The beautiful and busy TEAL month of September has somehow ended already. It was an incredible month of activity and advocacy to raise awareness of ovarian cancer which left me little time to write about it. Ironically when I was blogging regularly I didn't have much of a life, and now that my life is so rich and full I haven't much time for blogging. I'm grateful for this life I've created, and am committed to blogging much more often.
This tiny blog is about to play a big role in a project called The Zen Method that I am honored and excited about... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
My last post was right before Teal for a Cure, my first running/walking 5K. Last year this event, without the 5K, had 225 participants. This year with the 5K added in we had an astonishing 909 participants! It was a sea of glorious TEAL. It felt surreal being there with all those people... I felt like I missed so much of it even though I was there... overwhelming grateful to everyone who worked so hard to create and support event and for all the people who donated their money and sweat to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.
Before the Race started the cameras clicked...
|My running guru for the hour, Susan. She knew when to push me and when to slow down. She rocks.|
|My 2 oldest Peeps, TEAL Princesses. They were so excited to be at the "Teal Walk'.|
I wasn't well prepared for this Race in many ways. I started training way too late and pushed myself too hard. I didn't get much sleep for the whole month of September, especially the 2 nights before this Race. I didn't drink nearly enough water the morning of the Race, and only ate a banana. Mentally I pushed those things aside, but my body was not to be tricked. I was about out of steam and my body tried to tell me by setting my throat on fire when I woke up at 5am.
So, I Raced unprepared, exhausted, un-hydrated (un??)... but I was determined to Race.
|I ran in memory & honor of my friend, fellow Cathlete & Teal Sister who earned her teal Wings a couple days before this Race.|
My new friend, and Teal Sister, Marie (pictured below) graciously and thankfully ran and walked along side me and Susan. She came from out of town to be a part of the event, and didn't know anyone. I know her mom, a graceful strong and kind woman, and so I befriended her. Marie has those same beautiful characteristics of her mom. I am honored that she stuck with me through the Race as I know she could have finished much faster if she choose to. That's what Survivors- despite the color of our ribbons- do for each other. We hang on, hang in, encourage, share...
|L- Leisa Middle- Marie R me|
There were A. LOT. OF. HILLS. I heard seasoned runners call this course 'tough'. The first mile was all shady climb then it flattened out and the sun beat down on us. My running guru for the hour, Susan, was so encouraging and kind. She even made up a cheer for me to the Mickey Mouse tune' C O N N I E it's her first 5K! Yay!'. God love her.
I didn't have time before the long walk up hill to the start line to grab my interval timer so decided to just wing it. Not so smart. So I ran as much as I could, but walked much more than I had intended. My body was exhausted and just wasn't going to be forced into a stellar performance.
Then again, I WAS out there giving it my all ... and I'm quite proud of that.
We hit the second water hole and I couldn't believe we were two thirds done! I had a burst of energy and thankfully we got back into shade. I pushed along... and then there was the 3 mile flag. JOY!! Susan encouraged me to run that last 0.1 of a mile- downhill- to the finish line... and we did. I ran as fast as I could and was pleasantly shocked to see 56 minutes on the timer. By some wonderful miracle I was going to finish in less than 60 minutes despite all the circumstances.
My official time was 57:37.
I'd love to say that I looked victorious crossing the finish line. You know, fist pumping in the air as I slide gracefully through the finish line with a bright smile on my face. That would have been a lovely story.
Instead I crossed the finish line and threw up a little. And very ungracefully threw myself on the nearest piece of grass and collected myself. Susan got me an apple, my sister Sally (who also ran her first 5K and finished in 55 minutes!!) got me water, and a lady I didn't know fanned me. My brother in law's Uncle Steve stood by and made sure I was recovering... and I did. The apple and water helped a lot. I stretched some and rejoined the group for the event's finale. We released doves in memory of our Teal Angels, including the lovely Virginia.
If you'd like to see more pictures of the event, please LIKE the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation's Facebook page.
By 1pm I was sound asleep on my couch.. after a long nap and quiet evening I was proud to put on this handmade, specially made for me, bling shirt from my Florida friend Lesile. If you like her work, please LIKE her Facebook page. She will be happy to bling you up! I will wear this shirt often. Thank you, Lesile!!