Saturday, May 7, 2011

Let's Truly Inspire Hope

There was a 5K/10K in my neighborhood, 3 miles from my home, on Sat 5/7 supporting breast cancer: Inspiring Hope. The course is where I normally do my training. I have run hundreds of miles on that course. I know it by heart. But I am tapering for my next marathon in 3 weeks, and I didn’t want to go crazy in any of these distances.  You put me on a 5K course and I am going to try to go all out. This distance is too tempting for me because I love it. How do I pass a breast cancer support race in my backyard? Maybe volunteering? Or can I control myself and run it easy? My daughter told me “walk it, I don’t trust you”. My husband told me “jog it”. I told myself “don’t race it, run the 5K at a pace slower than tempo pace (8:55)”

I got there15 min prior to the race. The 10Kers left 10 minutes earlier and I had no time for anything, but to tell myself: slower than 9 min/mile…I got to the start line… 3, 2, 1, GO!

Set up my pace in 9:10 and so I went. I was happy sustaining that pace and no letting the watch show any 8:xx. Then, something happened… All of a sudden I am on the Mukilteo Speedway. As I far as I remembered the 5K was not running through the speedway. Then we go back and we come again to do the same loop. No, this has to be wrong. I told a volunteer that this couldn’t be the course. I am at mile 2.1, only one mile to go, but I am being sent far from the finish line. I see all of a sudden a group of about 10 runners talking to a volunteer, they turned back, I turned back as well. I saw my friend Benny going the wrong direction. I waved my hands for her to turn around… She thought I was saying Hi!. I knew what it took to run another mile to the finish line, but all those runners were 10Kers. So I followed them instead, knowing now everybody was out of course. I am running steady when my watch clocks 4 miles: 9:10 / 9:10 / 9:17 / 9:10 and I know I am less than a mile from the school, but nobody is entering in that direction. We are directed to what should have been miles 2 & 3 for both runs. At that point I don’t know any more how far I am going to run, so I let go, and purposely dropped the pace to 9:31 for mile 5 and to 10:03 for mile 6. I ended running 6.4 miles in 59:46 for a 9:21 min/mile.

After crossing the finish line I went to talk to the organizer. When she turns to talk to me, a tear is running down her face. I told her that I was registered for the 5K but if she could move me to a 10K instead. She broke and told me that everybody ran different distances and she didn’t know what to do. A guy mentioned he ran 8.3, other ran 6.7, and a gal from Chicago ran about 7.3. I put my hands on her shoulders and told her: not to worry. It’s OK.

Penny, the organizer, had a very well organized race, plenty of food, awards for the winners, raffles, and a warm big room for gathering after the race. Something went wrong. Yes, it’s true, but when she grabbed the microphone, and in tears she says that she would give us a free race during the summer, I was heartbroken. She put these races together as breast cancer fundraising.

I felt the impulse to intervene, raised my hand and was handed the mic. I told everybody: Hey, yes, the course was messed up. I was supposed to run a 5K and ended running more than a 10K, but this race is being done for breast cancer fundraising. I don’t think we should accept a free race from her. To the contrary, let’s support her with another race.

To all those that have lived through cancer this is nothing in the big scheme of things. Actually, this can be taken as an exercise of what life really is. We expect something, and then the COURSE changes.

This message is to all runners that ran it. This race is called Inspiring Hope. Please, let go. Let's help Penny. "Let's Truly Inspire Hope"

Penny. Thanks for all this. There is a learning behind every turn!
She had awesome pink boots...
A super awesome volunteer with a "Men wear pink" button.
With my good running friend Benny
On Sunday I had scheduled 15-miler and ran part of those with the Heroes Half in Everett. My tummy didn't feel ok, so I went as slow as I could, with a HR of 145 (160 for a regular easy run). I didn't do as bad as I thought I would. 2:13:33. Interestingly, before my new training scheme, a good Half was around low 2:20ish and a bad one in 2:30ish.. Now a bad one is 2:13? I take it!!!!!

My Mother's Day Weekend back to back swag !!!


Petraruns said...

OH Lizzie what a wonderful and RIGHT response. You're right. It's right. You did right. And life is like that.

Love you!

JeffM said...

Happy Mother's day! Great post Lizzie, way to keep everything in perspective.
My next race is Walla Walla tri Memorial day w/e. Will be in Seattle the w/e of June 18th for the Phillies-Mariners.

JeffM said...

Happy Mother's day! Great post Lizzie!!
My next race is the Walla Walla tri Memorial day w/e. I'll be in Seattle the w/e of June 18th for the Phillies-Mariners.

Irish Blue said...

Ok, so I'm reading along and I'm thinking...Lizzie is going to grab that mic! LOL...I just knew you would. Awesomeness...that's you. ;-)

chris mcpeake said...

Way to put things in prospective for people. Some things are more important then the distance of the race