Saturday, October 25, 2008

Race Day

I was too nervous and excited to sleep much, and woke throughout the night, afraid I would sleep through my alarm (not that it's ever happened before but there's a first time for everything). I popped out of bed at 7 am, and began the job of waking up myself and the rest of the family. In the midst of the chaos I checked my email and was thrilled to discover that a last minute pledge met my total donation goal of $500! Big Sis was also the recipient of $80 in pledges. That got my adrenaline pumping, and I sailed through the rest of the morning.

We bundled up, and were in the car by 8 (a little behind my desired schedule, but still with plenty of time to spare). Big Daddy was a little skeptical of my claims regarding 20,000 people coming out for the Race. Once he saw the traffic, and especially the back up at the Capitol exit, he quickly conceded that I might be right about the number of people we were about to face. We parked and walked, and I was really overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies out there. I jumped into the mass around the 13:00 mile mark, and tried to mentally prepare for the 3.1 miles I was about to face.

The race began, and we all watched the competitive runners surge forward. It was at least 5 minutes before my group approached the starting gate, and it was several more minutes before I could separate myself enough to actually run. I spent the next few minutes after that dodging walkers (seriously people, you were not going to hit a 13:00 mile at that strolling pace) before I could get a little space around me and settle into a rhythm. I had my special Race playlist on my iPod, and it was a good motivator to keep going (and people say the Spice Girls are worthless - Ha!). It was a beautiful cold, sunny day and the course wound around downtown. There were no mile markers, which for me was a bonus, as I think it might have been more disheartening than helpful. It was hard to be passed, but it was a mental boost to pass people. The most difficult bit was the last 1/2 mile - up the hill to the Capitol building. It wasn't Mt. Everest, but a slow and steady pace helped get me through it.

Almost to the finish line!

I achieved both my goals - to raise $500 in donations, and to run the whole race. I don't even know what my pace was, but we estimate it around 30:00 total. Not bad, considering I wasn't even running 2 months ago.

I am grateful to all of those who supported me through donations, training advice, and just by asking how things were going.

I am thankful for my sweet husband who supported my by watching the kids so I could run on my own and who woke up early on a Saturday to hang out in the 40 degree weather with 2 semi-cranky kids while I ran this Race.

I am honored that Big Sis and Big J were there, and that I can try to be a good example to them by being active and philanthropic at the same time. (I do love to multi-task!).

I am amazed to see so many people come out for the Race - whether they were runners or walkers, pushing strollers, racing a 5:00 mile, or rolling in their wheelchairs, for a few hours we were all united in a common goal - to support Komen for the Cure and to raise money to work towards stamping out breast cancer. Almost 5% of the population of the Des Moines metro area came out for this event. That's incredible!

I am motivated to keep going. My running may have to go indoors for a while, but I am hopeful that I can keep a consistent workout schedule and continue doing 5K's and more.

Big Sis before her race.

Big Sis did great, too. The Kids' Race was chaotic, but she crossed the 50 yard finish line like a champ!

Big J all bundled up for a cold morning outdoors!

Thanks again to everyone who pledged money to support us. Words can't express how grateful we are for your monetary vote of confidence and for all the support we received.


Ashley said...

I have been thinking of you all day...we just got here at my parents house in texas, and i wanted to jump online to see how you did!!! Seriously, way to achieve BOTH of your goals....that is so awesome!!!!! Way to go!!

Chrissy Jo said...

Way to go Amy! I didn't sleep so well last night either, nervous about the race, nervous I'd sleep through the alarm. I'm so glad you met your goal! YAY! Next time maybe we can run together in the hords of people. :-)

Mom said...

I am so proud of you and Malaina too. You reached an awesome goal for a cause very close to our families heart. Wish I could have been there to cheer you on!