Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!

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Today We Waged Hope

Today We Waged Hope

Today we waged hope for better outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients and their families.  After months of anticipation, the Purple Stride 5k was upon us.  It was a tough, heartfelt morning full of love for Debbie and her family that left me in tears a couple times.  Team Deb Force five won an award for raising the most funds as a team for the second year in a row.  Unquestionably, Debbie was the key our success.  Our collective love and the respect we hold for Debbie continues to inspire us to wage hope.  She was a tour de force, who inspired so many of us.  

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While we were highly successful fundraising, my training and preparation for the race was poor.  Sadly, the results showed this as I finished with a time of over 30 minutes.  Excitedly, Jake and The Mayor had awesome showings with the Mayor getting 3rd place in his age group with a time of 28:11.  Albeit Jake didn’t place in the top 3, but still finished with a time of 25:13.  Of course, he was disappointed with his time feeling that he could have done significantly better.  Nonetheless, it was still over a minute faster than his time at the event last year.

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At the start of the race, The Mayor and his teammates, Jake and my co-worker Imani were at the front.  The Mayor and his teammates were super excited and nervous to embark on their run.  They were the cutest.  It was a sea of purple as we lined up at the start.   This was my first run at FAU and this particular course was absolutely beautiful.  Undoubtedly, I wish I had been better prepared for the run, but now I know what I need to do before the next event.

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After the event, my stomach was churning -thanks to chili I ate yesterday, but we waited for our team to finish. As the team members finished as we enjoyed the free food and we waited for the Mayor to get his medal.  A big congratulations to the Mayor and fellow Deb Force Five member HB who placed 3rd and 2nd respectively in the under 13 age group.  I now owe the Mayor $50 as he finished under 30 minutes and he beat me handily! 

Lastly, while the event may be over our work is still unfinished.  There is a long way to go in the war against pancreatic cancer and doubling survival rates by 2020.  In fact,  it isn’t too late to donate to Team Deb Force Five.  If you’d like to donate, please click here. To our Deb Force Five family, thank you for your participation, your donation and your continued love and support of this beautiful family.  

Today’s song is “The Sky is a Neighborhood” by the Foo Fighters.  I was jamming to this song as I finished my third mile today.  It’s a great one!

 

Our race

As tryout week winds down and my hockey mom nerves unravel, I can feel the tension leaving my shoulders and my stomach.  Friday night we had our last tryouts for the fall season.  Regardless of the outcome of tryouts, the ultimate decision is equally stressful.  I skipped the Monkey to get home earlier with the Mayor, so I could attempt to get to bed early in preparation for the Firefighter Eric Patrie 5k on Saturday morning.

I’m not a morning person, so when I have a race or early hockey game, I usually set several different alarms to ensure I’m out of the house in time to get to the event.  I prefer to get to the race about an hour early, so I can warm up, eat a little something, hit the bathroom and get acclimated for the race.   Saturday morning was not that morning.

I had set my Fitbit alarm, which usually works all of the time.  It doesn’t, however, work when you forget to put it back on after you shower.  I also set the alarm on my phone, but apparently it was for pm and not am.  Instead I awoke to my hubby saying aren’t you supposed to be somewhere by now?  It was 6:05 am and the answer of course was yes!

I ran out of bed, woke up Jake and gave him a ten minute warning.   We rushed to get ready and head towards Delray, so we wouldn’t miss the start.  I grabbed almonds in a rush and popped few on the way along with a GU gel.  We made it in time to park and head to the starting line before the scheduled start, but it felt rushed and our muscles (much like the weather by Florida standards) were cold.

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I had hoped to log a PR, but I was tired, cold and under the weather.  Honestly, I didn’t feel like running at all and was really craving the comfort of my bed and down comforter.  Nevertheless, Jake and I along with our KU running crew, including Evie the sweetest dog,  made our way to the starting line.  It was a gun to chip race, so Jake and I stayed near the front of the start corral to avoid the inevitable starting line traffic jam.

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As I ran the first mile, which felt like five, I fought through the desire to quit, the desire to walk, the desire to go back to bed and tried to maintain a decent pace.  It was a tough mile and slower than I wanted, but not horrible over all.  I grabbed some water continuing on to mile two.  Maybe it was me, maybe it was the weather or maybe it was the route, but mile two seemed to last forever.  I tried to maintain my pace as best I could and saw only a little degradation in pace between mile one and two.

Mile three beat me up.  The unusually cool and dry air dried out my throat and tightened up my lungs.  I had to stop to use my inhaler and was feeling the pain.  At this point, I had a choice to continue to walk and get comfortable or to run the remainder and try to hit my goal.  I chose to run. It hurt, it wasn’t pretty and in the end I missed a PR by tenths of seconds, but I did it.  I fought through the fatigue and pain to do my best.

Initially I was disappointed by my time (28.33) , but I think I was being too harsh on myself.  Two and half years ago, I ran my first 5k at a time of 34 minutes.  I started training in earnest last fall and whittled my time down to a PR of 28:32.  It’s not earth shattering fast, but it represents a lot of hard work and a lot of forward progress.  I didn’t feel 100% physically Saturday morning, but I didn’t let it stop me from giving 100% in the race and that was Saturday morning’s victory.

Meanwhile, Jake finished 6 minutes ahead of me, but was also disappointed by his time.  It was slower than his PR of 21 minutes, but he still  placed in the top 3 of his age group.  This was a very fast and competitive race, so I was happy to see how well he fared against the competition.  Even with the trophy, he was still disappointed with his result.

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Even though my time wasn’t where I wanted to be, I love the feeling of finishing a race.  I love the excitement of the start and the excitement of the finish.  I love seeing a first time 5k runner come through the finish line.  There is no better feeling finishing something you didn’t think you were capable of finishing and theirs is nothing better than seeing that sense of pride on a runner’s face as they finish their first 5k.  Joe – your KU crew was proud to see you cross the finish line and do great your first time out.  Can’t wait to see what you do in your second 5k!

Neither of Jake nor I, hit a time we were thrilled with Saturday, but we had a great time with good friends supporting a great cause.  For Jake and I, its back to training and working towards better results and greater distances.

If you’d like to know more about this event, here’s the website.