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Kicking Cancer’s Ass

08/27/2011

While my friends and family on Long Island were preparing for an impending hurricane, in Western New York we awoke to beautiful, blue skies. It was the perfect day for the Tops 5K to benefit Roswell Park Cancer Institute. As I’ve posted, my mother-in-law is currently undergoing treatment at RPCI making it a cause that is near and dear to my heart. When I saw this race earlier in the summer, I made it my mission to assemble a team and do some fundraising. I had previously run a race for RPCI and knew what an amazing feeling it was participate in an event that did so much for others. So after months of promoting Team Macaulay, 13 of us joined the 1000+ plus runners on the starting line this morning.

The opening ceremonies were definitely emotional. This year’s race was dedicated to a woman who had just lost her battle with cancer the previous month and her husband spoke about how he and his wife never felt so much hope as when they were inside RPCI. The doctors, nurses, and volunteers always had a smile and a positive word for every patient that entered the building. Knowing that my mother-in-law was receiving that same support each visit made me choked-up and I was just so proud to be part of this cause. By putting one foot in front of the other this sunny Saturday morning, I was able to help.

By the time the starter’s pistol sounded, it was just after 9:30 AM and the temps had gotten pretty warm, a little warmer than I’d like during a race but at least wasn’t a hurricane (I’m looking at you, LI) so I couldn’t really complain. I lined up towards the front because in a race with this many walkers it is easy to get boxed in at the start. Even though I did an easy 20-minute warm-up, I still felt a little tight but was happy when my first mile was a 7:09–maybe a little faster than I’d like but not that batshit crazy 6:40 first mile I did at a 5K back in March. The course was mostly flat and only had 8 turns–perfect conditions for a PR… for anyone but me. For whatever reason, I have really struggled with racing since my return to running 18 months ago, and while I can run negative splits or hold an even pace during my training runs, I can’t pull it off on race day. My second mile clocked in at a 7:39 and the last 1.1 (I failed to hit my watch at the 3-mile marker) was an 8:46 (putting that third mile somewhere in the 8:05-8:10 range). I crossed the finish line at 23:37.

While my time today was 0:11 better than my 5K in June, I couldn’t help but compare it the 5K that I ran in March (23:18) and contrasting race times is a slippery slope that always leads to mourning my race times from 5 years ago (before the stress fracture, Brian, Sean, and Amelia). I can’t help but think “I’ll never come close to a 21:02 again! I can’t even get close to breaking 23:00!” I know–I seriously need to get over myself! But luckily today there was very little time to throw a pity party with so many wonderful things happening around me! I focussed on the plusses and only bemoaned finishing 4th in my age group once (ok, ok, 4 times).

The Awesomes:
+ Madylin ran her very first 5K (44:11) and is already planning another
+ Brian walked the 5K with Sean and Amelia in the double jogger and is going to be starting Fleet Feet’s No Boundaries program next month
+ My dad ran his first race in over 10 years and placed 3rd in his age group
+ Team Macaulay raised over $1500 for Roswell Park Cancer Institute
+ The Tops 5K raised over $105,000 for RPCI

Obviously there is a lot to celebrate. Today was a fabulous day–wonderful people, an amazing cause, and successful fundraising. I loved that I was not only a part of it, but a catalyst in getting Team Macaulay assembled. It was a way to not feel so helpless as we watch some one so dear to us fight this awful disease. My involvement with RPCI’s Team Cure has provided a source of comfort–I am helping Mom Macaulay and all the patients at RPCI receive the very best care possible. The runners and walkers that take part in these events are funding those smiles and positive words that brighten the days of the patients. I highly recommend getting involved in a similar charity event, selecting a philanthropy near and dear to your heart. It is a wonderful experience and I plan to continue supporting RPCI long after they have helped my mother-in-law kick cancer’s ass.

Today’s Workout:
20 minute warm-up
5K/23:37
10 minute cool-down

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 11/25/2011 3:41 PM

    I’m so proud of all of you!

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