On Saturday, I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here in Richmond, VA.
As everyone knows, with my sister’s fight, breast cancer is a cause I will support to no end, so it seemed like fate that Alex’s mom used to work for Susan G. Komen and is one of the race organizers.
She signed Alex, his dad, and me up for the event a few months ago, and despite 5Ks admittedly not being my ideal race distance (I’m definitely a slow twitch muscle fiber athlete), I’ve been really excited to race for the cure.
This was the first year the race was split up into competitive and recreational, so Alex and I laced up early and were at the start line at 7:30 a.m. Since Alex came in third overall last year and has one long stride to about every three of mine, I planned to just chase him and see how closely I could keep up.
Y’all. This 5K went by so freakin’ fast! The last one I ran was the Fit Foodie Run in Fairfax last June (psst, we are running it again in two weeks and you can sign up here with discount code “lifeofblyss”!), and I remember feeling like it might last forever with twists and turns around buildings. For me, it’s hard to keep up my strongest sprint for 3.1 miles, and because it’s so challenging to me, 5Ks seem to drag.
However, this course was beautiful. It goes over bridges with a view of the city, spans across a good amount of land, and has a good amount of uphill/downhill. Since I worked out normally throughout the week with my typical daily 5 miles, took a fair amount of Pure Barre classes, and taught my Pure Barre and Pure Barre Platform classes, I was pretty sore the Friday before the race, which always makes me nervous.
Ultra roller to the rescue!
You know how sometimes you can run a race and perform pretty well, but it feels terrible? I think every 5K has felt like that.
Saturday didn’t feel like that.
I felt strong, I felt capable, and I felt like I wasn’t even working too hard, which is partially why I wasn’t really sure how my finishing time would turn out, despite checking my TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch stats.
I finished first for women, 7th overall. My previous best 5K time was back in 2010 with a time of 21:18, so I shaved over a full minute off my time. And it felt good!
I’m still pretty shocked by the outcome of this race, and I attribute it to two things.
One, Pure Barre Platform.
If you haven’t yet tried this class, you need to. And not just once. Just like regular Pure Barre, to get the most out of this class, you need to try it a handful of times and build the strength to really benefit. Platform was so absurdly difficult the first 5(ish) times I took it, and now it’s just another great workout I love to dominate. I feel so much stronger when I’m taking a regular Pure Barre class, and I can definitely tell a difference in my running strength, this race serving as Exhibit A.
Two, the absurd strength I see in my sister.
Her strength and passion are contagious, and it’s been a learning experience. I’ve watched her beat breast cancer twice now, one in her 30s, once in her very early 40s. Not only did she kick it, but she did it while raising three little girls, and with a smile on her face. After witnessing how stalwart she stayed though the entire process, never have I been more thankful for the way our parents raised us, and never have I ever believed more that God gives hurdles to the people who can handle them. Now, in my pretty mundane (by comparison) every day life, I remember that strength and disposition I see in her and I try to mirror it.
Oh, and Alex? He came in fourth place overall, beating me by about 20 seconds.
I’m just lucky he even lets me go on leisurely runs with him. Last year the guy placed third.
After the race, we were interviewed by NBC12 and made friends with the ladies I watch early morning at 6:00 a.m. anytime I hit the treadmill. I told them I felt like they were my training buddies… ha.
Yesterday morning’s run was probably the most eventful one I’ve had in ages. I almost LOLed off the back of the treadmill as Andrew Frieden spoke to my pace and showed a picture of my finish line cross (if you missed it, follow me @ ablyssa on Snapchat).
This race and this cause means so much to me and my family, and what really matters is the actual race for the cure. I believe in Susan G. Komen’s mission, and I’m so thankful there are other people out there fighting for the many (1 in 8!) women like my sister.
What’s the most meaningful race you’re ever run? Ever tried Pure Barre platform? Notice any results?