Hello loyal followers! I know it's been awhile since I've posted. I owe you guys a bunch of race reviews and at least 1 post about my progress towards the big day. But I wanted to put up a quick post about something that means a lot to me.
I've mentioned before how I was never really super athletic as a kid and it took me until my senior year in college to figure out that I needed to get my butt in gear and change my life. But it wasn't until last year that I got into running. My intern forced me onto the treadmill a few times last summer and I still wasn't super thrilled about running but I did it when she was around at the gym. I kept up with other things at the gym but I never really went more than a mile or two on the treadmill and I never ran the whole time. Then in the fall a friend of mine who volunteers with the Special Olympics e-mailed me asking for a donation for a 5k she was running to fundraise for the Special Olympics.
I've always liked the Special Olympics and what they do so I decided to not only donate but to register to run as well. To practice I ran 3.1 miles on a treadmill the week before and managed to survive without stopping to walk. Unfortunately I had only run a few races before and that was quite a few years ago and in all of those races I got tired early on and ended up walking most of the race. I really had no idea what to expect or how long it would take me to run this race.
I showed up on race day with my Everything bagel and iced tea from Dunkin Donuts (something that has now become a race day tradition for me), registered, and lined up for the race. A few of my friends were running and since I had no idea what this race had in store for me I decided that as long as I could keep them in view I was doing ok. While waiting for the race to start I made a few friends with the Special Olympics athletes. I even ran a good part of the race with one of them before he sprinted ahead of me and left me behind in his dust.
Given that I had no idea how fast I was running or should be running I decided to count the number of songs it took me to run a mile. That way I'd have some idea of how far I was from the finish line (in terms of number of songs...). I chugged along for the rest of the race and I even passed one of my friends who had slowed down towards the end. I would have slowed down to finish it with her but I feared that if I lost the momentum of running I wouldn't make it across the finish line.
I remember reaching the 3.0 mile marker and being able to see the clock ahead and that it was still under 30 minutes. I mustered all of my remaining energy and ran as fast as I could so I could beat that 30 min mark. And I did, I finished the race in 29:25!
After that I was hooked on races and running. A few days later I saw a commercial on TV for the Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon (clearly a sign from above, why else would I see a relatively small FL race advertised in the Northeast?!) and I set a new goal for myself, to finish a half marathon. A goal I accomplished just a few months later. Would I have gotten addicted to running without this race? Probably eventually. But since this was the race that got me hooked I decided that this year I wanted to give a little more back to the race that has started me down a new road in life.
I know that most people fundraise for marathons or other major events. I am training to run a marathon later this year but this race means so much more to me and I really like the cause. Special Olympics gives so many kids the opportunity to do things they probably never thought they could accomplish. And it was this race that gave me the opportunity to realize that I could be a runner, something I never thought I could accomplish.
I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment to consider donating this wonderful cause.
Here is the link to my fundraising page: http://www.active.com/donate/2011POHD5k/carolynandrews
PS I know donating to yourself is kinda cheesy but if you raise $30 you get free admission into the race so I figured I'd put some money towards my fundraising because I didn't pay anything to enter the race.