Monday, May 9, 2011

Running with the boys

As I've mentioned several times I'm not the fastest runner. I run for me not because I'm ever going to win any awards. But last weekend, at the 1st Annual Kayla Stanford Memorial Run, I found myself running for girl bragging rights. 

A number of my co-workers were running the race, and I was insisting that I was going to beat the boys. Go big or go home, right?  The race was held on a gorgeous spring morning in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  A sizable group gathered to complete the run/walk.

Runners and walkers at the start
I started the race with two of my male co-workers refusing to let them get ahead of me. The run began on the grass soccer field at Ypsilanti High School, and to my surprise the entire course was on grass or trails through the woods. The woods were also quite hilly - surprise!

I've only done one trail run, and it didn't go well. Running on wooded trails, even for a 5K, is so much harder than running on a road or sidewalk. About half a mile in I was already breathing hard and trying to ward away pains in my sides. Fortunately the boys seemed surprised by the course too so I was able to keep up with them.

The last half mile or so one of my co-workers pulled ahead, but I was able to finish with the other one. It wasn't my 5K PR, but it was the hardest 5K I've ever done - and the most rewarding.

I am smiling, but it's fake
I am so proud to have run for such a wonderful cause. Kayla Stanford suffered from sudden cardiac arrest, but hopefully through the work of the Kayla Foundation many of those tragedies can be prevented in the future. To learn more about sudden cardiac death, visit the Kayla Foundation or American Heart Association websites.

I (mostly) kept up with the boys, and I'm already looking forward to the 2nd Annual Kayla Stanford Memorial 5K. But next year I'm training on trails, and the boys are going down.

With co-workers after the race


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