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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Run Your Race

18/52 (Yeah, yeah, I know I'm behind)

For any of you who know me or knew me back in high school, you know I'm not a stellar athlete. While I'm reasonably coordinated and generally athletic, I was never scouted by coaches like my siblings. And I was ok with that. 5 years on JV gymnastics and a injury shortened stint on the pole vault team were enough for me and so my physical activity dwindled after high school. I became a sedentary couch potato. However, when the summer of 2008 came around I was determined to get my self back in shape. The first week Jeff was on summer vacation I began a "Couch to 5K" (C25K) program. Its a running podcast that takes ordinary couch potatoes, like myself, and gradually turns them into 5K runners. I have never run longer than 1 mile at a time, and that was 10 years ago! I've got to get to 3? What the heck am I doing? But as most of you know, what I lack in ability, I make up for in determination. So, as my 9 week podcast wore on, I began to feel like I was eventually going to be able to do it. I might drop dead at the end of the run, but I would finish. And then there was trouble. Two of my friends who began running with me decided they were going to run an half marathon. Crap. 13.1 miles? That's psycho. They are out of their freakin' minds? Who in their right minds CHOOSES to run 13.1 miles? No one! They are nuts! But of course, being the competitive being that I am, I was not about to let them do it with out me. I'd never hear the end of it, all from that annoying little voice in my head of course, my friends wouldn't ever rub it in.

So there I was, waking up at the butt crack of dawn and running. And every time I would drag myself out of bed to run, I whined. I'm sooooo not a morning person. I want to go back to bed! But week after week I did it and amazingly I began to love it. I loved the feeling of sweat running in my eyes, my skin itching as the blood pumped through its surface. The feeling of my body kicking into auto pilot as I ran 6,8,10 miles. The feeling of my body kicking into overdrive as I sprinted the last of each run. I loved the camaraderie of running with my girls. I was slowly going insane. I was becoming one of those crazy people who runs for fun.

By the time the race arrived, I had done all I could to prepare my body and mind. It was, after all, more mental than physical. When I learned to turn my brain off and let my body do what I had trained for I amazed even myself. I finished my first half marathon in 2:28, averaging just under 11 minute and 30 seconds per mile. Each of us girls had our own goals for the race; finish, finish under 2:30, not stop at all. I accomplished my goal of not stopping the whole way. Crossing that finish line, knowing I had made it, was surreal. I couldn't pretend I wasn't a runner anymore.

After being side-lined in 2009 with my pregnancy I was a little worried about getting back into it. I was out of shape all over again. But I was in good company. I roped Jeff into joining me this year, and he is doing great. It's those long legs of his! And our team of 4 from year one had grown. We were now a full fledged running team. The Run Your Race team is 21 strong and counting as we move towards our November 7 race day. And we aren't just running for fun, we are running for a cause too. We are running for an organization called African Moons, which is helping to provide educational opportunities for children in Tanzania. Check out our great promo video to see photos of me and my team mates training, racing and finishing, as well as pictures of the kids we are running for.

Of our $140 registration fee, $45 will go towards allowing the children in this video to attend school for one month in the city of Arusha. Jeff and I have paid our first installment of $70 each but would like to offer you the opportunity to join with us in this great adventure. We are asking that if you donate, that it NOT be more than $10.

If you would like to donate, you can send funds through PayPal to the team email address: . You can send money via a credit card or directly from your checking account (it’s a secure transaction). Please make a note in the transaction that the donation is for me or Jeff. Or you can send a check to:

Run Your Race Team

c/o Northeast Assembly

4386 N. Chestnut Ave.

Fresno, CA 93726

Please write the check out to Northeast Assembly, but make sure to write “RYR Team” and my or Jeff's name in the memo portion of your check.

You can also check us out and learn more at

So, if you see anyone around Fresno wearing the yellow, green and blue wristbands, give them a pat on the back and tell them to keep up the good work. If you want to buy a wristband ($3) to show your support of our team, I'll be glad to get one to you! And if you wake up on a Saturday morning around 8:00, remember I've been up and running for the last 1-2 hours. Let that either make you wrap your covers around you tightly or give you a swift kick in the hiney to get out there and Run Your Race. If I can do it, so can you!