Thursday, October 23, 2014

Running for a Cause and Celebrating Life

As I mentioned in my last post, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this past weekend I had the opportunity to run in the Women's 5K Classic, a race that benefits breast and female cancer research and education in the Lehigh Valley, PA.  I ran this race with my sister and met a few of her friends there as well.  [A little history:  This was my sister's very first race last year!  She signed up for a 5K training program last summer and this was the goal race.  As you know, she later went on to run 2 half marathons!]

The morning of the race was pretty chilly in PA, but I knew I'd warm up right away so I opted to wear shorts and a tshirt.  Being the usual clueless human being that I am, I didn't even think to bring a PINK tshirt home for this race.  Nearly everyone running this race was wearing pink.  The starting line was literally a sea of pinkness.  And then there's Jilly wearing her drab gray Runner's World Half race shirt from last year.  Oh well.  I think it made it easier for my brother-in-law and nephew to pick me out at the finish line! 
This race did not go as well as I'd hoped.  Truth be told, I haven't been training for speed at all this year, and I've been taking it kind of easy since my half marathon last month, however, I finished at least 30-45 seconds slower than I normally run a 5K.  The course was very hilly (my sister said they changed it and it was hillier than last year's) so that was part of it.  [I've also been on a new migraine medicine the past couple of months which has honestly been wreaking havoc on my body!  It's made my workouts and running seem harder and actually made my headaches worse so needless to say, I will be discontinuing it! Anyone else here deal with migraines on the reg?]
I started off fast, probably too fast.  My first mile split was 8:14 which is speedy for me.  I then proceeded to POSITIVE split the crap out of this race! Hahahaha.  2nd mile came in at 8:29 and mile 3 was 8:33.  In other words, how NOT to run a 5K.  There were 5 hills in this 3 mile course.  Trying to run fast while also running up and down constant hills is not fun.  By the last hill, I was so nauseous I was pretty certain I was going to puke.  Well, thankfully that didn't happen, but I was not feeling good.  I got some proofs from the race and it's pretty obvious I'm not feeling like a ball of sunshine and rainbows here:
I crossed the finish line and thought, as I do after every 5k, 'Thank God that's over'!
Official time:  26:13.  (146/1984 runners; 12/67 in 35-39 age group) And that my friends, is my slowest 5K ever! Yippee! 
However, the point of this race was not the running at all.  I ran this race for a cause far greater than a PR.  There were many breast cancer survivors in attendance who walked, ran or spectated, and there were markers along the course dedicated to women who lost their battles against the disease.  That sobered me up real fast.  I am running for people who can't, and for people who may never be able to run again.  There will always be another 5K.  I will have the chance to run, or improve my times over and over again (God willing) but this race was about raising money and awareness for a disease that has taken the lives of far too many women and I'm glad I could participate in that cause.
In addition to running that race, I had a lot going on back home this weekend.  I took part in celebrating two family members' birthdays.  One was turning 2, the other 89. 
After the 5K on Saturday, I headed to my cousin's house to attend the birthday party of one of my godsons.  Watching a 2 year devour birthday cake is up there on the list of most entertaining things ever.  The kid doesn't know many words, but he definitely knows the word "CAKE".  He was literally shouting it out over and over between bites, which then devolved into hysterical joyous giggle fits.  It was outrageously cute. 
It should really be socially acceptable for people of all ages, and not just toddlers, to dive head first into our birthday cake and eat it with wild abandon.
On Sunday, my parents invited everyone over to their house to celebrate my grandfather's 89th birthday.  To tell you the truth, I can never keep track of my grandparent's ages, but I had no idea he was that old!  He is still so spry and youthful.  He exercises, golfs and still volunteers at the local library. 

He celebrated with cake and like any good Italian, a shot of Sambuca.  BARF!  My Pop Pop has added a shot of Sambuca to his coffee for as long as I can remember.  At every holiday or family gathering, he offers his cherished drink to everyone at the table, and we all refuse.  Nonetheless, everyone in my family always has a bottle of it in their house, specifically for Pop Pop!  The smell alone of that licorice flavored spirit makes me want to vomit.  After cake, my cousins, aunts and grandparents sat around and engaged in some light dinner convo on the topic of Ebola.  Good times.

Running the breast cancer 5K and celebrating the birthdays of those I loved this weekend made me a little more grateful for my health and my family, and made me say a little prayer for those who are not so lucky.
If you haven't checked out my last post yet, you can check out Skechers limited release breast cancer awareness products here.


Anyone running in any races to benefit breast cancer initiatives this month?

Tell me about your last 5K race!


  1. I love that your Grandfather did a shot of Sambuca. He is indeed a great Italian. Some of my favorite races have been the ones that involve running for a cause other than myself. It is just the best sensation to feel like you are putting for the effort for someone, like they are the extra adrenaline that pushes you through.

    1. Oh yeah Pop Pop loves his Sambuca! Susie, I am going to have to get in on one of these Crohns/Colitis races at some point. I hate that people as dear as my cousin and you have to live with this disease.

  2. I am the queen at running positive splits. You definitely had a busy weekend so even finding that time to run the race was great! I think you had a great time!

    1. Hahaha long live the positive split racing strategy!

  3. Can't believe that's your slowest 5k race! That's a great race for a great cause!

    1. Aww, definitely not my slowest ever, but slowest in recent memory!