My First 5k
Well, dear friends, I did it… sort of. I ran in my first 5k race for pancreatic cancer, and by ran I mean I ran short bursts and walked most of it, and by 5k I mean 4.44 miles of unmarked streets around the park. It was a very special race and I’m pretty sure I came in last, but that’s okay, I was expecting that. Well, last of all the runners, at least. I didn’t expect the walkers to beat me, but that’s what I get, I guess, for being involved with a 5k. I always attract adventures, no matter what.
So Saturday I got up super early to put purple in my hair for the Purple Stride 5k for pancreatic cancer research and treatment. As I told you in my lat running update, my good friend Danielle’s mother was diagnosed last September and she’s been doing well. She really is an amazing, godly woman and I was more than happy to get the chance to support her and her fight. Plus the purple thing, how could I resist? So the purple temporary dye failed pretty bad, luckily my mom had reminded me that I own purple hair clips from high school that happened to still be in my old room where we were staying. They showed up so much better and I don’t have to wash them out! Awesome, so it’s super early, I’ve got purple in my hair and I’m off to the race!
There were a lot of people all wearing purple. It’s a little weird not being the only one. We listened to survivor stories and doctors talk about the advancements in treatment technology and hope for the future while we geared up for the race. Their slogan was “Wage Hope” and I can’t explain why, but I love it. I wish I could put my finger on why it resonates with me the way it does, but I just can’t. It’s like the more positive way of looking at it. It’s a fight, yes, it’s a struggle, it’s a war on cancer, but they aren’t waging war, their waging hope. Their not focused on the battle, their focused on the outcome; on the life that can be. And I might have that all wrong, but still, it moves me.
This was the first year they had done the race in this particular park, which I don’t think was meant to hold races. We were told the runners, as in the people who paid to be timed, would be sent off first and then the walkers would go. So we gathered with the other walkers and started off on our “5k” with great excitement. I had my new phone holder on my arm, my water bottle in hand and I was ready to go. One loop outside the park and back in went pretty well. I managed a solid run until I encountered a long hill and took my first of many breaks. There were a lot of hills in the park and less shade than I would have liked. It was super sunny and very warm.
I followed the purple shirts in front of me as much as I could, occasionally getting directions from one of the officers posted at intersections. I figured, I must be going the right way, there are other people here. Then I passed some people from our group going the other way.
“We’re going backwards!” my friend Natalie called to me from across the street. “We’re up to four miles!”
At the time I thought she meant they had finished and the two young boys with them had wanted to keep running so they went back the other way. I later learned that they were just as lost as I apparently was and had been running the whole thing backwards. I thought about crossing over and joining them, but I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with them, having just reached the 2 mile mark and with my running limit reached. Had I joined them, however, I would have actually run a 5k and finished in a reasonable amount of time. As it was, I kept going, following where I saw purple shirts and hoping I was going the right way. Up a very windy hill and my runkeeper informs me I’ve gone 3 miles. It must be close, I think, a 5k is only 3.1 miles. Another half mile and still not starting site. As I approached 4 miles I got a call from Danielle asking where I was. She had texted me a while back to say they were all in and I guess after twenty minutes waiting for me had gotten a little concerned. She and her aunt came out to find me and together we shortcutted back to the starting site where everyone else had already gathered.
By the time I hit stop on my runkeeper app I had gone 4.44 miles in 1 hour and 19 minutes. But, of course, it didn’t count towards any of my running goals because somehow I managed to switch it to rowing before I started so it thought I rowed the whole way around the park… in the streets, nowhere near water. I didn’t even know rowing was an option. Ah well. I was sweaty and exhausted and my legs were soar for the next three days, but I managed to go 4 miles without dying and that’s something. Barring any other noble causes, my next race should be in October and on a much more reasonable path. As in, one that is actually established. Here’s hoping I’m in better shape come the fall.