Hey guys! I hope this week has been treating everyone well. Things are great here, albeit busy as usual. Yesterday marked my 13th week of half-marathon training. I started training way in advance of my race because it is my first half and quite honestly, I've been running less than a year so I wanted to start slowly! My longest run to-date has been just over 10 miles, which is a huge accomplishment for me. 13.1 doesn't seem so far off anymore! Yesterday we ran 8 very hilly miles. I've mentioned before that a lot of people in my pace group dislike hills but personally I have a love/hate relationship with them. They are challenging, for sure, but there is a lot of satisfaction derived from conquering them too.
Yesterday's run began at the art museum and although it was humid, the air was nice and cool for once. We ran along local streets, passing horses and cows, until finally reaching a local state park. I am used to running on even, paved ground so it was a new experience running on gravel and paths but it was a fun challenge. As we entered the park we started ascending the most massive of all the hills. Myself and another girl were at the front of the group setting the pace and I could hear some grumbles from behind as we started our climb. Then all of a sudden from the back of the pack I hear a voice singing "The hills are aliiiiive with the sound of musiiiiiiic."
Uhhh what?! I burst out laughing as the voice continued to sing and some others joined in. That pretty much set the tone for the entire 8 miles and we sang ourselves silly as we traversed the hilly park. I've said it before and I will likely say it countless more times, I love running with a group. A year ago I would have laughed in your face had you told me I'd be waking up at 5:15am on Saturday mornings and running ridiculous amounts of mileage. But I actually look forward to it. Running and being a part of this community has filled a void somewhere deep within my heart that I did not know existed. For that I am grateful!
Oh, and my race calendar is filling up as I've signed up for two new races this week! A couple of months ago I was hugely disappointed when I found out that the Color Run had changed the date for their NC run and that I would be out of town for a wedding on the rescheduled date. Seriously, I was heartbroken over it. Yesterday before our long run, I was talking to one of my running buddies and she mentioned that Color Me Rad was coming to town in October. No way!!! It is essentially the same concept and is right in Raleigh and on a day I'm in town. I signed up as soon as I got home from my run! That might have been the best news I heard all week.
For those unfamiliar with these races, they're basically one big happy celebration of color. The only requirement for the race is that you wear a white t-shirt. The race is 5K in length and every kilometer you are doused with a different color of magical powder aka cornstarch. By the end of the 5K you are a giant colorful rainbow of a mess and are smiling like a crazy person. Ah, my idea of heaven.
Before our run yesterday, there were a series of announcements. One was made by a woman named Sarah Witt, who was an avid runner until one day she was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease called Primary Lateral Sclerosis. Sarah is now confined to a wheelchair and no longer able to run. Her voice waivered as she spoke about her love of running and how quickly it was taken away from her. My eyes teared up hearing the pain in her voice, saddened at the thought of loving something so much and then having it taken away.
Suffice it to say, Sarah's story touched me personally and I wanted to do what I could to support her. She is affiliated with a mile run called The Magnificent Mile Race that raises money to support the research of upper motor neuron disorders. I signed up as soon as I could and look forward to lending my support next month!
Tell me, why do you run?