Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

LiveStrong 5K

by Rebecca on 2008-10-26

Yesterday, William and I ran our first 5K! A few months ago, a friend of ours sent out an email announcing that she was running in the LiveStrong Foundationʼs LiveStrong Challenge and wanted people to donate money. (The LiveStrong Foundation was started by Lance Armstrong, and its primary function is to raise money for cancer research.) Iʼd wanted us to have a goal like this and this seemed like a great cause, to boot.

So, we began training. William found a “Couch to 5K in 6 weeks” training plan, and thatʼs what we did. Three times a week, we headed to the track at our gym and worked up to running for 30 straight minutes. Some of those runs were late at night, and others were very, very early in the morning. But having the race as our ultimate goal really helped to motivate us. Well, me, at least. Canʼt speak for William and how motivated he felt when I would say, “Looks like weʼll have to get up at 4:30 tomorrow to go running.” Sometimes, we have to help each other out.

Yesterday was the race. Our friend Erin had agreed to run with us, and her husband came to cheer us on and take pictures. We headed down to the Capitol around 7 and found hundreds of other runners who all looked like they knew a lot more about running than we did.

Honestly, when you see people who are jogging uphill as their warm-up, you know youʼre in a completely different league. Anyway, we ran the race, stopping once to grab a drink of water, and William was amazing. He ran the whole thing and helped me to keep going, even on that one last hill where I thought I was going to fall over because I was so out of breath. And I grabbed his hand just before we crossed the finish line, mostly because I wanted us to be able to show that we were in this together. We even finished in a respectable time, 31:28.

This picture is of the finish line, and it made me laugh because on the right side is the chute for regular runners and the left side is the chute for cancer survivors who got a yellow rose after the race. It wasnʼt exactly clear what was supposed to happen there — the “Survivors this way” sign was a posterboard written on with a Sharpie marker. I think the volunteer in charge of making that sign must have flaked out at the last minute. Anyway, I think a lot of people probably went down the Survivor chute on accident — I almost did, except that William tugged me in the right direction. And we saw a guy from our old ward walking around with a yellow rose, and Iʼm not sure that heʼs really a cancer survivor. I think he just got confused.

Now, running the race was great. Weʼre in better shape than we were six weeks ago, and weʼll probably run more races in the future. But as we ran yesterday, I had a chance to reflect on what this was really all about. One of the things that you could do is wear a little card if you were running in memory of someone, in honor of someone, or as a cancer survivor. The cancer survivor cards were yellow, and I was surprised to see so many yellow cards plugging away. And I was absolutely astounded to see how many people were running in honor of someone or in memory of someone who had succumbed to cancer: Steve, Lance, Mom, and Uncle So and So and a hundred other names that were unfamiliar to me, but so, so special to those who wore their cards proudly. I couldnʼt help but think that we were really running as a symbolic show of support for those who couldnʼt run. It was intensely moving. And hereʼs who I ran for.