My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Run for Reece 2014

on July 28, 2014

Well it’s that time again.  Time to do the Run for Reece.  This is the race organized by my friend Karen in memory of her son who died of SMA (spinal muscular atrophy).  This is the first race I did 2 years ago.  And I will continue to do this race each year she puts it on.

I’ve been doing a lot of running lately.  Partly in preparation for this race.  I had hoped that all the running I’ve been doing would help with running today.

We had a big thunderstorm roll through last night.  It woke me up once or twice.  Lots of thunder and lightning.  I kept hoping it would pass over well before the race was set to start.

By the time I woke up this morning, at about 5am, it seemed to be over.  There were still clouds in the sky, but it has stopped raining.  I just kept hoping it would stay that way.  It didn’t seem too humid, but the race was still a few hours away, so no telling what would happen until then.

I went about my pre-race routine — shower, get dressed, make coffee, have breakfast.  Actually that’s pretty much my normal morning routine now that I think about it.  Except that I dressed in my running gear, not regular clothes.

My friend Karen offered to pick me up.  And she borrowed my folding table for one of the water stations.

My pre-race nerves started yesterday and only got stronger as we got closer to race time.  It happens before every race.  You think I’d be used to them by now, but no.

I know quite a few people who do this race, so it was nice catching up with them before the race started.  I even met a few new people.  We stood around chatting and stretching, waiting for the race to begin.

Finally it was time to line up.  Karen said a few words, and then we were off and running!

One thing I’ve noticed just about every time I run is that the 1st km is always the hardest.  It sounds funny, but I usually have to strike bargains with myself to keep going.  It seems to get easier once I’ve passed that mark, which is good.

I’ve made a really good playlist that I use for races.  Songs I really enjoy and that have some meaning to me.  Plus they have a good beat to help keep me going.  I may switch it up eventually, but for now I’m really enjoying the songs I have.  Currently, my playlist consists of:

Best Day of My Life – American Authors

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas

Steve McQueen (The Voice performance) – Blake Shelton & Cassadee Pope

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead – Bon Jovi

Stand (The Voice Performance) – Cassadee Pope

Ordinary Day (Live) – Great Big Sea

Firework – Katy Perry

Don’t Stop Believin’ (The Voice Performance) – Terry McDermott

Gonna Fly Now (Theme from “Rocky”) – Bill Conti

It’s not a long list, but it works for me.  When I’m out running, depending on how far I’m going, the list plays through twice.  And if I’ve timed it right, I finish my run on the “Rocky” theme.

Anyway, everyone takes off running.  Pretty soon they are far ahead of me.  It’s okay though.  I’m not worried about them.  I’m only worried about me finishing the race.  Time doesn’t matter really, I just want to cross the finish line.

I did have a goal for this race.  I wanted to run it start to finish, no walking this year.  When I did this race the first time, I walked it.  It took me 1:28:58.  When I did this race last year, I ran part of it, and finished in 58:18.  So this year I really wanted to run the whole thing.  I knew it would be slow, but I was okay with that.

The race was along the Waterfront Trail.  It just so happens to be my regular running route.  I’ve run it so often, I could practically run it with my eyes closed! I know all the twists and turns of the path.  I know the landmarks.  Sometimes it makes the run easier when I know what’s coming up.

I struggled for a while, but that’s normal for me.  Hopefully as my running improves, the struggles will be less and less.  My calves ached.  I felt a twinge in my ankles.  But I kept on running, kept on pushing.  I kept telling myself to dig deep, to push through it.  Eventually, it got a little easier.

The sun came out for a little bit, and it got a little warmer.  The humid went up a bit too, but it wasn’t too bad.

There were other people using the trail too.  Many I’d seen out there before.  A few recognized me and smiled or waved or said words of encouragement.  That always helps!

I’m not even a mile in when I see people heading back to the finish line.  I have a momentary pang of jealousy, but it passes quickly.  I know I’m doing the best I can.  And that someday I will be faster.

I get high-fives and smiles from those passing me on their way back.

I hit the water station, but pass it by.  I have my own water and I don’t want to stop.  I’m almost at the turnaround point.

Not long after I passed the water station, I came across a gaggle of geese on the path.  If I wasn’t racing, I would have stopped to take a few pictures.  Maybe I will if I see them next time I’m out running.

I got to the turnaround spot and head back.  By the time I got back to where the geese were, they had already gone back into the water.

As I headed back, a few people that had been doing the 10k passed me on their way back to the finish line.

As I said, I regularly run the trail, so I knew where everything is.

The turtle pond is around that next corner.  There it is!

Run a little farther.

Okay, the park is around that next corner.  There it is!

Not too much farther now.

Around that next corner is the home stretch! Dig Deep! You’re almost there!

And as I round the last corner, and catch site of the finish line, my friends are all waiting for me.  They start to cheer when they see me.  This is the part that gives me goosebumps every time.  I push harder as I get closer.  As as the crowd cheers, I excitedly cross the finish line!

My official time is 1:06:42.  And I’m totally okay with it.

I did what I set out to do.  I crossed the finish line.  And I ran it start to finish!

I’m so proud of myself.

What a great day!!




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