Going the Extra Mile(s)

I thought John might strangle me mid race when we realized what we thought was a 5k turned into an 8k.

The Ronald McDonald road race was on Sunday, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Starting a run when it’s chilly and finishing when it’s just starting to warm up is racing perfection.

My brother and his family joined us for the race, and we all set off at the gun. Tony sprinted ahead while John and I found our groove among the crowd. Maneuvering a jogging stroller in that crowd was tough. As we approached mile three, John turned to me and said, “So, this isn’t finishing at the Ronald McDonald House?” A lady next to us interrupted and said, “It is.” I received a death glare from John because we were almost to mile three and nowhere near where we started.

As we ran beyond the third mile, John called it quits. He had been a great sport and simply said, “That’s what I signed up for. I did it. I’m done.” Elijah and I kept going. Beyond mile four I was honestly starting to worry. I saw people ahead of me turning off towards the right, farther away from where we started. It confirmed what I feared, we were on the half marathon route. Panic. I knew I couldn’t push the jogging stroller for 13.1 miles.

At the next corner, a woman on her phone rerouted me and a few other runners up the steep hill towards Carver Arena. Talk about an arm and leg workout! I rounded the corner towards the finish line and confirmed with my brother that neither of us had run a 5k. It turns out that only the very first runner was routed for the 5k, and everyone else followed the half marathon route.

All things considered, we didn’t do too bad. (Besides the fact that Colin fell out of the stroller while Ashley was pushing it!) Tony ended up being a top finisher, Elijah and I were in the top 12, and even John finished just a couple of minutes behind us.

Thankfully everyone was in good spirits about the mixup. No matter how many miles we ran, it doesn’t come close to the challenges the families face when they need help from the RMHC.

I’ll run the race again next year, but it might take more convincing for John to join me.


20120519-144025.jpgI’m nowhere near ready to run 13.1 miles, but I decided to register for the Marion Arts Festival half marathon in May. I know that crossing the finish line of a half marathon within the same year as my extensive surgery will be enough to help me take on the world. “World can’t hold me, too much ambition.”

I know that this race will be important for reasons beyond splits, finish times, or even mental barriers. This race will help fade the memory of not being able to walk by myself at the end of July.

No matter what my watch reads when my shoes cross the tape, it will be an accomplishment unlike any of my others.

“On to the next one.”

If you have any interest in running the 1/2 marathon or the 5k that morning, I recommend this race 100%! Last year’s was well organized with awesome volunteers and too much food to consume upon the chute. The price is ridiculously reasonable (Early registration for the half is only $30!), and the weather should be favorable. Plus, remember how awesome the finishing medals were? Here is the link, and registers receive a discount through February. Nothing makes winter go fast like signing up for a challenge in the early spring.

Gobble Gobble

Record breaking temperatures this morning allowed me to leave my hat and gloves at home for the 20th annual Turkey Trot. In fact, I was hot running in pants and a short sleeve. High temps also help attracted a huge crowd of both participants and spectators. Over 2,000 people ran the 4k or 8k! My brother Tony and I ran the five mile. Although neither of us won a turkey or pumpkin pie for winning our age groups, it was a gorgeous morning for a race.

This was my first race post surgery, and it felt great. My endurance is slowly increasing with each workout, but my legs are slow. I’m not sure on my official time because I forgot to stop my watch when I crossed the finish. I’m estimating 41 minutes. My first mile was 8 flat, and the rest were closer to 8:20. Not the best, but an accomplishment given I couldn’t walk five steps three months ago.

In addition to Tony and I running the 8k, my aunt and 2nd cousin ran the 4k. Through my cousin’s school, this 1st grader is involved in a running club. They meet once a week and are encouraged to run with a parent a few additional times each week. Some of these kiddos participated in the 2.5 mile race with an adult this morning. Thankfully they ran a separate race distance and course so I didn’t have to watch this stinker beat me. We wrapped up the morning shuffling into the school gym where we were fed pancakes and sausage while listening to the presentation of pumpkin pies. There is no doubt this is my favorite race distance, and with temps like today, this road race is my favorite, period!

20th Annual Turkey Trot

If you’re looking for a workout motivator, I strongly suggest signing up for the Marion Turkey Trot. It’s held on November 10th at 9 a.m. and has both an 8k and a 4k route. The 4k is a run/walk. I’ve never signed up for a race that has such a low entry fee ($18), includes a long sleeve t-shirt, and grants entrance into the pancake breakfast following the event. Age division winners receive a turkey and a pumpkin pie! (So festive!) The proceeds go to Horizons Family Services.

Who’s with me?! Register HERE!

Metro Catholic Mid Summer Run

With the update that I shared yesterday, it made even more sense to participate in this year’s first ever Metro Catholic race. I know I’ll be off my feet after this weekend, so that was enough motivation.

The 5k began at 8 a.m. and took place at the local soccer complex. We lucked out with decent temperatures and pretty cloudy skies. Two other teachers ran the race and even participated in the 10k in addition to the 5k. I’m not sure where the line is between crazy and competitive, but they were out to find it. I enjoyed watching the 10k and catching up with other faculty members from my school who were helping out.

The race had about 100 people total for both races. Hopefully they can continue offering this race and it will grow in popularly. How awesome are my co-workers?