And then she ran...

Today was the day, the day I ran. It was my first 5k, something I have been working towards for a few months. I never thought I'd be a runner but today I guess I officially am.

The weather was perfect. Cool and overcast, but no rain. Breezes just when you needed them. I don't think it could have been better. We'd gotten there a little early. As I'm new to races I didn't know exactly how it all works and the control freak in me needed to have all my ducks in a row. Turns out we could have arrived twenty or thirty minutes later but hey, now I know.

The race itself went really well too. I was able to drop into my normal pace (maybe a few seconds faster) and I ran. I ran and ran and ran. Further than I normally would before taking a walking break (yep I still have to walk sometimes, even after months of training). I suspect this is in part due to adrenaline. So I ran, until THE HILL. It was bigger than I suspected, and I don't even like little hills, not a bit. So I walked up the hill and started running as soon as there was some relief from the ascent. Stupid hill. I finished three seconds slower than I wanted to. THREE seconds! Arrrggg! But I still did it, and I felt good the whole time, and I felt fine after. So that is a huge accomplishment. Last year I was still hobbling around in that stupid orthopedic boot, this year I ran. :)

Here's a pic of me just before the race. Scott was a good hubby and went down with me and waited for me at the finish line.

The shirt I'm wearing is not the actual race shirt (Which is not even remotely cute or adorable! Who designs those things??). Instead I decided to wear a shirt from To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA).

This is from their website:
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

That's just the start of their vision. I'd encourage anyone and everyone to go read the entire story. It's what hope and healing are all about.

I chose to wear the shirt in honor of my friend Stephanie who took her own life earlier this year. A group of her friends did another walk/run today in her honor and I wasn't able to join them as I'd already registered for this race. I thought this was a good way to feel connected to them and Steph. It's funny, even as I concentrated on running today, maintaining my pace and not turning my ankle, my thoughts went to her a few times and I found myself quite emotional. Twice I had to talk myself out of tears.

I don't know how many more races I will do, but I think from this point forward they will always include some reference to TWLOHA. Just my reminder that there is other suffering and pain out there. No matter how long or hard I run, there are people out there who are more exhausted, in more pain, needing support and sometimes a little help to the finish line.

I'd like to think that Steph was with me today, making it easier for me and keeping the skies clear.

All in all, it was a great experience and I think I'll do another one, or two...


Stacey said...

Way to go, Erin! What a great accomplishment. You've come a long way in a year overcoming your injury and should be really proud!

Life With the Crazies said...

This is awesome! Way to set a goal and go for it! I'm proud of you :)

Andrew said...

So Proud of you. Good Job Erin!

Alee and Brandon said...

great job!! I have never been a runner either... My friend and I are running our first at the end of next month! Any helpful tips you have?? did you have a set schedule you followed?

PS... you should be a writer! I love reading your posts, you are so funny!