It has been both an exciting and emotional week, punctuated by a really great St. Patty’s Day race and beautifully warm weather this morning. We booked our venue and photographer (which I will write about in a separate post tomorrow), my grandma is in the hospital and her prognosis has been anywhere from “she may be going home tomorrow” to “she might not make it through the night” (now, if she leaves the hospital she will need 24-hour hospice care), and this morning I ran the Get Lucky 7k in honor of a graduate school friend, Sara, who has been in the ICU at HCMC because of a car accident two weeks ago. This was one of those weeks where you realize that life shouldn’t be taken for granted. First, I’ll give you my public service announcement on donating blood and then I’ll tell you about the race. (side note: the craziness of this week is also why I didn’t post my update picture for Weigh-In Wednesday. I will make sure to do it next week!)
STRIDES FOR SARA: SAVE LIVES, GIVE BLOOD
I met Sara when we both traveled to Brazil in January 2009 for a short-term study abroad. She is a very warm and friendly person. But, as odd as it may sound, I really got to know her better this past year over Facebook. She became an avid runner so we started corresponding more and more, and planned to run some of the same races this year. It’s weird how Facebook friends become real friends (if that makes sense). She is just one of those people who is so warm and friendly that, even over a social media site, makes you feel like you’re a friend. Judging by the number of hits to their Caring Bridge site, I think a lot of people feel this way about Sara and her husband.
Anyway, when our mutual friend Robin told me about the accident, I was really sad and wanted to help in some way. But, how can you really help in a situation like this? You can give blood and raise awareness about blood donation. (visit the Red Cross blood donation website for more information). Sara and her husband both benefitted from blood donations after their accident and my grandma had a blood transfusion this week to improve her pain level. All three of these people benefitted from the generosity of others who have donated blood. To be honest, I haven’t donated yet. But, I plan to. I know it won’t go to Sara, Chris, or my grandma but it will go to someone else’s friend or loved one.
The thing about runners is we like to use running to spread messages, so Sara’s friend Angela had t-shirts made to help us spread the “Save Lives, Give Blood” message at the race. This is me in my shirt:
There were 6 of us who ran the 7k and 8 people who ran the half marathon to honor Sara. The effort is growing via the Strides for Sara website, where many runners are logging their miles and more information about donating blood can be found. I have a list of the races Sara planned to run this year, so Angela is coordinating a group of us that will cover all of her races. If you’d like to join the community rallying around Sara and/or the effort to raise awareness about blood donation, visit Strides for Sara to log your miles or get information on future races.
IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY! I ran the Get Lucky half marathon last year and it was in the 20’s. This year, it was in the 60’s when the race started. Of course, all of us Minnesotans were loving the weather! This was my first time running the 7k and I loved the course. The half marathon is held in St. Paul and the 7k is in Minneapolis. I definitely prefer the views during the 7k run. I carried my camera with me to document some of the course:
Toward the back of the starting line – there were 7k people running the 7k!
This is my wave running to the starting line…
Running behind the Guthrie…
It is hard to tell in the picture, but there are still runners at the starting line waiting to go (just past the buildings) and the street below is about .5 miles into the race. Lots of people!
An Irish band singing along the route…
This is me about 2.5 miles in (yep, I look scary while exercising)…
The people at the finish line (and I was in the middle wave so this isn’t even everyone!)
Matt and I at the end of the race (he finished ahead of me)…
I was very under-prepared for this run so my goal was to finish without stopping, which I did! I was a little sad that I averaged 10:30 pace for a 7k, but completed a half marathon last October at an average pace of 10:00. I guess that is the difference between the beginning of race season and the end! My goal for this season is to run a half marathon in 2:04 or less, which is a far cry from my very first half marathon time of 2:30 in 2008. I guess I am getting faster, even if I still feel like I’m running in slow motion.
I don’t have many races lined up for this year yet so I better get moving on my training if I want to hit my goal! When I picked up my Get Lucky packet, I signed up for Team Ortho’s first annual Women Rock half marathon on September 1. It is 1 week before my wedding, so it will force me to stay in shape! As a prize for being one of the first 100 people to sign up, I got this:
Matt said he will use this as motivation this year! (he doesn’t need to – he is already in good shape) I’m honestly not sure what to do with this calendar but I found it funny anyway. Ok, this has been a long and somewhat rambling post so I’m going out to enjoy this wonderful weather.
What races are you signed up for this year? Do you have any activity goals this year?