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!