Posts Tagged ‘ankle’

  There it is! The first 5K Since December of 2010… and the 2nd race post-ankle surgery. Words cannot begin to explain how amazing it feels to FINALLY feel great running again. My ankle has been a little swollen here and there but other than that no problems with my left foot. On the other hand, there have been several evenings where I’ve slept with 4 or 5 ice packs to try to relax my knees, my tail bone, and my back. But regardless of the pills and the pain, I DON’T CARE! To be in a race and be able to run hills for 3.1 miles at an 11:20/min pace is indescribable. I forgot (albeit, momentarily) how great it feels to run.

Andrew so graciously got up early on Sunday (after being up early on Saturday too!) and drove me to the race location (in DC). He brought along Franklin and they weren’t allowed in the cemetery but he got up early and drove me there anyway! I checked in and hung around with the boys until it drew close to start time. We parted ways and I thought, ugh, how am I going to do this. I walked through the gates and into a mess of people- none of whom I knew. I started thinking why am I doing this? Maybe this isn’t for me anymore… maybe I need to find something else, some other line of fitness. That’s when it happened. The man on the speaker started talking about the history of the cemetery and the race. I stretched and looked up at the absolutely gorgeous weather (sunny and 60s). I looked around and heard people laughing and smiling and stretching and I felt the bodies press up against me as everyone crowded the start line. Right there. That instant. Knowing that about 1,000 people had traveled by foot, bike, car, and metro to a cemetery in Southeast DC at 8:00AM on a Sunday morning… JUST TO RUN a 3.1 mile route with a bunch of complete strangers. That right there is why I run. That is why I have struggled through ankle surgery and weight gain and now trying to make it through weight loss. Because of the feeling I get surrounded by countless people I’ve never met and may never see again… just to go for a run. We are a special breed, we runners. We’d put up with anything- sleet, rain, snow (I’ve been there), sun, clouds, crowds, over-flowing portapotties, rotten bananas, cold pretzels, water, gatorade, gels…not to mention aches, pains, sprains, fractures, sweat, tears, and screams just for the thrill of crossing a finish line.

One of the greatest things about running is that even though there is competition going on, everyone’s on the same team. After you cross the finish line, you shake hands, give hugs, talk about what you did differently that cut a second or two off your time… and the greatest part? After the race, the people who were faster than you, they stick around, they walk down the path you’re still struggling to make your way up and they cheer for you. They clap, the yell, they motivate– even if they beat your pace by 6 minutes/mile, they are your equal. They get it and they get that you get it. And for the amount of time it takes to complete the race, everything in the world is right. There is nothing that could bring you down. Not one thing.

And that my friends, is the runner’s high.

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Well, it’s been over a week since the 5K. It was so much fun! The weather was terrible- it rained and was cold, but really it was an enjoyable running climate– not too hot! We were dressed to the nines in our Christmas Tree costumes— they were fashioned out of green table clothes, snowflake ornaments, strings of multi-colored twinkling battery operated lights, and gigantic gold bows on our heads. Picture to right…  I was lucky enough to get a group of friends to also compete in the 5K… it was the first race (all running) post-ankle surgery and what not.

In addition, Mariah, Andrew’s soon to be Sister-in-law has rheumatoid arthritits so it this 5K was especially important. Mariah and Austin and a bunch of their friends walked in the Denver 5K on the same day. Her sister and some of her friend walked in the 5k in Seattle… so, covering three different cities and raising more than $4000 for Arthritis, we were out in full force!

There were a lot of people dressed up but I think we had the most original costumes… we were runners up for the costume award— they gave it to a little girl, but as we were walking away, the guy who was MC-ing said “you know we had to give to the kid, right?” so we were really happy and excited… actually, we didn’t even know that we would be called up and have to stand in front of everyone.

After the race we went out to a fabulous brunch in Baltimore, before heading back home. Completely the race definitely jazzed me up for more running in the future. I plan on running a race a month in 2011 and I’ve already checked out a few that I like; Feb (Love the Run You’re With) and the 1/2 marathon in Ocean City, MD. I think Andrew’s still really excited about it too, so that’s awesome!

We took a nice long break from exercising to catch up and what not and then went out for a power-walk last night- it’s getting tougher with the holidays coming up and our trip to the Dominican Republic, but we’re going to try to go on with training through it! We’ll be taking running stuff to the DR with us, although we’ll probably get enough exercise hiking and exploring as it is! I can’t believe next week at this time I will finishing up work and packing my bags! Bring on the Dominican Republic!!!!!