While flipping through one of the Williamsburg magazines last month I came across an ad for the Run for Breast Health Williamsburg 10K & 1 mile fun run. I got really excited when I saw the date, October 9th, because I knew my sister Nancy would be visiting that weekend and that she would most likely watch the kids for me. Once I confirmed that she would watch the kiddos I then began to ask family members to sponsor me; my Dad ended up being my main sponsor for the event. The proceeds of this race went to benefit Beyond Boobs – “not your typical support group” – a local Breast Cancer support group for young women (women diagnosed with Breast Cancer before menopause).
The race was a Colonial Road Runners event that took place at the Warhill Sports Complex. While looking over the course map the night before the event I was so confused! I couldn’t figure it out at all! I did not like how packet pick up was the morning of the event. I left the house around 7:30 and ended up having to stand outside for over an hour waiting for the race to start! I was glad that I ran into a friend so I didn’t feel too lonely or get overly bored before the event. It wasn’t necessarily that I had to pick up my packet the day of the event that was upsetting it was that there really wasn’t much going on and you were just waiting and waiting. Then I remembered OK this is the first year of this event! I need to give positive feedback so that they can grow and learn from the first year. Finally 9:00AM – START TIME – hit and we were off, down the access road and what, a water station already? We just started! Wait a minute, the leaders can’t be going that fast, we have to turn around already? Oh there’s the water station again! We turned off the road and into the Warhill trail – I was extremely nervous because I had never participated in a trail race before and I do not run trails often (I’m a klutz, imagine me on a trail, I tend to get chased by wild turkeys and other critters, trails typically aren’t for me)! So I just kept going, always making sure that another person ahead of me was constantly in sight! As the race went on I felt very comfortable (I had finally gotten used to not running with a jog stroller or a dog) and as we exited the trail and I saw the 5 mile marker I said “Really? That’s it? This is fun!” Then we hit the road again and I quickly became bored and said to myself “Liz, you have a mile to go just suck it up and finish hard!” We turned towards the stadium where the finish line would be “Wait a minute, we’re in a parking lot? There are cars! Is he going to back out right now? Maybe this area should be blocked off. I hope I don’t get hit!” Finally I turned into the stadium and saw the Good Health Fairy & the Chik-Fil-A cow! I sprinted the football field (this was the 2nd 1st race that I’ve run this year that finished on a football field yet this wasn’t as exciting as finishing in Gillette stadium) and finished strong. I felt great! I walked around, got a nice chair massage then went for the food. Chik-Fil-A sponsored the food and I knew that but for some reason I still walked over there just to see what they would have. The guy went to hand me a chicken sandwich and I said “No thank you, I recently became a vegetarian.” (I will post about that decision soon) he gave me the strangest look like, we’re Chik-Fil-A lady, if you’re a vegetarian, why’d you come over here? So I drank tons of water instead and ate candy from the personal training studios – what great marketing, let’s give you some candy then tell you to come to our studio for personal training! I did end up winning a free Zumba class which was very exciting since I really miss taking Zumba! Anyways, I waited around for the results…and waited…and waited…and waited! Luckily I ran into some other people who I knew from my “past life” (that’s what I’m going to call my pre-stay-at-home-mom life in Williamsburg) so it was nice to catch up with them and see how their families were doing. Yet we were still waiting! Finally they did the awards but still, no results! A few days later I get an e-mail about the “unofficial results” ok well what does that mean? All I can find this week are the “unofficial results” so I’m going to stick with it as my results. I finished the race in 58 minutes 5 seconds – MY BEST 10K RACE TIME IN A LONG TIME! I was very happy and pleased and look forward to my next 10K race and truly racing it because I treated this race as a marathon training run and feel like I can improve my 10K time to be the best it has ever been! In conclusion, I really did enjoy this race and would participate again. Yes they do need to make some improvements but hopefully they will receive some good constructive criticism so that they can build an amazing race for an amazing organization.
My life has been closely touched by cancer, breast cancer included, and I thank God for the amazing women in my life who have fought this difficult battle. As with all battles, there are casualties, and now some amazing women are my Guardian Angels. I enjoy participating in races such as this one because it’s for such a worthy cause. In the past I’ve participated in the HOW 100 (Hope On Wheels) riding a metric century (62 miles) and was a top fundraiser for the event that year for the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation. That was the most difficult event I had ever participated in because I was still fairly new to road cycling and fell off my bike at the beginning of the event. Yet I powered through because my little bit of road rash was nothing in comparison to what a breast cancer patient experiences! I’ve also participated in Susan G. Komen for the Cure walks and 5K road races. I will continue to strongly support events such as these and encourage you to do so as well, they are some of the most fun events I have ever participated in!
With just a few weeks left until my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, I dedicate my running to all cancer patients and survivors as well as all soldiers. Their battles in life will be greater than my battle through 26.2 miles. I thank God for my amazing cancer surviving mother, as well as my soldier husband. I am blessed to have them and other inspirational people in my life!