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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Race 5: May 8 -- Quincy, IL

On the morning of the race, my husband and I woke up at 4:00 a.m. I needed to pick up my packet by 6:55 a.m., and with the 2.5 hour drive, we needed to leave by 4:25 a.m. We quickly got ready, which included packing food and water for the dog since we were bringing her with us. We loaded the car with snacks and clean clothes for me to change into, and hit the road.

When we left, it was a little chilly, but not unbearable. And when I looked up the weather report for Quincy on Friday, the weather channel stated that it would be in the 50s and pleasant. And the weather channel was wrong. It was sunny and beautiful, but it was in the 40s with a fierce and biting wind. I was thankful that at the last minute I decided to bring my jacket.

The wind was rough on me during the race—it chilled me to the point of shivering. And since my joints don’t appreciate being chilled, they started throbbing. This caused me to push a little harder—I wanted to get done as soon as possible. But no matter how hard I pushed, the wind seemed to push that much harder. I struggled to stay on the road as it blew me to the side. With the stiff creaking of my joints and my inability to stand up to the fierce wind, I felt like a human wind chime.

But even with the harsh wind, it was a beautiful race. We ran along the banks of the Mississippi, through large wooded areas peppered with small farms. It was peaceful. And even though it was a small race, the race support was amazing. There were so many people who braved the cold weather to cheer us on. The whole race just had such a pleasant vibe—even with the wind.

I was wearing my “CURE LUPUS” singlet under my jacket, and for the first two miles, I did not dare remove the jacket and face the cold air. But I started thinking about my goal of raising awareness. How was I supposed to raise awareness when no one could even see what I was running for? So, a bit reluctantly, I removed my jacket and tied it around my waist. I only put my jacket back on once—at mile 10 I started shivering and needed the warmth. But at mile 11, I removed it again and completed the race with my singlet showing. I received several “Way to go Running for a Cure” and “Come on CURE LUPUS” cheers, and I knew my decision to run without my jacket obstructing my singlet was the right thing to do.

Reacing the finish line with my CURE LUPUS singlet visible

I texted my husband at mile 11 to let him know I was close, and when I got to the finish, he and the dog ran next to me. I was very surprised that despite my struggles with the wind, my time was a PR. I came in at 2:06:35, which is below a ten minute mile. And it excites me to think about how much faster my time might have been if I didn’t have to run against the wind.

With handfuls of snacks after the race

After the race, I snagged two handfuls of food (I was starving), and sat down with my husband and our dog. Feeling a bit refreshed, I went to the car to take a runner’s shower—a wipe down with baby wipes—and change into clean clothes. Warmer and refueled, I went to explore the banks of the river with Steven and Lady.

Steven patiently waiting for me to finish snacking

LadyBug watching other runners cross the finish line

Clean, warm, and happy after the race!

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