Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Team Drea Challenge Guest Post #3 - by Cara

Lorton Prison Break 5k

I’ve known Andrea since high school when we spent most of our afternoons and evenings marching around the football field.  She was in the band and I was in Colorguard.  Years later, we crossed paths again when Andrea  and Dave hired me to coordinate their wedding in Durham, NC.  It was such a wonderful experience to be a part of their wedding day because I got to experience what truly wonderful, kind, and fun people they are.  

[Editor's note: Cara did an amazing job on our wedding!  She was so ever-present, she looks like a bridesmaid! And who looks this gorgeous eating pizza?!]

Andrea and I have remained Facebook friends since then and we both actually happened to end up in the DC area.  Once Andrea started her blog, I’ve followed her journey and honestly, I felt like someone punched me in the gut when I read that she had received her ALS diagnosis and I wanted to do anything I could to help.  Seeing her strength in the face of her diagnosis has lit a fire under me, made me realize that I can’t take anything in life for granted and to live each day to the fullest.  So, I decided to run my first 5k!

As far as my running history, I have never liked running, honestly I abhorred it, did everything possible to avoid it.  I grew up dancing and had no problem performing a two hour ballet, but if I had to run a lap around the track, Lord help me!  Even while all my friends were getting into running races, I didn’t have a single urge to try it.  But, the Team Drea Challenge came along and I knew it was my time to try and push myself out of my comfort zone.  I started researching 5k’s in our area and was hoping to find a low key one, that wasn’t too crowded and I found the Lorton Prison Break 5k at the old prison facility in Lorton, VA.  Sounded interesting getting to run through the old prison facility, right? So, I started training with the Couch to 5k app.  I think my first week of training started with intervals of one minute running and 3 minutes walking for 25 minutes. The training was hard, my legs hurt so much and I had a hard time figuring out how to relax my breathing but after 3 months of running every other day, I was finally able to run just over 3 miles.  

The race kind of snuck up on me.  In the beginning, I thought after some training that running 3 miles would have been so simple to me. But it wasn’t, and it was still super hard every time!  I was so nervous on the day of the race, I really didn’t know what to expect. It also didn’t help that we spent the entire day before building my daughter's new playset and I was so incredibly sore!  Not the smartest idea :)  There were about 500 people running the 5k, and I was convinced that I would be the last one to cross the finish line!  

Once the race began, my nerves calmed down a bit thanks to my awesome husband who was giving me pep talks through the whole thing.  The 1st mile was ok, but I started struggling during the second mile, especially once we came upon what they called “Hells Hills”.  They were a series of ridiculously steep hills, one right after another. Halfway through I had to stop and walk, the girl right in front of me actually started throwing up, it wasn’t pretty!  

Once at the top of the hill I started running again and it was really tough. I alternated telling myself in my head, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “This is for Andrea, 179!” I pushed myself and crossed the finish line, with a time of 33:13.  I wasn’t last either, I was number 205 out of 590!  It was hard, my muscles hurt and I was tired but I felt fantastic when it was over!  So fantastic that I gorged on 4 Kudos granola bars :)  The only part that was a disappointment was that I didn’t get a medal, so to remedy my need for some shiny jewelry, we are planning on running the Navy 5 Miler in September.  

Thanks to all of you for being a support system through this and a huge thank you to Andrea!  Thank you for pushing me to be healthier and stronger.  Thank you for giving my husband and I a hobby that we love to do together.  Thank you for allowing me to teach my daughter to value fitness.  Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone. And most of all thank you for inspiring me! 

Money raised:  $610

1 comment:

  1. I've never even seen those pictures from your wedding, so funny! Thanks so much for letting me write a blog post and uninspiring me to run!


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