HARVARD PILGRIM 10K – DONE!

90 degree heat by 9:00am. Live bands. Tons of cheering. A flat race course.

Those were the words I loved to hear post-Worcester 1/2 marathon!

Big shout out to the 10K Mb4M team! Everyone did AMAZING! Seriously. For weeks, all I’ve heard from these clowns (lovingly written, of course) was “Oh, no! I’m not ready!” or “I haven’t ever run this far!” or “I’m so scared!” Yet, everyone finished incredibly strong! I, thankfully, pulled up the rear of the Mb4M team again, and loved the big cheering squad at the finish line.

Liz, Jade, Chuck, Sandra, Grace, Alberta, Molly, and April — thanks for running and being a part of my support squad. You all should be so proud of your accomplishment today — and always. Much respect and love to you! And, thanks to the spouses and families who came and endured the 90 degree heat — Jorge, Ligaya and Paul + babies and strollers made for a very interesting morning, I’m sure!

This race has become my new favorite course (well, at least of the THREE that I’ve done so far)! The day starts off at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots and ends on the 50 yard line. Now, I’m not a sports fan. In fact, you couldn’t drag me to go see a game there (and, yes, Jorge has tried twice after winning FREE box seats!). But, there was something pretty awesome about running through the very same tunnel that the professional athletes come storming through at the start of each game. And, to my surprise, each runner appeared on the Jumbotron as they came in!

Rockin’ our pink and teal sweatbands (classic Mb4M identifiers!) to represent breast and ovarian cancer awareness. I had initially ordered 40 of them, thinking I had ordered WAY to many. But, these were the last 4 to give out! Guess I’ll need to re-stock!

About 10 seconds after crossing the finish line. I think I was still delirious at this point and realized (afterwards) that I had just ran past the Mb4M Team and was looking for water. Liz pointed out, “Check out the people who have collapsed on the ground — that’s how HOT it was that day!”

Me and an old junior high school pal, Brian Donahue, who is in the Army and served in Korea for the past few years. He’s back in the US and stationed in Kansas.

I had signed up for the 10K the very night I came home from the 1/2 marathon. I knew that I would likely resort back to my kingdom of Couch if I didn’t keep running. And, unfortunately, I was somewhat right. I hadn’t run since the 1/2 marathon (with the exception of a 2 mile walk with my dog), and this 6.2 mile run certainly kicked my butt. I struggled to get to each mile marker.

But, here’s what was emotionally different in this race — I wasn’t last. I know, I know. That sounds so awful, but it’s true. There was something so wonderfully nice about having people next to me, in front of me, and, yes, behind me! I was never alone. The distance was challenging enough for seasoned runners and easy enough for beginners, so there was a mix (unlike the 1/2 marathon which was filled with, well, everyone faster than me!).

On the route, I found inspiration. Now, I’m assuming something here, but there was a woman who was wearing a white bandana over her head. She had “that look” which I was so accustomed to — the look of bald. Again, making assumptions, she looked as if she had undergone cancer treatments. As I started to run closer to her, I found myself wanting to hold back. Stay away. Let her get ahead of me. Far ahead of me. I wanted her to get so far ahead that I lost sight of her.

Then, I realized what I needed to do.

I needed to get ahead of her. Not Her, exactly, but cancer. I needed to run ahead, pull ahead, get ahead. I needed to reach my destination before She caught up with me. I needed to get to my family before She got to them first.

I picked up speed, pulled along side, smiled, nodded, and said, “You’re doing great!”, and moved along my merry way.

She smiled back. “Thanks.”

That’s all We needed to do. And, I can’t remember ever seeing Her again.

In four months, I’ve completed a 5k (March 2010), a 1/2 marathon (June 2010) and a 10K (July 2010). I can’t remember any other time in my life where I have accomplished so much in so little time. Each race has been so difficult and has tested my strength — physically and emotionally — each time. Though I run, I am not a runner. I am overweight. I am slow. I am still icing my knee and ankle 10 hours later.
But, I am still here.

Peace, love, and 6.2,

Liza

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4 Responses to HARVARD PILGRIM 10K – DONE!

  1. Cheryl Johnson says:

    Keep up the great work, you must know how proud we all are! I still don’t take the time to take care of myself as I should, but each time I read your posts, you give me a nudge to do better. So thank you my friend, for taking care of you so I will be motivated to take care of me. Hugs!

    • Liza says:

      Thanks Nana Cheryl! Small steps.. Small steps… We’ve made very little tiny changes that had added up. No sense making massive moves. 🙂

  2. happybear75 says:

    Liza! what an amazing recap! You’re quite the Ecrivain. Thanks for the clown shout-out. 😀 I wanna do the 1/2 with you now! (just kidding)
    See you at the finish line again!!! xoxoxoxo (p.s. this is Sandra 🙂

  3. Courtney O says:

    Congrats girl!!! I am completely blown away by you. You have stuck with a very big challenge. I don’t know why I’m surprised.

    Crazy that you saw Brian there!

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