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Monday, August 20, 2012

SparkPeople has been a driving force in me gaining my self confidence and pride which was lost for almot 25 years. with this new sense of myself, I started to run. I joined lots of running groups on Spark and was encouraged to runmy first race...and I did in Nov. 2010. Flash forward 2 years and I am one of finalists in the My First Race essay contest through the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Facebook page (!/D
SGPM). I may not have ever won a race but I want to win this contest!

Here is my essay...
"Story 5 - Cara's First Race

Having 3 kids in 4 years would be rough on anyone. Physically, mentally, emotionally—I wasn't me anymore. The summer of 2010, I decided that enough was enough. I woke up one morning before work, laced up my shoes and set off to do something I have always dreaded—running. I didn't expect much but I did my best. I was so proud of having run barely over a mile and a half through the hills of Beechview that I was hooked. I ran on and off that summer, never anything more than a mile or so. I saw the 2010 Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving and signed up right away. My knee really started bothering me and I was somewhat sidelined from running. The morning of the race it was cold and pouring down rain and I almost talked myself out of running. Instead, I went into the kitchen, grabbed the biggest garbage bag I could and made myself a rain poncho.

We bundled up the kids and headed to the North Shore. There were so many happy people of all abilities, some in costumes, some quite young, all excited to start. I lined up with the other 3000 Pittsburghers in the rain on Thanksgiving. The gun sounded and we started. I don't remember much of the beginning other than lots of people passing me. I found my groove and was trucking. At the water table. I grabbed a cup, took a sip, and then dropped my cup...all over another runner. She was pretty mad at me but I just said, "It’s not like we're getting any drier!"

As I crossed the Roberto Clemente Bridge and was in the home stretch, I got a burst of energy! I ran as fast as my tired legs could go. Through tears of joy, I blasted through the finish line. I nearly collapsed because of the intense knee pain but I hobbled over to get my photo taken. We went home and I conked out on the couch for the rest of the day. After that race, I was hooked! I am preparing for my first 10K this fall, first 1/2 marathon next May, and hoping for the full marathon within the next 2 years.

I feel running has helped break me out of the doldrums that I was experiencing, and uncovered a new sense of self pride and confidence I never knew I had. Running makes me feel free. Its my "Me" time away from work, from being a mom, from everything. I may not be the best or the fastest, but I do MY best and feel happily accomplished."

My first race was the race that my fellow sparkers encouraged me to run! I would love if anyone would vote for me. I am very close to winning. If anyone has 30 seconds, you just head over to!/DS
GPM, scroll down to the" Read about Cara's first race..." and hit LIKE. Voting ends this week!

I am so passionate about running now and I have SparkPeople to thank!

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