Friday, November 4, 2011

How do you run a race with high school students? or 5k for a cure

How do you run a race with high school students?

On my way to the AC Marathon I received a facebook invite for a 5k for a cure that would take place at the HS where I work.  My colleague had sent details about the High Schools Against Cancer club raising money for Breast Cancer research.  Having a direct connection to this disease, with my mother battling it multiple times and myself being a confirmed carrier of the breast cancer gene, I knew I had to run this race.  
Since it took place the week after the Marathon, it ended up being the first time I was to run since.  The track coach was doing the timing and asked me how I felt and did I have a goal for this race.  Honestly like any race I wanted to do the best I could but I did not want to embarrass myself in front of a bunch of teenagers!!  I felt good and ready to run fast.  
I was a little self-conscious about running with students and parents from the district to begin with.  I opted to wear a black skirt and a bright pink top with black white and pink socks and my pink Yankee hat to show my support for the cause (and provide me with no additional exposed skin if you know what I mean).  

It was a small group since this was the first year of the race, (And possibly because it took place the day after homecoming.  I don’t know… just saying).  It was a combination of runners and walkers, about 20 HS students so we all pretty much started out together.  Holy crap it was a fast start!  But what was I expecting; seventeen year old sectional champs are out in two seconds.  The boys took the lead quickly and I found myself in a pack of HS girls.   A little voice in my head was questioning if I belonged here.  A louder voice said “WHOOO I feel great”!  I heard one of my students call out to her friends “You guys suck!  You are going out way too fast”.  I later found out this was the soccer girls quickly falling behind the cross-country kids. 
The miles were not marked and I could only estimate how far I had gone.   

I ran most of the race with a sophomore, Amy whom I did not know.  We ran for at least a mile and a half, side by side, talking, even as fast as we were going.  I could only think, Damn!  I am keeping up!!  As we turned into the last stretch I found it was more of a hill than I had anticipated.   Amy pulled away as I reminded myself that I did NOT want to throw up in front of my kids, my mother, students and parents (that happened to include a school board member)!  I found my pace and gave it my all just below the vomiting threshold that has plagued me in the past.  

 I crossed the finish line in 23:35!  A PR for me!.   A boost I really needed.  

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