“I've got all my life to live , I've got all my love to give and I'll survive.”
Well Race for the Cure is complete! I spent way too much time last night working on my fab t-shirt, only to discover today that only survivors are supposed to wear pink. Oops! Please share the pink love. Anyway, loved my shirt regardless, though next year I will be investing in some of that stuff that you can print on and then iron on. I had the great idea to paint my shirt…but long story short it took way too long and involved too many steps. This morning I wanted to write the names of my donors on the back, but with no time to spare I took a sharpie to it and had to tell my OCD to take a time out.
My shirt said, “I’m running for survivors: Aunt Alice, Cousin Karen, Am’s Aunt Joan.” My friend Amber donated in honor of her aunt and I was very excited to add her to my shirt!
This morning I woke up and ate some breakfast and drank a bit of coffee. I’ve read that drinking a little bit of coffee can give you an added boost, and I’ve tried it before and it worked. We were in the car by 6:40 am, and the start time wasn’t until 8:20am. As soon as we got downtown the traffic was completely backed up at the exit. We could see down below the overpass and there were THOUSANDS of people! Luckily we found parking quickly and shuffled into the park. I knew it was going to be a large turnout, but seriously it was insane! Over 30,000 people were registered and who knows how many more just showed up. It was great to see everyone decked out, to read the names of their loved ones, and to check out all the funny costumes! Apparently Houston’s turnout is the largest nationwide and the top fundraiser, raising over $3,000,000. The best part about Race for the Cure is that about 85% stays within that area for education, screening and treatment programs for people in that community.
We made our way to the staging area. My friend and I were running, but my sweet mom was walking. At an event like this there are so many walkers, I was nervous for her. The runners started first and the walkers started about 30 minutes after. At around mi 2.5 I heard my mom yell my name. She was walking on one side of the street and I was running back on the other side. I can’t believe she found me!
Can you see me?
I knew that the starting line was going to be crazy, and it was. I really wanted to have a time in the 30s, but also knew I didn’t want to over exert myself dodging people. Well, I was zigzagging all over the place. There were walkers in the mix, non-competitive runners, people who were already walking from the get-go (no judgment, truly, they were probably on a walk/run schedule). I made it to mi 1 in a little under 10 mins. I felt good, but was nervous about keeping up that pace. As we turned down a residential road it was so exciting to see that people had decorated the balconies of their apartments with pink ribbon balloons, signs, and even a huge ribbon that draped all the way down the side of the building. There were even local musicians, like a lone guy and his guitar or the small band set up around mi 2, who just stood on the side of the road and played for us. It was great!
At mi 2 I was feeling ok, I had gotten into a rhythm and made it to the marker in a little over 10 mins. I knew that if I want to be in the 30’s I was going to have to keep the pace. At one point you dip down on an underpass (score), but have to crawl back out of there. Then, what had been a relatively flat race suddenly had a constant incline. It wasn’t too bad, but I was freaking out a little on the inside because I could feel myself struggling to keep my stride long and my pace up. I picked up my pace a bit and then suddenly saw the 3 mi marker ahead. I told myself I was going to sprint to the very end, but as I ran past the marker everyone ahead of me had stopped. I didn’t know if we were finished or if people were confused. They were giving out water ahead and between the volunteers and the people cheering it was very congested. I was still confused (what happened to the .1 mi?), but figured there was nothing I could do about it now. I found my friends and then waited on my moms.
Running Buddy Races for the Cure, too
Let me tell you, when I crossed the finish line there were people still lining up to walk. When we left an hour and a half later, people were still walking, like, at the starting line! There were that many people. I couldn’t believe it.
The only thing I was a little upset about is that there were no recycling bins for the tons of water bottles and yogurt they were handing out. There really wasn’t any other food, so recycling bins were more in need than regular trash bins. I’m going to send a letter into the race organizers. As I’m doing more races I’m noticing that this is a problem. The events are great, and I’m glad more people than ever before are participating in runs, but we have to take a little responsibility with the logistics of disposing of plastic water bottles.
Ok, I-Love-Earth rant is over. On to the good news…
I have a new 5K PR of 00:30:54! I barely made it, I’m so happy!!!! I’m realizing it’s a lot harder to shave off minutes/seconds, and so you got to celebrate each personal record.