October 07, 2018

KDB Melanoma 5K Run/Walk Race Report

If you get this in your inbox in January 2022, I apologize; I just realized I never made an actual "race report" for this 5K and I wanted to have one because it was a special race in memory of my friend Sarah. I have another post that I am writing for today (January 16, 2022) that refers to this race, which is why I wanted to publish it. I'm back-dating this one, so hopefully it won't show up in your inbox as a new post.)

ANYWAY, here is my race report from October 7, 2018...

Yesterday morning, I got up early again because it was the day of the Melanoma 5K Walk. I had signed up in honor of my friend Sarah, who died in 2014 after a long battle with melanoma. As I mentioned, I hate asking for money, even if it's for a good cause--so thank you SO much to those of you that donated!

Many many thanks to: Jen Grimes, Kristina, Gina Kenney, Megan Bell, Megan Mele, Lacey Baker, Music Watson, Tracy Marsh, Erin Sutton, "Runs for Cookies Reader", Susan Snyder, Allyson Cathey, Kaitlin O'Rinn, Tricia Neuburger, Cathy Bailey, Carol Hanscom, Rachel Coles, Barrie Nelson, Megan Dunn, Angie B, Vanessa Plante, Rebecca Smith, Tammy Buckner, Ann Lightfoot, Karuna Demla, Jennifer Bracht, Meredith Rodriguez, Les and Sue, Pamela Holmes, and Thomas Graf.

I admit, when I woke up and it was raining, I was so tempted to go back to bed... but knowing that so many of you had donated to our team, I wasn't going to miss it for anything! I drove up to Kensington Metropark (about 65 minutes away). I was kind of excited to see the park, because I'd never been there before and I heard it's a really nice one. It didn't disappoint (I'll have to go back with the family one day when it's not so rainy).

When I'd registered, I planned to do the 5K walk, not the run. I assumed all of "Sarah's Stars" would be walking together, so obviously I didn't want to be the random one that did the run. But once I got there, I realized that everyone sort of did their own thing (except Sarah's mom and kids, who walked together). When I saw Sarah's daughter, I couldn't believe how much she looked like Sarah--it was uncanny! And she's almost the same age Sarah was when we became friends.

Anyway, it was cold and raining. I hadn't thought to bring a long-sleeved shirt with me, because it had just been 80 degrees on Saturday. About five minutes before the race started, I asked at registration if I could switch to the run instead of the walk. They gave me a bib, and a few minutes later, I was at the starting line.

I didn't feel at all prepared. I wasn't wearing my running tights, but yoga pants instead (which meant my thighs would be all over the place, haha). I also didn't have my Garmin 😱I'd only run a race without my watch one time, and I hated it--I'd sworn I'd never do it again. All I was thinking was that I was cold and wet and if I ran, I would be done sooner.

The rain was just drizzling, and it was in the low 50's, so it was actually perfect running weather. I didn't intend to treat it as a "race", but rather just a regular run. It felt SO odd without my Garmin. I had absolutely no clue what pace I was running. There was a woman just in front of me that I kept pace with for the first half of the race. She was going just a tad bit slower than I would've liked, but I didn't want to feel like an idiot by passing her, only to get way too winded and then have her blow by me.

It was an out and back run, so when we got to the turn around point and the woman stopped for water, I kept going and was able to pick up the pace just a touch. There was a young boy who kept sprinting and then walking, over and over again. He cut me off several times, and it drove me crazy. It gave me the idea that Renee and I should talk to our cross country kids about "runners etiquette" during a race.

It's so funny that I was totally ready for the 5K to be over during that last mile. I've run marathons! But this 5K felt so difficult and long because I have gotten so out of shape over the last couple of years. I was desperate to look at my Garmin, and I kept forgetting it wasn't there.

When I was almost to the end, I saw a woman waiting for her friend on the side of the trail. I thought, "She looks like she could be in my age group... she should get moving!" ;) After that thought, I realized I hadn't seen many women who looked my age ahead of me. I never, ever expected an age group award, but I thought it'd be funny if I actually got one.

Finally, I could hear the music from the finish line, and I was so grateful it was almost over. I wasn't racing my best, but I was definitely pushing myself. My face felt like it was on fire--something that used to happen after all of my runs when I was a beginner.

I really enjoyed that race! Not necessarily the race itself, but more so the atmosphere and the camaraderie of the people. Other than Sarah's Stars, there were other teams of people showing support for loved ones with melanoma, or who they'd lost to melanoma. There were lots of clever sayings on shirts about moles or staying out of the sun. I was really glad I'd taken part in it.

Just now, as I was looking up the race results, I saw that I actually DID finish first place in my age group! Hahaha. My pace was 11:04/mile, so clearly the field wasn't very competitive. But fun for a last-minute 5K :)

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