So this weekend I ran in the Race for the Cure in Houston. Let me just start out by saying if you have not signed up for one in your area, leave my blog and go find one in your area and sign up. Here, I'll even make it easy for you: Click this Race for the Cure and find one in your area.
I don't care if you are a runner, a walker or just starting out. Sign up for the race. You wanna know why? Not just because I am a survivor, though that is a good selfish reason. Sign up because so many people run, walk or wog. There is no way you will feel out of place. There were over 30,000 people at the event here in Houston. That's right, 30K. Most people never run 5Ks except this one. They had a group of friends from work, church, school or some other organized group that said "hey you want to run with me in the Race for the Cure?" And they said, yes.
Now did they run? Well most of them walked, and I mean most of them. Why is that great? Because you won't feel pressured to run the whole thing. So you get the experience of a first 5K without the pressure of running the whole thing. Now, I am not going to get on my soap box about how your goal for the first 5K is to just finish. But you know how I feel.
So what better way to get the first 5K under your belt than to do one that is so unique and big that there is no way you will feel out of place. You know why? Because you will see all walks of life out there. Young kids, teenagers, moms, survivors, those still fighting, old men, old women, pink hair, no hair, size 2, size 22, tall, short, running, walking, skipping, walking with their dog, running with funny hats...you name it. There is no way you will feel "different".
Look I am fluffy. I totally can relate to being embarrassed by running in public. I have been there. I have been the one tugging at my shirt when someone past by or letting out a huge sigh when I thought I was alone on the trail and someone passes me or someone drives by me and they have to slow down to make a turn and in the back of my head I am thinking they are slowing down to get a better look at the fluffy gal that is running. Again, read my older posts.... don't worry about that. But if you still want to, then sign up for the Race for the Cure. You will never feel more accepted and loved than you will at this.
Every bridge you run under, every turn you make, heck every 10 yards, there are people cheering you on. There is loud music playing and people just having a good time. When you get your race bib, memorize your number. Every once and a while, turn the Ipod down and listen to them chant your number, "Go 264! You're doing great 264! You are amazing 264!" I even gave some of them my princess wave ( you know closed hand, just a slight twist of the wrist).
Now with 30K of people, it can take up to 30 to 45 minutes before you even pass the starting line from the time the gun goes off. That is okay. If you have a chip, then as soon as you touch the mat that runs across the starting line, your personal time will start counting. Then when you cross the finish line, it will calculate your personal time.
Oh and if you think it is too hard. There is so much activity going on around you, bands playing, people handing out goodies, different organizations performing, that you will forget you are running and just have fun....and running should be fun.
So on a personal note: my Nike+ failed me again and found myself running in silence at the end of the race. Of my team of 12, I was the last one in. I was about 7 minutes behind the person before me....so what? My finish time was 54:19. I finished in 3135 place out of 4142 competetive runners. And I am proud of it!! The longest time for the run? 2 hours and 24 minutes for the competitive runners. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!
Look, I am not trying to tell you what to do, well actually I am. If you are just starting C25K or any running program or maybe you are about to finish, sign up for a 5K. If you can sign up for the Race for the Cure, please do so. This race is unique because it attracts more than just runners and even avid walkers. It attracts all different levels of fitness or lack of fitness and you are guaranteed to feel comfortable and welcome.
If you sign up for one, let me know when you will be running and I will make sure to cheer you one and see how you did.