Saturday, September 25, 2010

Race for the Cure

I don't know how it happened, but somehow I was up until 3am when I had to be awake at 6am to go to the Race for the Cure. My 1 mile 'fun run' was not until 10am, but my roommate John Foster was doing the timed and then untimed 5k beforehand, so we all went out to support him (and make fun of his outfit, see pic below for reference.)

Sexy, right? Speaking of sexy, other roommate Kristi was rocking sunglasses... not because it was bright but because she thought she looked like shit.

I don't know why, but the Race for the Cure usually gets me really emotional. Cancer is something that until recently had not affected my family, but being faced with SO many survivors and so many more "In Memory Of" signs, it is hard not to be affected. 

I had a heck of a time watching the first two races (a timed and untimed 5k), but most of the time I just wanted to be running with them. I saw at LEAST 20 people running who clearly did not register, but really, why would you cheat cancer research?! I will run this race next year. :-)

When the time came close for my 1 mile fun run/walk, I changed into the Vibram Five Fingers. Since some of my readers (wow, you guys are growing in number by the day) wanted to know which ones I had, I've attached a photo of them as well (the pair on the left).

The fun run started about 30 minutes late, due to just the massive turnout for the other races. I tried to work my way to the front of the crowd, but I ended up pretty far back into just a MASS of people. I decided to check both the race clock and my stopwatch to see how much disparity there was between race start and MY start.

Normally I am a 12 to 13 minute miler, a nice slow jogger as I like to call it. However, this was my first time ever doing any sort of race (and to be honest, any real running) in my Vibrams. I had been wearing them for everyday use and cycling for the past week to kind of prepare myself, thank goodness I did.

The gun fires.. The fun run has started.

Or has it.

Oh wait, I think someone is moving.

Oh shoot, did I doze off?

Oh we are moving...

And we're off!

Once I cleared the actual starting line I was darting in and out of traffic like a bicycle in NYC. There was never a stretch during the mile that I was 'alone', but the crowd thinned considerably as the runners separated from the walkers.

My goal for this run was to come in under 10 minutes. I know it is a bit of a lofty goal considering my normal pace, but I just 'felt it' today when I was hyping myself up for the race. 

Running in the Vibrams was a lot different than just walking around in them or cycling in them. For starters, it seemed a lot easier to get into a rhythm when running in the Vibrams. In shod-running (ie big normal shoes) I have always felt like I was exerting effort to pull my foot forward on each new stride, but with the Vibrams my steps felt light and somewhat longer. I know for a fact that my cadence naturally increased.

As I turned the first corner in the run I noticed that I was passing some very fit-looking people. One of the things that amazes me is how our society has become very lackadaisical and how unfit we are. I found one statistic that states that only 5% of our nation's adults can run a mile without stopping. Ok, off of the soapbox. 

I continued to pass people pretty steadily as the run continued. At one point I passed a group of kids from a local high school basketball team, I must have been looking pretty intense because they complimented me on my running. I didn't carry any water for the run because it was just a mile, so when I ran through a line of cheerleaders holding out water, well, I was in heaven. I was like, I either died and went to heaven or well, this is just awesome.

I had been running around 7 minutes when I passed a volunteer who was shouting to everyone, "You are halfway there!" I couldn't help but get discouraged, he had me thinking I was on pace to come in at a 14 minute mile. For a split second I wanted to walk, but thankfully they put attractive female volunteers all along the course, and my ego gave me a boost.

I turned the next corner, after the misinformed volunteer, and saw the finish line in the distance. At every race of any sort that I have ever done, I always have what I call, "Finish Line Fodder." When I am approaching the finish line I always attempt to pass someone in that final sprint. Today, however, there was nobody close by. I was around 100 yards from the finish, and the only people ahead of me were a cute college aged couple who had a good 20 yard lead on me. 

I didn't hesitate, I just kicked it into high gear. Sprinting in the Vibrams is a fun fun thing, because it makes yo feel like you are just ZOOMING along. I passed the cute couple with a good 20 yards to spare and gave a mid-sprint thumbs up to the photographer who was grabbing, what I am sure were, unflattering pictures of me midsprint.

I looked at the Race Clock, 11:38. I was afraid to look at the stopwatch on my iPod. It was going to be close... I had hit the stopwatch button the instant I crossed the finish line. I peeked at the stopwatch. 9 minutes and 59 seconds. My first sub-10 minute mile. I felt, alive. 

I hobbled over to the curb (hobbling due to blisters that formed somehow during the sprint) and gracefully fell into the grass. When I got up again I realized how much more work I am going to need to get used to being in the Vibrams. BOTH of my calves locked up with Charlie Horses.

In the end, it was an amazing race and amazing day. I didn't take too many pics since I only had my cell phone, but here is one for you faithful readers (beware, I look bloated).

Oh yeah, and I have pink polka-dotted hair and a boa. The things I do for Boobs.



  1. Congratulations on your great time in your race. Looks like you had a lot of fun! Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll add you to my buddies list. Love the pink hair!

  2. Love the Boa!!! Being a cancer survivor myself I always tend to get emotional at these types of events, it is so heartwarming to see how many people want to get involved to help!

    So are you kidding me, 9 minutes and 59 seconds..... that freaking Rocks! Please tell me your gloating a bit, gloating is good for the skin (=

  3. Where you at? Hope your doing okay!

  4. Hey Josh, you haven't posted in a while, hope all is well!

  5. and then what happened? come back & play!