Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Last Saturday was the fourth annual Inspiring Hope 5K/10K Walk/Run. It's a walk/run to raise money to fight breast cancer, and it is without a doubt my favorite race to do; after all, it's the race that got me started.
In 2010, my husband and I did the first Inspiring Hope as 5K walkers. I remember that day vividly. I was just getting started with running, and I was too nervous about my abilities at that weight (I was around 220 pounds) to even try running any of it--I was sure people would snicker at this slow, middle-aged, overweight woman trying to run. It was such a great race experience, though, I became hooked. I wanted to do more races, and so did my husband.
Since then, we have become more confident about running, so we have been running the 10K race. The race director has become a friend (she is the one who also got us hooked on Ragnar!), and this year I am joining her team to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk, raising money to fight breast cancer.
Our daughter decided to join the fun and walked the 5K race this year, much to my delight. We got together beforehand and made pink tutus:
I was thrilled that she came to walk the race, and it was a joy seeing her, our son-in-law, and our grandson there. We met up beforehand and hung out with them until time for the 10K runners to line up, then said goodbye until afterward when we went out to celebrate Mother's Day a day early.
The race itself was great, as always. It's well organized, with very enthusiastic volunteers (mostly 3-Day walkers) and a course that goes through some lovely areas. Of course, there are also some serious HILLS on the 10K course, but that's just how it is in most of the area. (Hills are fun, hills are fun, hills are fun--I keep telling myself that, and that they are speedwork in disguise. Someday I may even believe it!)
You never know how the weather will be around here this time of year. Often it's cool and damp, but not this year. Far from it; it was downright WARM by the time we were out on the course. I was very glad that i had on a short-sleeve shirt and running skirt; even that was almost too warm. I was also happy to take advantage of the water stops along with the water I carry, I needed every drop of it.
I've been battling some pain in the back of my right heel, so I haven't done as much running or as many longer runs as I usually do in preparation. I wasn't at all sure how well I'd do on this race, but I knew i could handle the distance; I had walked the basic course the week before as part of my 3-Day training. Fortunately I was able to run fine by taking it slow and easy with more frequent walk breaks. In fact, my husband and I went out and ran another 3 miles on Sunday, and my heel is generally feeling better. That encourages me that I won't do too bad at next week's half marathon (Portland Rock 'n' Roll, woo hoo!).
One of the best surprises along the way was seeing our son-in-law and grandson at about the halfway point. Of course we had to stop for hugs; they had been at a school playground nearby and just happened to walk out to see if they could see any runners or walkers right when we came by.
While my time wasn't great (1:18:40, a slow 10K time), it was better than I'd really expected. In any case, it's a race that I will continue to participate in as long as it is held, either running or volunteering. I love this race, and I think my daughter has caught the race bug--she says she will be doing it again next year, too!
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
One of the blogs I read regularly is "Weighty Matters: Musings of an Obesity Medicine Doc and Certifiably Cynical Realist" by Yoni Freedhoff, and his post today was about the exclusionary practices of Abercrombie & Fitch:
I've never bought anything at A&F, and though I'm at a size now where I could, I definitely will not as long as the CEO has the kind of attitude quoted in this article (from a link in the blog):
A&F? No thank you!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Yesterday's bombings in Boston shocked and shook us all, especially those in the running community. The finish line is a place for celebration, and someone tried to take that away from us to make it a place of fear and devastation. We say NO to that. Like many others, today I am wearing a race shirt and will go for a run to remember and honor those in Boston. I'm signing up for another race, too.
Choose love and not hate. Go for a run or a walk, and do not let those who seek to sew terror and fear win.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I just received the news that I have been both expecting and dreading. One of my dearest friends, Marilyn, passed away today. I needed to write this to help process, to honor her, and to remind us all about what really matters.
Marilyn and I (our families, really) became friends about 25 years ago while we were attending the same church. We spent many hours laughing and talking and doing things together. Then jobs took us to different parts of the world, but we stayed in touch. Every time we talked on the phone or were able to get together, it was as if we'd never been apart; it was dangerous to call one another as it usually meant a 3 hour marathon conversation, but we loved it. We always asked if there was a party going on when we called one another, because that's what it felt like.
Somewhere around 1989, Marilyn discovered a lump in her breast. I remember one phone call in particular around midnight; she was crying and so afraid, and all I could do was talk, laugh, cry, and pray with her through it. She went through chemo; lost all her hair; and she beat the cancer.
Several years later, while she and her family were living in Canada, breast cancer returned. More chemo; more treatments; and finally the cancer was gone. She was on Tamoxifen and the cancer stayed away.
Later, her doctor at the time decided she had been on Tamoxifen too long; he was concerned about the long-term use of the drug. After much consideration, she reluctantly went off. The cancer returned--with a vengeance. More treatment; some success, but the cancer eventually spread. The doctors were not hopeful at all when her neck was affected, but she survived surgery and some tumors shrank. We rejoiced at every small sign that she was beating the cancer again.
She grew weaker and had to use a scooter to get around; it was obvious the cancer was slowly winning. Still, she kept a positive attitude and encouraged others who were getting treatment for cancer. Where there is life, there is hope.
Last week, we got a message from her middle daughter that she was not eating much and was fading. She had another scan, and this time the doctor said that she had perhaps 2-3 weeks left. Her middle daughter is a nurse; she confided that she thought it would be maybe 1-2 weeks. We frantically started checking airfare to Houston and asked if we should come; we didn't want to intrude on the family's time with her, but we wanted to see her. To compound our dilemma about going, my husband had a critical job interview yesterday so we knew we couldn't leave before that. The consensus was that no, we should not come; I had a sense that leaving Wednesday (today) would be too late, and indeed, that was a God sense. Now we wait to see if there is a way for us to make a trip for the funeral to celebrate her life; we grieve our loss but know she is already dancing with the Lord she loves and enjoying the party to beat all parties.
Cancer is a thief; it robs people of not only life, but it robs them of dignity and joy. It robs families of their fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. I signed up to raise money and walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk this year because I'm tired of letting cancer seem to win. I've lost too many family members, friends, and co-workers to cancer. I was afraid to sign up because it's a hefty fund-raising commitment, but if I have to sell things to raise the money myself, I'm going to do it this year. We have to fight back; find causes and treatments for one form of cancer and we will find them for other forms.
Remember what really matters: people. Go hug the ones you love and tell them today how important they are to you. Take care of yourself and make sure those you love are doing the same. Celebrate life.
Enjoy the party, Marilyn. You got to start before we were quite ready for you to go, but we'll be joining you one day.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Well, I'm a week late in getting this race report posted, but better late than never, right?
A week ago my husband and I ran our third half marathon of the year and our 20th overall. (How did that happen--how did we get to 20 half marathons already?!) We headed south this time to run the St. Paddy's Day Half Marathon in Tacoma. Originally we hadn't planned to do this race, but my friend, Shannon, had asked if we'd do it with her, so of course we said yes. Her plans changed, but we had already registered; we were committed. And once I saw the medal, well, I knew I wanted to do the race.
The weather forecast was for a few showers, so we went prepared with rain shells but were hoping the rain would hold off. This race had a 3 hour time limit; there was a time when that would have worried me, but we haven't had too much problem staying under 3 hours lately, and this was supposed to be a reasonably flat course. Note the words supposed to be: I have run in Washington and especially Tacoma enough that I take that description with a large grain of salt.
My husband and I started out together, but after awhile I wanted to pick up the pace more than he did, so I pulled ahead. I was hoping to improve my time since this was supposed to be a pretty flat course, and during the first part of the race, my pace was on target to set a new PR. The course started out along the waterfront (down a ramp and then flat!), then headed into Ruston (NOT flat!) and back to the waterfront (back UP that nice little ramp). I hadn't paid a lot of attention to the elevation chart, so I didn't realize just how much of a hill there was going up into Ruston; that slowed me down and took some out of me.
I was still doing pretty well on time when I came out of Ruston and back along the waterfront, although I had slowed some. The ramp going back up to to the finish line, though, definitely slowed me down. I found myself walking much more than I would have liked going up the ramp, but I was able to finish running and came in at exactly 2:48:00, two minutes faster than the previous week and my fastest half this year--less than three minutes off my best half ever.
It would've been nice to get a new PR, but I had fun and was pleased with my time. Any race I finish in an upright position and with a smile on my face is a good one as far as I'm concerned. My husband was about 10 minutes behind me, so he was able to finish within the time limit as well.
Here's the medal from the race:
I don't think the picture shows it well, but it has a base on it so it can stand on a table or shelf--very cool.
No more races for us at the moment until May, although we are considering a couple in April if we can work them into our schedules. It wasn't too bad having no races in February, but I don't know that I want to take another month off from races so soon. It makes it way too easy to skip a long run if we don't have something on the calendar each month.
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