I ran in the Susan G, Komen race in Dallas, Texas on Saturday. It was a chilly morning and the parking areas were packed, I had gotten there a little late. As I rounded the corner of the parking garage I saw they were waving people through, darn it, the garage is full. Now what? Where are these people going to park? I see head they are waving people to another garage. But I think to myself, that is the premium garage they were charging to park in. What they heck, if I have to pay, I will, I need to park! And what do you know, they aren’t charging anymore because it is the only place left to park! Score! I parked super close to the event, walked down a few flight of stairs and all the sudden I was in a steady stream of white and pink t-shirts and pink hats, streamers and anything else people could decorate themselves with to show support.
The expo was going on but I headed for the starting line, I thought to myself, I can get the free stuff later…no need to carry it around. I made my way to the starting line and waited with what seemed to be thousands of people! It was a huge crowd of walkers, runners and everything in between. It was such an awesome sight to see so many people in support of cancer research. I took a few pics, tweeted and we were off!
The start was slow, just because there were so many people trying to run in a narrow area. I decided to just run and see how far I could go, not looking at my watch or trying to run intervals, just running till I wanted to stop. They had said there was water at the halfway point, my goal was to run to the water stop. We weren’t but maybe a half mile in when I say a guy on the side holding his ankle. Bummer I thought, just a half mile in and already hurt. That occupied my mind for a few minutes, thinking of how it happened, what he must be feeling seeing everyone run by him….I think I had created a whole story for him by the time I was almost at one mile. As I peeked at my watch and noticed it said I had been running for a little over 8 minutes, I thought, man, I can do this…just keep running!
It felt good, I wasn’t too winded and the cold air was comfortable and seemed to make the run a little easier. As we turned a corner near a school I heard cheerleaders…did I make it to the half way point? I smiled at myself. As I ran closer to them I saw no water…what is this? Some trick? It’s ok I said to myself….it must be close. I looked down at my watch and calculated how long it should take me to run a mile and a half and well…I was just about there….so I kept going and as I turned the other corner…I saw port-a-potties! This seemed like a good sign, water must be near.
As I approached the water, I took two and walked. I had done it. I ran a mile and a half without stopping. Now this might not sound like a huge feat to some but my whole running career (less than 10 months) I have run intervals at a maximum of 5 minutes, walking one minute. To run 16 or 17 minutes without stopping seemed like a huge deal! All of this was running through my mind as I tossed my cup in to the trash and started to run. Calculations seem to keep the mind busy so as I am trying to figure out what double my current time is I hear someone tell their friend when we get to the second light, we are almost there. Second light I think….hmmm…that can’t be that far, easy breezy! So I run and I run and I run…forever.
I miss several evil cracks and holes in the road, successfully avoiding injury and then all the sudden, as I wipe sweat off my forehead, there it is up ahead, the second light. As I get closer I see the street name is Park, the same street we started on. I quietly thank the mystery lady for the comment about the lights because now that I see it and now it is Park, I feel confident I can keep running and make it in.
As I turn the corner onto Park the street becomes familiar, I remember it from when we walked the 5K as a company team a few years earlier. It isn’t that far I think, totally doable….just keep running. It was surprising easy and as I turned the last corner to the finish line, I sped up and powered in for a time of 33:43, perhaps one of my best average running times. I felt so good after it was done. I had done something for myself and others that morning, helping bring awareness and needed funds to cancer research and well, a little workout for me.
If you can help the Susan G Komen Foundation or want to run in one of their events, please check out their website for more information. Let’s help find a cure today!