Sunday, October 21, 2012

Inspired to Run - The First 5K

The last time I ran a race in a large event, I was in elementary school.  I know I was running somewhere near downtown Columbia, and while I was in the lead for my age group, I didn't reserve enough energy to maintain my position.  Part of the problem was I decided to break in new shoes on the race day because I wanted nice, white shoes on race day.  Big mistake.

I see a podiatrist regularly for feet issues, and they prescribe me prescription orthotics to keep me walking and running pigeon toed since the way I walk was not corrected, thus my ligaments grew in a pattern to how I walked.  When I tried to force my feet outward, I experience pain in my knees, hips and back.  So by no means, did I want to run for the heck of it.

However, after walking for the March of Dimes in April and also walking 4+ miles almost daily during my pregnancy, I assumed my body could handle running.  But I wasn't motivated to run just cause. No, a very special boy named Dylan that inspired me to walk in the March of Dimes has motivated me to run.  Sure, the charities that I will run for won't be the MOD, but I will wear a shirting honoring Dylan, and everyone behind me will see his name.  I will make sure that there are people behind me to see his name.  In fact, my first 5K, I heard people talking that it was a great idea (my shirt) and asked where I had it made. Thank you, thank you for reading my shirt.

So on to my first 5K - The run was called Color Me Rad and I heard about it from a college friend.  Since she already had a team, I started my own called The Palmetto Ladies. I know, originality was lacking, but whatever, it worked.  I tried to recruit many, but I heard a lot more excuses than yes's. So be it.  Anyway, two of my sister's friends and my sister in law bravely joined me.  I believe this was the first 5K for 3 of us, with my sister in law completing others some years back.  I was excited that they joined me.

The night before the race, courtesy of my mom, my sister in law and I stayed in a hotel in Columbia, SC while the other two memebers stayed at a friend's house in Columbia.  I set an alarm for 6:25 AM since I am a chronic snoozer, while SIL set an alarm for 6:45 AM; we went to bed at 9:30 PM.  I peeled my butt out of bed at 6:35 am and began getting ready.  I was quietly going about my business, when I had the need to flush the toilet....the flush was probably heard on the first floor along with my jumping.  The toilet was so dang loud and unexpected that I woke my SIL before her alarm clock.  No big deal.  I ate a banana, proceeded to get dressed, and then waited on my SIL to finish her oatmeal.

We left around 7:10 AM when the temperature was approximately 47 degrees Fahrenheit.  We drove 15 minutes to downtown Columbia with the heat blasting to warm us up.  After easily finding parking, we jumped out the truck, debated on carrying water bottles, and took before pictures.  We were in shorts and t-shirts, though I opted for a long sleeve tee compared to SIL's short sleeve. Silly right wrist needed to be kept "warm".

We walked to the Colonial Center to the starting line and looked for our other teammates, which we never did find.  SIL and I quickly found our place at the starting line and waited until 8AM.  The temperature was supposedly 50 degrees Fahrenheit and very tolerable.  SIL and I tried to read a guy's watch for the time, but he talks with his hand, and while we tried to creep on his wrist, he kept moving it.  Good thing he never turned and looked at us, otherwise, he would see us staring at his arm like crazy!

Finally, the race began, and we climbed the first hill, passing the slow runners and walkers.  We ran and talked and wondered when the first color station would occur.  We decided we could run slow through the color station to ensure we were properly coated.  We ran through the first station, I was coated in color, but SIL looked like she skipped the entire event!  So at the next color station, SIL was bound and determined to be painted whatever color it was, but again, she came out practically clean!  Her frustration reminded me of Ross off of Friends trying to get an even spray tan.  He counts incorrectly, and gets too much tan on one side, then goes back and screws up again.

So on the third color, SIL and I switch sides, slow down the pace, and she gets color bombed. Too much, in fact, the lovely sunglasses they gave us did not help her poor eyes.  The dust when into her left eye, but being a trooper, she kept on running.  From this station on, Amanda did not have to worry about not being hit with color.  In fact, I wish I made her my body guard for color.  At one station, the guy did not realize I am short, so instead of hitting me in the chest he gave me a great dose of green right inside of my ear.  Greeeeat, now I can have greenish ear wax.  Black heads...pshhhh, green heads.  Anyway, we were making great time and never slowed our running pace, but then we hit a strenuous hill.

Two things kept me going during this 5K - SIL's pace and Dylan.  I did not want to let either one of them down by running. Make no mistake, I ran 3.12 miles at a local track without stopping.  In fact, I had my time down to 26 minutes, and I assumed that Columbia was relatively flat....because it is.  However, the race officials found the most daunting hills possible.  On the last hill, which looked straight to the sky, I had to dig deep for inspiration.  No, SIL was not going to walk, neither was I.  So while I had the push from Dylan to keep running up the hill, I had to resort to a reward.  So as I am running  up this hill and passing others with my SIL, I am shouting HOT FRESH NOW! KRISPY KREME DONUTS!  Yes, I was screaming about donuts, and yes, SIL and I made it up the hill by running.  Unfortunately, after I made it up the hill, the pain shooting from my wrist to my shoulder told me I should walk.  So for approximately 1/10th of a mile, I walked, flex my hand, and stretched my arm.  The routine helped my wrist, and I was quickly back to running.  The rest of the race was down hill, and SIL and I handled it easily.  We crossed the finish line, grabbed our color bombs, and celebrated.

After chugging water, we had our picture taken then hurried to the truck.  I had spare clothes, so I quickly changed in the parking garage while SIL tried to knock off the loose color in order to keep my truck clean.  We took our after photos and then left to go back to the hotel.  After a 5K, we felt we deserved some hearty food at the hotel.  We had plenty of stares, but we just smiled and told people what we did.  Most were just waking up, so we felt pretty accomplished running a 5K and being back at the hotel while others were just moving around.  After breakfast, we took turns scrubbing ourselves in the shower and blowing blue snot.  It's amazing the colors you see when you sneeze.

SIL and I parted ways, but were so excited that we already committed to running the Color Me Rad next year.  However, in the meantime, we are searching for other races.  We found a Turkey Trot in Greenville, SC that supports Leukemia research which is very near and dear to SIL, literally.  In addition, I have an Uncle fighting a two year battle with the monster so why not help the cause?  In addition, we found a Jingle Bell 5K in Greenville, which means we should dress up Christmasy like....why not have fun and run for a good cause?

In the end, I can only thank Dylan for his inspiration that he and his parents have provided.  Without them, I wouldn't be addicted and wanting to help all these causes all while making sure more people know Dylan and his story.  No matter what I run, I will always wear my Dylan shirt, and in fact, am looking for more ways to show my support to the March of Dimes and Dylan.  So if you see me asking for 5K participants, don't hesitate to join me.  Whether you walk or run, you can help support many people and help me in honoring a very special boy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment