I was pretty nervous going into my second half marathon this Sunday. Compared to the MONTHS of training I put into my marathon, I did absolutely nothing to prepare for Knoxville. I couldn’t even remember the last time I did a double digit run, and I wasn’t sure how my legs would handle some monstrous hills.
It was challenging. But in a really good way. I loved the feeling of pushing through fatigue and overcoming a challenging course. I know that my finishing time and my mile splits are not impressive. But they look a lot prettier than what I was expecting.
My fitness has absolutely improved since I ran Chicago. I can’t help but wonder what my body is capable of if I am more diligent with my training. I’m excited to find out!
I had been debating on whether or not I wanted to participate in the Reindeer Dash for Cash this year for a few weeks. I enjoyed the event last year, but I just ran a Turkey Trot, and intended to participate in another Christmas 5K at home in a couple of weeks. Plus the t-shirt was not all that cute this year.
I mentioned my dilemma to my friend Emily, and she told me that she would be running in the race with a group of kids that she has been coaching for the past twelve weeks. She said that she was going to be responsible for fourteen kids and would love to have some extra help if I wanted to run with them.
I LOVE KIDS! So, that sealed the deal. I registered on Sunday morning and joined the gang.
There was one little girl who was struggling to keep up with the group. She wanted to take some walk breaks and the other kids were being speed demons. I asked her if she wanted to be my friend for the day and we could stick together- so that’s what we did.
She is in the second grade, her favorite thing about second grade is typing (she’s really good at it.) She is hoping that Santa Clause brings her a new kitten (preferably orange). Her name will be Kate. She talked my ear off the whole race.
It was a blast. And yeah, I did my slowest 5K ever, but you know what… WHO CARES?!?!?! That little girl was so proud of herself, and so excited that she finished the race. I was really proud of her, and thrilled that I got to be a part of her special day.
Every year the sorority that I was a member of as an undergrad organizes a 5K race in honor of one of our sisters who lost her battle with cancer. It is our biggest fundraiser, and all of the proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have volunteered at the event the last four years, and have always considered it one of the highlights of the school year.
This year as an alumni I was no longer obligated to attend, but there was nowhere that I would have rather been this morning. I was thrilled to be able to participate in the event for the first time. I tried to have a relaxed and nonchalant attitude about the race. I have not been doing a whole lot of running lately (lots of group fitness though), and I have been fighting a little bit of a cold, so my expectations were low. My only goals going into the race were not to walk and not to throw a temper tantrum when things were less than perfect.
I actually felt surprisingly great throughout the entire race, and ended up finishing really strong. I was not even wearing a watch, so I didn’t have any indication of what my time would be, but I had this FEELING as I was coming around the last turn that I was going to be pleased.
And wouldn’t you know it, I managed to pull out a new 5K PR by a minute and thirty five seconds. Not too shabby considering I was honestly concerned that I might have to walk some of it- silly me!
It made for a great morning: the weather was perfect, everyone was in a good mood, I got to spend some quality time with my sisters. I spend a good portion of the afternoon thinking about how much I love running, and how I know I could go at least teeny bit faster next time.