Several years ago when we lived in NY, my husbands family and I started a tradition of walking the Breast Cancer walk on Mother's Day morning. It was something fun for us to do together, in honor of my Mother in Law being a breast cancer survivor.
Here in Illinois, the race is held in October. I walked it last year with a couple ladies, and our finishing time was a miserable 55:33! There were so many walkers, that there was a huge bottle neck, and it was hard to keep a good pace.
Yesterday I participated in this race again. My goal was just to run the first few minutes to break away from the crowd of slow walkers. In doing so, I figured I could easily beat my time from last year. I knew it was unlikely that I could run the entire course, since I really hadn't trained much at all.
It was a cold, dark, damp morning. I went by myself, not wanting to take the kids out on such a dreary day. For some reason the race started 35 minutes late, which meant we were all standing at the start line, freezing. At that point I wanted to run just to get warm! I did in fact run for the first 7 minutes, then power walked for a few minutes, alternating between walking and running for the entire race.
Well, I not only beat my time from last year, (when I walked most of the race), but I also beat my time from the Chicago Lung Run in September! I really felt like I ran more at the Lung Run than I did this time, but somehow I finished in 42:30! My theory is that my running pace isn't really all that much faster than my walking pace. When I had to stop running to catch my breath, I walked faster than I ever thought I could walk. So, running the Lung Run actually took longer than a run/walk combo. Go figure!
The bad news is that I seriously irritated a hip problem that I thought was gone for good. I had problems with my hips during my second pregnancy, and for a long time after. Since I've been exercising, stretching, doing yoga, etc., it hasn't been a problem. For some reason, it flared up with a vengeance after the race. I was in horrendous pain last night, but it is starting to ease up today. I guess that's what happens when you're my age and think you can become a runner!
It doesn't matter though. I'd do it all over again. It's a good cause and has personal meaning for our family. It's a tradition I'm proud to keep going, even if it involves a bit of pain.