This past Saturday was a busy one for sure!
I woke up (before the crack of dawn) and met up with my friends to run 6 miles with our running group. It was muggy (why couldn’t Sunday’s gorgeous weather have rolled in on Saturday?) and the mosquitos were out in full force.
We even pulled in a new recruit who says he does NOT like to run - but he did it!!
Heather and I ran hard and it felt great. After last week’s long run, I was worried about my IT band – but I actually had nothing to worry about! During our 18 mile run the prior weekend, my IT band gave me fits and tightened up towards the end of the run. I had flashbacks to last year’s issues and I might have had a slight freak-out in my car on the way home. Thank goodness with a little ice and a lot of foam rolling, my knee is ok!
Back to this past weekend, after our 6 mile run I drove to Sulphur, LA for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K!
Over 3,000 walkers/runners came out to this event! In the four years this event has taken place in our area, 2012′s event was by far the largest!
My team – my lovely co-workers! :0)
The National Anthem
All of the Breast Cancer survivors came on stage and told us their names and the amount of years they’ve been free from breast cancer….I even heard a few 20 + year survivors in there!
My dad came out to support, too! Gotta love him!! :0)
So, on to the run/walk….let me start off by saying, this course was not a timed course. The purpose of walking/running was not to “win” or to race to the finish – each and every person on the course was there to help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer detection/research.
Enter: Me, Competitive Karen.
I lined up at the very front of the line – something I NEVER do. When we were told to GO, I started running. Several others were running as well but before long, I was in the lead – something that I’m definitely not used to.
I followed arrows and signs through the looping neighborhood as I made my way through the course. Before long, a guy flew past me and I tried to keep a pace fast enough to keep him in my line of vision. I was running an 8:40 and I felt great! I hit the 2 mile mark around 17:30 ish which was a great pace for me. I eventually lost him and was on my own once again.
I had to take a picture of the course with no one in front of me because that never happens!
As I approached (what I thought was) the home stretch, I asked a course worker and a set of cheerleaders which way to go because I couldn’t figure out which set of arrows were meant for me. They pointed straight and said “That way!” and before long, I met up with all 3,000 walkers. Compeletely confused, I had no clue where I was! That’s when I noticed – I passed the SAME group of cheerleaders again. They told me (again) “The finish line is that way”….I kept running “that way” and before long, I passed the same cheerleaders AGAIN! By that point, I let frustration take over as I looked down at my Garmin – 3.65 miles. I had been excited about the prospect of crossing the finish line in 2nd place and I knew that was not going to happen any longer. Eventually, I found and crossed the finish line with probably the longest 5K distance ever recorded – 4.02 miles!
Even though I let frustration get to me, I once again had to remind myself the reason for being out on the course. Cancer is an awful disease and my purpose was to support the cause, not about finishing with a good time or crossing the finsh line first.
I later discovered that wrong directions were given all around – some walkers only walked a mile while others walked the same loop several times. Last year, they had no issues with the course so I know this is not a recurring issue – no big deal!
Overall, it was an AWESOME event and raised a lot of money!! We have a FABULOUS ACS Staff team in our area and together with awesome volunteers, lives are being touched and changed!
I love supporting a cause while running at the same time! It makes me feel as if my running has a purpose! There’s just something fulfilling about helping others! :0)