Monday, October 8, 2012

Pink is Beautiful. I may have shed a tear. And also puked.

Posted By: Leah

This past Saturday I took part in the Greensboro Women's Only 5k for my second year in a row. I had not trained, heck, I had not run at all in months. Lauren and I made awesome shirts (DIY/Tutorial HERE) and we figured we had paid, so somebody somewhere would be getting mammograms thanks to our race fees and we'd just walk this thing. Yup, that was my plan... and it's amazing how plans always change ;)

We met up with Courtney (my cubee who left for a new job about three months ago) and Becca (who borrowed my race tutu this year). I was happy to be there, to support the cause but I just wasn't as motivated or excited as I was last year. Mainly because I had not trained or prepared. We hit up the restrooms before the race, and I grabbed an apple. You all know I only eat fruit till noon. Remember this apple! it comes to haunt me later... 

The corrals of runners moved up, we were in the 12 minute mile group, that was my pace from last year when I actually trained. I scrolled my ipod for a set playlist so I wouldn't get caught with lame Kid's Bop or Christmas music. I chose a playlist I had on there called "Walking" but I had no clue what it was. I had made that play list almost 2 years ago. They shot the starting gun, and we were off. My first song was The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.

Along with the 4000+ runners around me, we started off at a nice jog. I felt good. I turned around and snapped this shot of Lauren and Courtney running. (sorry for it being blurry, it's a true cell phone action shot)

As I turned back around, I realized I felt good running. It was a gorgeous and sunny fall day. I figured I'd run until I felt like stopping. As I reached the top of the first hill and turned to run on a main road Florence and the Machine's Dog Days are Over came on. I'm putting the Youtube here if you want to listen for the full effect. Or if you forgot the words. No really, hit play...

Florence is actually pretty good to run to. I have always liked this song, but not really thought about the lyrics. So as I'm running, my mind told me it's about time to stop. Physically I was fine, but it had been maybe 6 minutes of running. Suddenly I listen to the lyrics. Not just hear them but really LISTEN
Run fast for your mother; run fast for your father
Run for your children all your sisters and brothers
Leave all you love and your longing behind.
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive...
And I started tearing up. It suddenly hit me. I'm not just out there having fun with my friends on a Saturday running for fun. I'm not just wearing a super cool shirt I made to look adorable. I'm out there running... for a real reason. A cause. I am running because other people can't. I am doing my part and because of my and everyone else's race registration fee, women who are uninsured or can't afford mammograms will now get them. That they might have cancer and this mammogram will catch it. And they will get help. And they will hopefully live.

I started thinking about family members who have had cancer. It's a lot. And I look around, I see the "In honor of" signs on the shirts of the ladies and girls running next to me. I get it. And I run. And I run and I run. I turn the next corner and I'm feeling so determined. In my mind I decide I'm running this whole first mile. With zero training I know I can do this. I've run a mile without stopping before.

There were people on the sidelines cheering. They had taken time out of their Saturdays to make signs, bring cow bells, and to encourage all of us running to do our very best for this important cause. As I ran by the people on the sidelines, I would wave or high-5 them. If they were young I'd fist bump them and yell out "Thank you for encouraging us!!"

I turned the next corner, went down a hill and there was a lady with a sign that said "1 Mile" and she was yelling out 12:45, 12:48 and I realized I had run a little less than a 13 minute mile. For all you actual runners out there, you know this isn't exactly stellar time.  I was doing a light jog. But I was doing it. And it felt good.

The songs on my ipod were absolutely perfect. Everything from Michael Jackson's Beat It to Black Eye Peas Pump It. And yes, I slowed down and let myself walk. But everytime I'd pass people on the sidelines I'd run, and wave, and whoop it up and high-5 them. At the top of Villa Dive (aka 'Killa Villa' for this race) I saw a boy scout troop. And the boy's grandmothers with them passing out water. I smiled, clapped for them and thanked them all.

I ran by a church and there were signs that said things like "Thank you, We Love you" and "God Believes in You, We Believe in You, Keep Running" and I did.

There's a part of the course where you pass those people who are faster than you going one way, then those who are slower than you, as you go the other way. This happened last year and it did this year too; and I passed my friends. Both ways. The chances of running into them in this one spot were sooo slim but it's happened two years in a row. And it was awesome.
This was me running by Courtney and Lauren last year. I tried to snap a pic on my camera phone but got a picture of my finger instead this year :(
Remember the apple I had eaten earlier? Well that was starting to cook in my stomach, plus I haven't really been the best in drinking water recently either. I'm all over the coconut juice, but actual water... I for sure don't get my 8 glasses a day in. Anyway, I was starting to become a little bit dehydrated and had passed all the water stations (this is only a 5k, that's 3.1 miles total so they don't really have that many water stops). I could feel the apple turning itself into apple sauce in my stomach. Not the worst thing in the world, but you know... I probably should have skipped eating it 15 minutes before the race after zero training.

I walked (I was doing a power walk at this point) around the final turn and it is approx 1 mile on a slow incline to the finish line. Again, I've done this race before, I know the course. And I remember from last year to walk most of that last mile so I can run the final 1/4th and be all smiles for the photographers at the finish line.

The Bee Gee's "Stayin Alive" came on my iPod (I'm telling you, it was the most perfect play list in history).

So I'm all singing out loud:
Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother you're staying alive, staying alive!
And feeling like I'm single-handed saving lives by running this race (yes I was probably delirious at this point LOL but I really was sooo proud to be a part of this day). The applesauce churning has risen in my throat, but I was feeling pretty good other than that. I could breathe fine, I wasn't sore, no side cramps. I was passing people trotting up the hill, it was good times.

I was getting extra pumped and high-5ing everyone! Cops on motorcycles, kids on the sidelines, I was thinking how much of a fun person I was, and how motivational I must be to the rest of the runners around me (I think I get cocky/delirious with the dehydration) And of course I'm still thanking everyone for their support.

I see the finish line and make a mad dash. I had no clue of my time at this point (I think I was around 27 minutes at the 2 mile marker.) I was smiling big time, I step foot over the finish line and the apple (now sauce/puke)  comes back into my mouth. It was unfortunately not like when people say "I threw up in my mouth a little." But I'm talking legit mouth full of apple puke. I try to keep it together and of course there are people EVERYWHERE. I thought to myself ok I can't swallow this, I have to spit it out... but before I could even complete the thought more puke came up, forcing me to barf right there probably 20 feet past the finish line.

No one really seemed to care. And I have volunteered at enough marathons and cross country race events for work in my life to know puking at the finish line is no big deal. Then I see this old couple hanging out by a trash can. Without saying anything, I make my way over, throwing up as I go (sorry for the grossness but you know you were waiting for this part of the story lol!) and puked that apple and probably 3 days worth of other food up.

The little couple was sooo sweet. The man said 'oh this is the best thing you can do, you'll feel so much better!' and the woman, bless her heart, said 'honey you can use my shirt to wipe your mouth off.' I of course didn't. I mean eew omg gross! she would have had to take off her shirt after having my puke on it and I can't be having old women with no shirts on because of me. So I let them know I was fine. The man said 'you're just dehydrated, let me call a paramedic.' I knew I was fine, I just ate too soon before running and probably could have used some water. I assured them I was ok and swore I'd go get checked out by an EMT. (I totally didn't) 
me signing the pink CareLink ambulance prior to the race. how ironic I almost got to ride in it. j/k!
 really. I was fine!
I was more embarrassed than anything. I grabbed a bottle of water and there was no puke on me or my clothes thank goodness! I said hi to my friend who had run in my tutu and finished in 30 minutes... amazing! pushing a stroller! she's the best ever! I was sooo embarassed to go back to the finish line, but I wanted to cheer for courtney and lauren crossing. The time clock said 50:00 and i remembered they had run it in 54 or so last year so I still had no clue on my time this year, but hoped I hadn't missed them running faster this year with all my throwing up!

Fortunately I saw them run past! and I didn't bring my camera this year so I have a really great photo of their feet from my cell phone (kidding). Courtney and Lauren beat their time last year! They had both gone through the running, school, skipped it this year and did better! Get it girls!

We took pictures, I saw my friend from High School who also lives in Greensboro who just had a baby and pushed him in a jog stroller too. We got bagels, I had some more water and that was that!

Oh, but my final time was 44 minutes, 5 minutes slower than last year's time of 39 minutes. I clearly walked more and jogged slower this time. But honestly, I'm happy with 44 minutes. Yes that's a 14 minute mile on average. Whatever. This is what I have to say to that:

So what about next time? I have another 5k in November, but it's the color run which is not timed and I've heard it's mostly people walking and having fun. It will be BF's 1st 5k. Love this Color Run video!

Mental notes for the next race:
do not eat w/ in an hour of the race.
drink lots of water in the days before race.
bring camera.
bring ipod.
thank everyone, even if they think I'm crazy :) 
It was a good day. Easier and better than I expected. I surprised myself that I was able to run at all. I am grateful to everyone who supported the runners and I still feel proud I was part of such an important cause. And yes I was fine. I did not need to see the paramedic. No passing out or light-headedness. I just made a bad call on an apple.

Save the boobies!


  1. HA! Awesome, I'm glad I didn't see you throw up. I do think I saw you though when I was getting my running school picture taken. I recognized your shirt but you were far away talking on a cell phone (if it was you). It was definitley a fun race with all the people cheering. I like being praised whilst running!

  2. Yay Leah! So proud of you, doll! Puking and all! (I did that after the first day of my C25K training because I ate a bowl of cereal prior...yeah, I was THAT stupid. Ha!) Whether you ran the entire time or not, it doesn't matter. You did fantastic, such a wonderful thing, and I'm proud of you! I only wish we were closer so I could have joined you!

    I'm doing the color run next year in Boston and I could NOT be more excited! Whoop whoop!

    Save the boobies! Paint October pink! xoxo

  3. Omg! You poor thing! That was awesome that you kept going though!

  4. Go you! The color run looks like so much fun. Hopefully you won't get sick at that one!

  5. I did a Color Run over the weekend -- look for that post tomorrow or if I'm in your reader, you probably already saw it because I accidentally posted it last night and then had to reschedule it. Anyway -- it's totally just a fun run. Lots of walkers. Some people dancing in the color stations. So much fun!

  6. Congratulations! I can't wait to do a real 5k since my last one never ended up happening. I love those days when every song is just perfect to keep you up. I love that you puked...makes you human :)

  7. Good for you!! I can't wait, ours is this weekend, and I'm doing the walking 5k, because i'm not hardcore enough to run it!

    Florence is a great band to run to. I love them. Good pick!!

    Can't wait for the color run next year. :) i'm going to try it out!!

    pink is beautiful...especially when we all wear & Support it to make a difference.

  8. yay!! so excited for you!! GOod for you for finishing that race!! I would of quit. lol but I tend to quit, i need to find the enjoyment in running.

    and no way, we are doing a color run too. November 3rd. My first 5k ever too!! cant wait to read all about yours!!

  9. Yay for sticking with the race. The color run looks fun. Ours is in Jan. Good Luck!

  10. Look at you, speed racer! You look fantastic in your tie-dyed tshirts, too cute.


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