Sunday, September 23, 2012

My first official 5K

Since quitting cheerleading (after 8 years of it consuming my life), I've had trouble finding my place in being athletic.  Yes, I still worked out at the gym, but I didn't have a way to set goals, compete, get awards, feel accomplished, etc.  I really like playing tennis, but you have to find another person who likes to play, has the same downtime, and lives near the same court (impossible with my group of friends).  So needless to say, I haven't played tennis in a long time.  I joined a school "pickup team" for fun, but they always play on Friday nights, and I'm usually busy with something.  I told myself that I needed to find something athletic I could do by myself, so running came to mind.  My class at SCO is filled with great runners (and by great I mean people who run 1/2 marathons at paces faster than I can run 1 mile!!!), and I've always been envious of their abilities.  I also see those I know in their 60s still running, and know that it's something I can do, no matter how old I am.  So the light bulb came on in my head, and I thought, I need to start running, and after completing my first 5k, I think I've found a new hobby!!!   

My sorority (Sigma Alpha Omega) has a national philanthropy - Ovarian Cancer Awareness.  When I was in undergrad, we participated in a local walk every year and raised awareness by handing out pamphlets in the brickyard and answering the questions of passers-by.  After graduating from NC State, I still wanted to help, but it became challenging being away from the support of my sorority sisters.  However, one of SCO's students was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during my first year, and my reason for wanting to help out with this cause had new purpose.  This student was a part of the class ahead of me, and after her courageous battle, has picked up again with the class behind me.  She never gave up on hope, and impressively hasn't given up on her dream of becoming an optometrist.  She's so inspirational that I found extra drive to participate in the cause so dear to my ΣΑΩ heart!

I decided to see if Memphis had a 5k for Ovarian Cancer, and sure enough they did (p.s. if you didn't know, September is National Ovarian Cancer  Awareness Month)!!!  I signed up, and felt really good about it!  I thought my first 5k would be the Eye 5k (a fundraiser for SVOSH) in October, so I had been training a little bit, but I started training a little harder after signing up for the Teal for a Cure 5k.  I told my friend Amy that I had signed up to see if she wanted to run with me.  She's been a runner since high school, and has participated in many 5k's.  She also enjoys helping her friends get through their first ones!!!  Therefore, I was very thankful for her yesterday, being my cheerleader and helping me keep up at a good pace.  She probably worked harder trying to go slower than she wanted down hills and what not, but she was so great to push me and be there to prove to me that I could do it!!!  I'm so thankful to God for her presence.  She helped me complete my first 5k and within my goals.  I said that my goal would be under 30 minutes, and my super goal would be 25 mins... well I made my super goal, thanks to her!  And the best part is, she got 2nd place, and I got 3rd place in our division, 20-24 F.   Anyone who placed in the top 3 of a given category was given a wine glass (unless your category's age was < 20 haha)!  What a great prize!

I'm so excited, and now I have the motivation to continue running.  I would love to compete in a 1/2 marathon eventually.  I just love that getting involved in running allows me to give back to various causes, while still having a great time!!  Until my next race, please enjoy these pictures!

Before - yes, I wore a teal ribbon in my hair.  Cheerleading habits remain! :)

After - we made it in 25 mins!! 
With our wine glasses/awards.  Good thing I told Amy that I wanted to stay for the awards ceremony haha.

First 5k - check, goal time - check, award - check, new hobby? I think so!

Close-up of my wine glass

Another close-up

Screen shot of the PDF file on my computer displaying the results!

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