement pulsing through my body was not allowing it. I finally gave in and with less than 250 meters remaining, I kicked it in gear. Not quite a full on sprint, but close. And then I saw my beloved. He encouraged me to go faster. I warned him about my heart rate and then looked up. Less than a hundred, I can totally manage. Then a path of people had parted and I kicked in as high of gear as I possibly could. I not only caught up to my friend, but I passed her and I could hear her chuckling. After we crossed the finish line, she gave me a high five.

I then went off in search of a banana, an apple, some yogurt, and definitely some water. I was so grateful that I packed an extra shirt and flip flops to change into because I was done wearing the compression top.It was a great run and I'm so glad I was able to finish, and not just finish, but finish strong. Very, very blessed to have my health to run for a purpose. I'm looking forward to next year!

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