|Hope & Faith, my trusty Komen shoes|
ready to carry me through another event
Last August, I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-day Walk for the Cure. It was an incredible experience. I don't remember the exact figures, but all along the walk course they had signs and posters with Breast Cancer Facts that included staggering numbers of women (and men) who are diagnosed with breast cancer every minute and the sobering and equally staggering numbers of people who die from breast cancer.
With those numbers in mind, I signed up to run today's 5k Race for the Cure. Whether walking 60 miles, or walking or running 3.1 miles, the goal is the same - to help find the Cure.
Because Everyone Deserves A Lifetime.
Now let's taking a moment to move away from the charity and the symbolism of the event, and get down to the run part.
I wore my "Hope & Faith" shoes not just because they are symbolic of the BC fight, but because I needed a little of both if I was going to have a decent run today. I've been spending a lot of time going slow and utilizing the walk/run method on my evening runs. I've been lazy when it comes to my long runs and cutting them short or skipping them all together (which means the Dirty Dog in 2 weeks is going to be an interesting experience (like always), but we'll take it one race at a time and save that one for later. :-) ) So I figured going into today that I was going to be slow and that I would probably have to walk.
I am so far from my 5k PR right now that it's kind of depressing to think about and I know I want to work this year to meet or beat it. But something that I also know is that it'll take most of the year to get there. I knew I wasn't going to do it today. In fact, I knew I wasn't even going to come close. Today was a "I just want to finish" kind of day. I guessed that I would finish in around 32 minutes.
It seems the gun going off was a surprise to most of us at my section of the start line. None of us were really paying attention to the fact that it was almost time to start and then BANG! off went the gun. The slower, unhurried start was just what I needed because I didn't take off too fast, but was able to start at a nice comfortable pace. And it ended up being a nice comfortable pace that I was able to easily sustain for the whole race. I had stop twice in mile 2 to stretch out a sore & almost cramping left calf/shin, but didn't have to walk, which was a happy surprise.
I reached the finish line in 32:52, close to my predicted time. My mom commented that I finished right were I wanted to. Not exactly. I want to be faster. I want to be finishing somewhere in the 29's. But I did finish where I knew I could considering where my fitness/endurance is at the moment. And I'm ok with that.
That was a hard lesson for me to learn last year, but this year I am more accepting of the runner that I am at any given moment. Doesn't mean I'm not going to keep pushing and training and trying to get better, faster, stronger. No, it means that when I look in the mirror, I'm going to see me now, as I stand today, in this moment, in this run/race and not be so hard on myself in comparing that me to the me that I want to be but am not yet.
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k
Finish Time - 32:52 (garmin); 32:58 (official gun time); 32:48 (official net time)
Pace - 10:31 (garmin)
22 of 39 in age group
449 of 594 finishers