On Sunday I ran in the Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness with team hrt4bryan.
Its been about 2 years since my friend Bryan received a heart transplant after being being diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy about 10 years ago. You can read about his story here http://hrt4bryan.blogspot.com/. Bryan RAN in the 5k! What an amazing accomplishment!!! I was so incredibly proud of him. OH! and he designed the shirts himself… talented & adorable!
In his honor and to support organ and tissue donation awareness Hubs and I signed up to run the 10K, then we walked a 3K with the whole team afterwards.
The race took place in Philly along the Schuylkill River. Since we had to drive to Philly, Hubs and I decided to call up my Nana & Papa and invite ourselves over for dinner and a sleepover. They live not too far from Princeton so it was a nice opportunity to spend time with them outside of planned family events. My mom and Mr. Ted joined us as well. I seriously have the cutest grandparents.
Back to the Race – the course was flat, it was a gorgeous day (a little breezy but nothing like the day before) and I was familiar with the route from the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon.
Having learned my lessons from the 5K debacle the day before, I went out slower than I ultimately wanted to run. (Goal was sub 55 min 10K). There were A TON of people at the starting line all running different paces, so I spent time weaving in and around all the other runners. My first mile was 8:50. MUCH better than the 7s from the day before. See! I’m applying my lessons learned to future races!! (wont last long but I am savoring the moment for a wee bit).
The first 4 miles I was flying and felt fantastic, legs were on point, breathing wasn’t too labored, pace was sub 8:30s. … andddd at around mile 4 I got a stitch/cramp whatever you call it on my right side. I tried several things, changing my stride, adjusting my breathing, grabbing water. NOTHING worked. ahhhhh! so frustrated. I continued on knowing I only had 2.2 miles to go at that point and could just suck it up. Those were the LONGEST 2.2 miles of my life. I ended up walking through a water station (true story). Pulling over to the side to stretch it out Then with .5 left to go in the race but still keeping my pace up, I pulled over to stretch again and my running angel showed up. She grabbed my arm and said “C’mon you’ve been running with me the whole time, you cant give up now. We got this, don’t think about it.” I then asked her name, and some questions about who she was to keep my mind off the run (this tends to be a really phenomenal remedy as the mind is my worst enemy). She and I ran it in together and then went our separate ways.
Thank you running angel… you helped me reach my sub 55 min goal and a personal record with a time of 54:36.
It was a wonderful day spent with friends & running!
AND the best part was that the Dash raised over $400k for this amazing cause.