Posts Tagged ‘Susan G. Komen 5K’
Can you believe a year ago I was just starting to run? I remember those early mornings where I could only run 1-3 minutes at a time before I needed to walk or sometimes even quit. I remember the 5K’s at Komen(year 1 and 2), The Gift of Life 5K, and even the local races like the lightening bug race. I remember the achy legs and the dreadful walk up and down the stairs just to go to bed. I remember it was rough and now I am reflecting back on a 13.1 mile run that may have been the most rewarding run I’ve had thus far.
I thought the best way to commemorate this event was to of course reflect on the run itself and offer up some real truths…
The run was well so tough and so extremely rewarding that it is honestly hard to balance two such very different emotions. I was there with three very inspirational friends and a friend’s dad that offered up great advice and was a real motivator. So Ashley and Ann headed to downtown Akron with me at 6:00 in the morning. When we got there we arrived- top floor of the parking garage in the cold air and headed toward the meeting place. By some miracle I overheard a voice say (yes with 15,000 people there) “I tried to call Jaci” and like BAM Jen and her dad were standing right behind us in the 10:30 pace group. How we managed to find each other in all of those people is what I would typically call impossible so I can only assume it was fate.
We took off on the course with fireworks in the air and tears in my eyes. It was such an overwhelming feeling that I honestly had tears in my eyes as we took off because I feel like I have been thinking about this event for months and for it to actually be there was such a crazy but wonderful feeling.
I would say the first 4 miles were just full of adrenaline and fun. Because I had completed a lot of 5K’s over the past year I was 100% confident that I could run the 3 miles so I was just having fun and taking my time at a pretty solid 11 min/mile pace. Mile 7 was a steady incline up hill and was when I really started to feel my legs start to tremble. It was pretty much a full mile of just oh my goodness when is this torture going to end. And like most things, the pain came to an end when we leveled out around mile 8. Now let’s not forget about mile 4-7… those miles were truly about my body. I really tried to concentrate on everything going on- my feet putting one front in front of the other, my arms pumping but not too much in an attempt to “chi run” and my hips working on the rotation and the movement that they hadn’t felt in quite a while. It was one of those times when you kind of have that “AHA” moment and you realize what your body can actually do and while I could tell mine was going to start feeling a little sore in the near future it was truly a cool feeling/realization to come to. So after mile 8 leveled out we were really on the home stretch. My legs were TIRED especially my right hamstring and it was getting almost impossible to ignore. I didn’t even say it outloud to Ann though who was trucking along beside me because something about saying it out loud made it too real for me. I passed a sign right around mile 9 that read “Sure it hurts, but it’s not getting worse. Keep going.” And that sign was right! It wasn’t that my legs hurt any worse at mile 9 than they did at mile 7 it was a steady pain and while that doesn’t sound ideal it was better than it getting worse and worse as the miles went on. That sign may have saved me.
Or maybe it was the guy with the Obama mask on standing outside his house waving at people. That may have saved me too.
So as we hit mile 10 the first thing that popped into my head (and probably most of those around me) was… Just a 5K left and I can do that! Well that was the longest and perhaps the most painful 5K I have ever been in. I had to really mentally tell myself that I was strong and that I could finish this thing and knowing that if I finished it I would accomplishment one of my life goals or “bucket list” item if you will kept me going.
Until we finally hit that sign that said 1 mile left. Realizing that we had been at a steady 11 min/mile pace for the entire run made it that much easier to just keep going. One foot in front of the other is what I kept repeating in my head. You can do it Jaci are the words I kept telling myself. The mile was long but it was the weirdest mile I have ever experienced. It was like the last mile of a stage in my life. A stage in my life where I only dreamed of being a “runner.” The type of runner that could wake up one morning and go complete the Akron Half Marathon. The type of runner that could do more. Hell, I was a runner that last mile and every single mile before it. The miles a year ago- I was a runner. The miles 4 months ago- I was a runner. And now I’m a runner that did a half marathon.
While that last mile was a mile I’ll never forget the best part of the race had to be the turn into the stadium where the finish line was. The road was hard for 13 miles, the people cheered and we made it through, but that was nothing like the last few steps of that marathon. As I rounded the corner into the stage hand in hand with Ann I went numb. My entire body went numb. I was so overwhelmed with joy at the amount of people on the field, in the stands, and surrounding us with smiles and cheers that it no longer mattered that I was sweaty and gross. It didn’t matter that my legs hurt or that my hand had fallen asleep a mile before. All that really mattered was that I did.
I completed a half marathon. I completed a half marathon in 2 hours 27 minutes and 33 seconds. I completed a half marathon in which I RAN EVERY SINGLE STEP of that way. I, the girl that could barely run a mile just a year ago, completed a half marathon.
I did. And I want to do it again.
But what about the real truth? It sounds great right- I cried, I got a medal and a sweat hat, and I accomplished a goal I set for myself. That is all great news. But what about the rest?
It was tough. It was really tough for me. If I had to do it over I would NOT have scheduled a half marathon just 2 weeks after my wedding and days after I returned from my honeymoon. I would have trained harder- longer- and I would have ran it faster and harder. You have to WORK to complete these types of goals. At least I do. 13.1 miles DOES NOT come easily to this girl. You have to work. You have to work HARD. And trust me I know that is it TIME CONSUMING and sometimes you just DON’T FEEL LIKE IT but you HAVE to do it. And when you do it..
It is SO SO worth it.
Training was hard. I had to give up things to go run in the mornings. I had to get up earlier than I wanted on the weekends. I had to sweat uncontrollably. I had achy legs and used more heating pads and iced than I ever had before. But when I crossed that finish line NONE of that stuff mattered anymore. What mattered was the feeling I had knowing I had gone after something I REALLY wanted.
I accomplished it. My legs took me 13.1 miles. The support from my family and friends took me 13.1 miles. My mind took me 13.1 miles. But more importantly my heart took me 13.1 miles.
And while it is not ready quite yet, I believe it can take me 13.1 more.
As you may remember from last year the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K is my competitive race I do every year. I suppose I have a healthy amount of competitiveness during every race I run (well maybe not The Color Run) but this is my race where I set goals and really do my best to achieve them
The goal this year was same as last… 5K in under 30 minutes. Even after running for over a year a 10 minutes mile is still a challenge for me. My distance has improved which in the grand scheme of things is my goal but my speed has maintained relatively steady over the course of the year. A solid 11:30 is comfortable and a 10:50-11:15ish is my norm for a challenge that doesn’t kill me. So when I say a 5K in less than a half hour I mean serious business.
Similar to last year we recruited some awesome gals to run the race with us! We had some that returned from last year (Kara and Brittany) and we had some newbies that joined us as well… Ashley, Christy, My mom Carole, Jeff and Peggy. It was a bunch of men and women getting together for such an awesome charity to raise money to help fight breast cancer.
When I started the race I was feeling pretty good. I managed a pretty steady 9min mile for the first mile and made it to the Sheetz gas station in downtown Akron in an impressive amount of time (or so Tim said because I was texting him to let him know where I was). Just when I started to slow down from the monster of a hill in Akron I was reenergized by a group of men and women on their motorcycles revving their engines and yelling good lucks and way to go’s at all of the runners. By the third hill my calves were ON FIRE but as I finally caught up to Christy gave her butt a good pick it up smack I was ready to keep going.
At the very end I managed to complete the race in a full out sprint in 29 minutes 36 seconds with Jeff by my side- who kicked some serious butt!
I rocked my Sweat Pink shoe laces and my mom rocked the Sweat Pink tank during our run! Turns out the fact that we wore all black made it VERY hot but made us VERY easy to see on the news that evening! Between this and my brief stint on the news during the flashmob I participated in I may be on to something =)
There just couldn’t be a better race than Komen’s. The event is so full of love and laughter and HOPE. When you start to get tired and slow down it takes only a second to think about a loved one you know that has battled breast cancer or look around and see the pictures of loved ones on other’s backs to know that you are strong and that you can push yourself. This is my FAVORITE race and I hope to continue to do it every year.
Then as an added treat (painted faces and all) we went to Wally Waffle to celebrate the success with mom and dad (Dad and Tim were waiting for us cheering us on at the finish line) and devoured a buckeye (peanut butter and chocolate) banana and an omelet! Delicious!
This past weekend Tim and I completed our FIRST 5K TOGETHER! This was Tim’s first race ever so I was really pumped to see how he would do and of course his naturally running ability kicked in right away and he stayed with me the entire time!
Tim and I before the race!
The race was at Buckeye Woods park in Medina and while I usually LOVE that park and really enjoy running there it was way too crowded. 500 people on one course that goes into the woods on a pretty narrow path was not the best for running. Honestly at about a mile in it really wasn’t too bad. Everyone started to break up a little bit and we ran at a very steady 10:21 pace which is honestly faster than I have been at. But that initial mile- gosh I bet at some points we were at like a 13 min/mile pace trying to dodge in and out of other people.
But enough with the complaining and on to the good stuff! This race was at night and as you can imagine from the name we were meant to look like little lightning bugs and ya know what? We did! Our t-shirts were dark green but the bug on them lit up and Tim and I both wore a necklace and bracelets made out of glow sticks. I thought we looked pretty darn awesome until I noticed what the other people were wearing! One group of girls actually like weaved in their glow sticks into their laces on the tennis shoes so they looked really cool! On little kid accidentally busted open his glow stick so his face had the actually glow stuff on it (and his clothes for that matter which his mom did not seem too pleased with) and while I’m sure it felt gross it looked really cool!
So after breaking away from the pack by some miracle we found my and friend and fellow CrossFitter Ashley! I never would have thought out of 500 people I would actually find her but turns our our pace is pretty similar so there we were.. running together! Her friend Becky was awesome too- they were both working hard and I was impressed! There is just something about being surrounded by people that work hard and do their best that inspires me. Those girls were awesome and I’ll tell you what.. I was ridiculously inspired by Tim. I was so impressed by how well he did and how he stuck with us the entire time. We clocked in at just over 32 min which I think considering the very slow first mile was an awesome time! Realistically I think we could have been right at or under 30 if we hadn’t had such a slow start.
Tim and I after the race! YAY!
Even better than the race was when Tim said to me “I see why you like these races” and then even proceeded to say that he would participate in the Susan G Komen race. If you can remember last year at Komen I hit my best 5K time yet clocking in under 29 min… my goal was to finish under 30. It is the one race that I really consider to be my timed competitive race. Other than that one I enjoy doing them but don’t beat myself to come in at some amazing time. For me, races are mostly about having fun.
The reason I think everyone should do a race just one time is because it is awesome. Clearly Tim is a good example of this… he claimed he would never race and due to some weird things happening he had to race with me on Saturday and he enjoyed it. There is seriously something so amazing about a group of strangers coming together for a common cause (I love when it is like a cause for good) to inspire each other and participate in something amazing. The Komen run for example is all about running for those men and women who are truly inspirational. Those that beat such a terrible disease and those that fought and didn’t win but were strong and amazing. Even if you do not consider yourself a runner…. which Tim does not at all… I think getting into one race is an experience you will enjoy and never forget. The entire concept of it is just a really cool things to be part of.
Plus, after the race they always have good snacks to eat
Do you have a favorite race you participate in every year?!
Any races in the Akron/Cleveland and/or Charlotte area you want to share?