Sunday, June 10, 2012

Racing for a cure and hiking for my health - Part 1

This week has been absolutely outstanding for me as far as being active. It was a difficult and busy work week and I am proud to say that I effectively channeled all of that frustration and stress in to my workouts. Monday and Wednesday are usually my easy run days but this Wednesday I tried a new route around the neighborhood and ended up logging 5.5 miles! Tuesday and Thursday are the nights I go to Zumba. I am trying to wean myself off of Thursday night Zumba in lieu of strength training or another cross-training workout but I am just head over heels in love with my Zumba class. I don't want to stop! So, maybe I won't.

Tuesday's Zumba class was excellent. It was a free class to try to drum up more members and we ended up having almost 50 people that night!! It was truly a party and I was so thrilled to see some of those new faces come back for more on Thursday. This week our instructor, Katie, (re-)introduced us to a song that has made its way around the wedding and club circuit. At first I thought she was going to make us do the Macarena or Electric Slide but thank goodness it was neither of those. Nope, we learned a little something called the Wobble and I loved it.

Friday was my obligatory rest day and thank goodness I rested because Saturday was a whirlwind! I woke up bright and early to meet up with Knittnerd for the Komen Race for the Cure 5K. The weather was amazingly perfect when we arrived around 6:30am. We split up to choose comfy spots near the start line but there were so many people that I didn't actually cross the start line until almost two minutes after the race begin! Crazy! Prior to the race I had considered doing my 2&1 intervals but I didn't want to carry yet another instrument while running, so I just kind of went with the flow.

In my post-race delirium, I took a picture. Finish line (left) & Start (right).
Once I crossed the start line I tried to set a pace for myself. On my Monday run I had started off way too fast and really gassed myself by the end of my 3 miles, so I took great care to start off slow. I kept a nice steady pace and tried to take in as much of my surroundings as I could. Several of my family members have battled with breast cancer, including my cousin Lucy who sadly lost the fight two years ago. I took some time to reflect on my loved ones and tears came to my eyes as I read the statements on the backs of those running ahead of me. "I'm running for my mom." "In honor of my Aunt Cindy." "I have been cancer-free for 3.5 years."

It really resonated with me that we were all running together for this cause, for these people near and dear to our hearts, and for ourselves. Before I knew it, I saw the Mile 1 marker and I was feeling good. The split time was slower than I'd have liked and I decided to step it up a bit. Of course this is when the hills really kicked in. They were challenging but less so than the hills I encountered during my first 5K. I could tell that my condition has improved vastly in just a few months and this made me smile. It seemed there were groups of people cheering for us on every corner and this made me smile too.

I gave a thumbs-up to every single person who made eye contact with me. The elderly woman sitting on her front porch, a big SURVIVOR sign hanging behind her. The little girl with a water gun, squirting runners to cool us off. The woman with a yard full of pink ribbon flags, and the man with the sprinkler who actually THANKED me for running. That really warmed my heart. What brought me to tears for a second time though, was the church choir standing on the corner of one of our turns and singing for us. It was right around this time that I passed the Mile 2 marker. I knew I didn't have too much further to go but I was starting to get a little winded from those hills. I pushed through.

I kept cruising at my steady pace, for some reason expecting to see a 2.5 mile sign which never appeared (I have no idea why I thought there would be one). My thought was once I knew there was only about half a mile left, I would crank up my pace. By the time I realized I was almost at the finish it was too late. I started sprinting, which struck me as odd because I don't sprint. That became obvious to me as I rounded the corner with the finish line in sight and.. I had to stop to walk. Man that bummed me out. I took about 30 seconds to catch my breath and took off running again until finally I crossed the finish line. My official time was 37:44... 6 seconds faster than my first 5K. I have mixed emotions about it but mostly I am happy.

Post-race bananas! This made me almost as happy as the Wobble did. Thanks, Whole Foods!

After I finished, I walked around a little bit to cool down. Knittnerd and I had agreed on a meeting place for after the race but for some reason I went pretty much everywhere BUT there. I ended up wandering back to the finish line and caught her shortly after her triumphant finish. After the race we went around to check out the various booths and collect some swag. All of a sudden I heard a familiar song in the distance. My body started doing the moves I had learned just a few days prior... it was the Wobble.

I looked at Knittnerd and said (with a crazy look in my eye) "Can I run over there and Wobble?!?" She looked at me like I was insane and I took off and jumped in the crowd next to some attractive tutu-wearing dudes. I wobbled. We wobbled. People were looking at me like "what is this crazy white girl doing?" and for one of the first times in my life, I didn't mind. When the song ended, Knittnerd told me she had caught the whole thing on video and only then was I slightly mortified. Slightly.

To be continued...


  1. Hee Hee! I love that video! And I am glad you didn't care what people thought of you while you Wobbled! It is a very freeing experience.

  2. Mmm bananas :) My favorite post-race food is bananas and chocolate milk. LOVE. I used to sweep the finisher's shute spread as though it were a buffet, grabbing one of everything! I paid for the race, I needed to get my money's worth! I have since learned better ;)

    Also, great job on your time! You beat me! Now I gotta go find a 5K to beat you :-P A big WOOHOO! for you though :)

    Also, can you teach me the Wobble? I have somehow missed out on the phenomenon and saw it on SYTYCD and was like WHAT IS THIS?! Thanks :)

  3. You did great! I love all that pink at the race!
    I don't think we have done the Wobble song in Zumba, that sounds fun!

  4. You are killing me with the suspense!!!!! lol

    BANG BANG!!!