After sulking over not being able to run a half marathon this Spring, last week I decided I wanted to run some kind of race. I knew it was the weekend of the Geist half marathon and 5k that many people in my area run, but I didn’t want to run that race because I think it is overly priced for a 5k and I didn’t want to deal with the crowds. Instead, I decided to search and see if there were any others that were available. Through my search, I was pleased to find a 5k in Pendleton, which is about 25 minutes north of me. This race was also much smaller, cheaper and for a very good cause (this is important to me, especially if I am paying for a short race). So, I decided to sign up for the race: For the Love of Andrea, Big May 5k.
The inaugural race was put on for a woman who is my age that was injured in the State Fair collapse last August. You kind find her story here. After reading her story, I knew I made the right choice and my $25 would go towards a good cause– she is inspiring!
So, Saturday morning, I woke, squeezed into my “getting tighter” running shorts, stretched my hot pink running top (Pink is Andrea’s favorite color and people where pink for her) over my “improving” belly, and laced up my shoes. I hopped into my car and made the sunny, peaceful drive to the race. I had no expectations of the race. I knew it was going to be small, which was good. I was also a little nervous to run a race because I hadn’t been running very fast anymore. In fact, I don’t even wear my Garmin anymore when I run because my competitiveness gets me upset at my pace and I feel frustrated. I kept telling myself on the drive, “just run, don’t worry about passing people or your time, just run and enjoy it.” This pep talk turned into my plan: enjoy the run!
I arrived to the race and was excited to find a close parking spot. I picked up my bib and was sad to find out that had run out of tee shirts, but they will be mailing mine. Yes, I am a race shirt junkie and keep ALL of my shirts. As I stood around for the race to start, I was surprised by the amount of people. When I signed up they had just reached 400, which was their goal. By Saturday, the had reached over 700 people! There were tons of people in their pink for Andrea- pink shoe laces, pink tutus, pink hair ribbons. There were even a few groups that were running for people who were killed in the State Fair accident. As I was waiting, there were several people who spoke about Andrea’s journey. I was inspired and very emotional.
The race started by Andrea herself sending the runners off. She then went to the back of the pack and walked the race herself. If you read her story, this is amazing that she was able to do this. When I saw her, I knew that I could do this, and it didn’t matter what time I did it in, but that I was healthy enough to do this- things were put into perspective. The support of the community of Pendleton was touching. The majority of the houses had hot pink ribbons around their trees and everyone was out cheering on the runners. This community came together to raise money, support and lift this young woman up in prayer through her journey that is still continuing.
The more I thought about this, the more energy I had. This race became more than just a race; it was about perseverance -Andrea was a true example of this!
I often times get frustrated that since I am pregnant I can’t run as fast, I can’t fit into my cute clothes and I have slowed down, but during this race, I decided to embrace it. Everything was put into perspective. I am thankful that I am healthy enough to carry and grow another human being. I am thankful that I can walk, let alone run. I am thankful that, so far, I have had a very healthy pregnancy with no sickness or complications.
As I crossed that finish line, for the first time ever, I was happy with a 30:10 5k and 9:42 minute miles…. PERSPECTIVE!!!
I left the race and felt great about what I did. As I was driving out of Pendleton, I had to wait for the walkers to finish… and I saw Andrea finishing the race, persevering through what doctor’s told her might be impossible. She had a smile on her face and was almost to the finish line!
Here I am, after the race… embracing 24 weeks pregnant and a 30:10 minute 5k!