Oh boy. The days just keep moving along, don’t they? And I feel like I’m forgetting something, constantly. Sometimes I actually am. Usually I’m not, or I am but it’s inconsequential. But I do remember I said I was going to blog about something… the 5k I ran last weekend, perhaps?
Okay, yes. Last weekend I ran my second ever 5k, the Hot Cider Hustle. I signed up for this race back in August, with no other runners committed to running it with me. I had just decided that I needed to get it on the calendar, to give me something to work towards. And if anyone else ran it with me, even better. Then football schedules came out, and it turned out my husband and my son both would not be able to be there, as they had their respective football responsibilities. So it was just going to be me and my daughter. Now, I could get us there with the trusty Spec-Tran, but the problem would be that my daughter would be left alone while I ran the race. Not an option, as she is only 6. So a dear friend of mine offered to take us to the race and sit with my daughter while I ran. That is the first thing I had to be grateful for that day, but it gets better.
As we were driving to the park where the race was being held, I received a text from another dear friend, telling me that she was there, and had just signed up to run! She had run my first 5k with me, signing up at the last minute for that race as well. I love happy surprises. The first race I finished before she did, but only because she hadn’t even been training. This second race I was able to keep up with her new pace for most of the time, but towards the end as it got more crowded I wasn’t able to keep up with her and pass all the people safely. We plan to run more races together, and hopefully next time she won’t wait until the last minute to sign up!
And my most favorite part of this race? My big brother drove up to run it too. He told me just a few weeks prior to the race that he was going to join me, and I was both shocked and thrilled. I hadn’t even asked him to run. Why would I? He lives an hour away, and he’s a serious runner. He’s run marathons, so these 5ks are small time for him. I’m still not entirely sure why he decided to do the race. Part of it maybe was him missing the thrill of it, but I believe a bigger part was his desire to support his little sister (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). Of course he was a huge support to me, big time, and I’ll never forget it. Since he finished the race long before I did, he was able to run right alongside me during my final mile, coaching me to the finish.
This was definitely a difficult run, especially after I lost my friend in the crowd. I had to be sure I was on the right course, because there was a 10 mile race going on as well, and signs directing the runners. I only lost my balance once, and fell into the runner I was trying to pass, but I apologized and kept moving on. No harm, no foul. My brother suggested I get a bib to wear on my back that tells people I’m disabled, so that they don’t assume I can hear them, or that I can maneuver the way the other runners can. I think it’s a great idea, and I’ll definitely be looking into it for future races.
After I crossed the finish line, my brother came around to help me walk, because I really am a mess during those minutes following, when I’ve stopped running. The race volunteers were concerned, but my brother and friend (who had joined in helping me walk) assured them I was fine, that I had MS and I just needed to rest awhile. It may seem silly, but it makes me feel proud for people to know I have MS, and am running in spite of it. I may not run fast, but I’m running, and I’ll keep running until I’m forced to stop.
So, at the end of the day, I ran a very satisfying 3.1 miles in 38 minutes, 34 seconds, and was able to celebrate and share in that achievement with my big brother and two very good friends. It was certainly a day I’ll never forget.