Monday, August 10, 2009

A celebration - of 2 types

This weekend I had an opportunity to celebrate something very special to my heart, and accomplish a personal goal at the same time. I have always wanted to be a runner. I love running, and I have always wanted to incorporate that into my fitness routine, but it has been very difficult over the past few years, and I have been a little lazy about it as well. Since my surgery, exercise has become even more important, so I decided now is a good a time as ever to start running. I decided a few weeks ago I wanted to start the "Couch-to-5K" program that has become so popular. Knowing myself, though, I knew I had to have a goal to work toward; so, I decided that I would find a few different 5Ks on the area to participate in. The first one I found could not have been more perfect - the Kansas City Race for the Cure to benefit the Komen Foundation. See, a few years ago, my world was rocked when we found out my maternal grandmother (my Gran-Gran), and my only living grandparent, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank the Lord, she is now cancer free and is doing great; however, having a woman in your family diagnosed makes it that much more of a reality. According to the Komen Foundation, an estimated 192,370 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed during 2009. When it has happened to someone you know, much less someone who shares part of your genetic makeup, this statistic gives you pause. That being said, I decided that my first exercise goal post-surgery was to participate in the race in celebration of my Gran-Gran.
Little did I know, that 28,000 other Kansas Citians decided to so something similar this weekend! The response was moving and overwhelming. To see so many women, survivors, men, and even children turn out to support research in this area reminds me that there is still a lot of good in the world. I was overwhelmed, and it was hard not to get too emotional at times! As we stood waiting for the official start, they read names of survivors and those who had lost their fight to the disease over the loud speaker. It was touching. We even had a moment of silence before the start for those women (and men). I was deeply honored to participate in such an event, and to wear my Gran-Gran's name on my back. I know that unfortunately this disease will effect even more women in my life in the future, but on this day, I truly felt like I was doing something positive to perhaps circumvent some of that because I am confident that a cure will be found!
So, details on the race itself. For starters, I am not a great runner - yet. I am training, and I am doing my best. Some days I push my body so hard that I never want to see another pair of running shoes again! Other days, I love it so much I want to go twice. (I never thought I would say that!!) When I started exercising again after my surgery, it would take me at least 25 minutes, usually closer to 30, to walk a mile. What can I say? I'm slow! Most of my training thus far has been walking/jogging for about 35 minutes, which is not quite 2 miles. I knew with that in mind, the fact that this race was 3.1 miles, Kansas City is 90% uphill (I'm convinced!), and the large crowd, that it might take me a while to finish. My goals were:
1. To finish without stopping to rest
2. To jog some
3. To finish in under an hour
Well, guess what - I did all of that! I was so pleased with how I did! I started out jogging, and probably jogged the first half a mile, then did a lot of walking because the first 3/4 of the course were uphill (I'm not exaggerating, either!). I was hot, and my legs were very tired, and about 3/4 of the way through, I wanted to stop or seriously slow down, but I didn't let myself. I told myself that if my Gran-Gran and all these other women could fight breast cancer, the least I could do was finish this race! I finished 'officially' in 54 minutes because I started well behind the start line. I started my stop-watch when I crossed the start line, and according to it, I finished in 52 minutes.
What a great day! Here are a few pictures that I took of the day. Now, on to train for the September race! The Royals are hosting a 5K to benefit autism and some of their other charities, and I'm already signed up for that one! We'll see how training goes this week and next, and I'll let you know my goals before the race!
Until then, I've got a full day (week) of work ahead of me, and I'm off to buy a good pair of running shoes - ones that actually support my feet the way they should. I've just been jogging and walking in my regular workout shoes, and my hips and knees are protesting!
Me, before the race
They had cards to wear that said "In Honor of" or "In Celebration of" - this was mine!

At the start line - look at all those people! Just think - I was pretty close to the front, actually! If I wasn't so short, I would have tried to take more "crowd" shots!

Right after I finished!

Kind of blurry, but this is "my" official time!


  1. Congratulations on your participation in the Race for the Cure. At Cure Jewelry, we donate 10% of all sales of our handmade jewelry to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. You might say we're on the same team!

  2. Good Job Becca!!! Im so proud of you :) Keep it up!!!
    I know Aunt Sammie is VERY proud of you!!!

  3. Congrats, that is a major milestone. I'm very impressed with your will to work-out now, very inspiring!

  4. Good for you!! One thing I had to learn was not to compare my times with the times of others. I was not a fast runner, but it was fast for me. I figured as long as I'm doing it who cares if someone else runs faster, I'm enjoying the weather. ;)