Today I participated in the San Jose 408K (5 miles), which benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation. It was part of Race the Bay, a 3-part race series around the Bay Area. It was my first time doing this race, but I think it’s going to become an annual event for me.
The fun thing about this race was that I organized a group of my colleagues to participate in it with me. When I first heard about the race, I asked my principal if she would mind if I organized a group of faculty to do the race, and she did me one better and said that she’d pay for everyone’s bibs! How generous! My original thought was that we could all train together, as we did for our powderpuff football game, for months before the race. The only kink in that plan was that those months coincided with soccer season; the team uses the same field that our track is on. But these were a committed group of racers who put in the hours in their neighborhoods and on treadmills to get ready for the race. I’ve been overwhelmed by all the thank-yous and expressions of gratitude that my colleagues have given me! They loved that we were doing something that was so healthy and fun.
What’s a race without my usual bathroom selfie? Since our school colors are blue and gold, I’d asked one of our school’s families who own a screen printing shop if they would help us design a training tee. My original vision was that we’d wear it when we were training together, but since we didn’t end up training together, we all decided to be distinctive and wear our specialy-created shirts during the race. And I love that my Sparkly Soul headband matches perfectly! I have to say, I’m surprised by how bright-eyed I look in that shot, because I started off the morning very early (I woke up at 5am before my alarm!) to make sure I was down at the race in plenty of time to hang up this poster I had my students make for us to put up in a meeting area. (One really cool NSV this morning was that one of the teachers said that she’d seen me from across the street, but had no idea it was me until she got closer; then she complimented me on my weight loss).
I was really impressed that we had 27 of the 30 teachers who signed up show up today. It was a chilly, damp morning and the lure of a warm bed was huge, but they were dedicated and determined. For quite a few of them, this was their first race ever, so it’s all the more impressive that they were doing 5 miles.
The race itself was a beautiful course that featured different radio stations at each of the mile markers. I had decided to walk today’s race for a few reasons: 1). Most of the faculty had decided to walk, and I thought it would be a lot more fun to be part of that group, 2). I haven’t done a 5-mile run/walk before, and I wasn’t sure if this was the day to try it, and 3). I woke up with a sore ankle and thought it was better not to push it.
I’m really glad that I ended up walking because it was a lot of fun to chat with a few of my colleagues as we completed the race. And I’m proud to tell you that I kept up with the “talls” who have long legs and a fast stride. For this 5’3″ girl, keeping up with these lanky ladies is pretty remarkable! We walked the entire course, until the final stretch, where we decided to finish strong and run into the finish line.
I’m happy to say that every one of the faculty who started the race finished it! We all had such a good time that we’ve decided we want to make it an annual team building event. After the race we all headed to breakfast, where we toasted with mimosas and enjoyed egg white omelets (or, at least, that’s what I ordered).
In terms of my own race, I felt strong and confident the entire time. My sore ankle only bothered me for the last half mile, which wasn’t too bad. The only pain I have now, beyond the normal post-race muscle soreness, is a tiny blister on the bottom of my left foot, which is thanks to a poor choice of socks. But really, I had so much fun at this race, especially during “mariachi mile,” when groups of mariachis played for us for our last mile.
It really was a fun way to spend a Sunday morning. We decided we’re all wearing our race bling and the official race shirts to school tomorrow, to show off our accomplishment. Fun!
Considering that I walked 99.5% of the race, I’m especially proud of my time today!