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Monday, September 19, 2011

Team Beth- walking inspiration

The girls were in their first road race yesterday!

It was the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure and I cannot think of a better venue for them.

They were swathed in pink.

This past winter, Emilie's mom Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was the epitome of grace and ease and she went through the tests, treatments, surgery and waiting.  A few months after it started, the cleanest bill of health you can hope for in the world of cancer came- no lymph node involvement- and she has been cancer free since, having been spared the strain of chemotherapy.

Beth had started running just before she was diagnosed with cancer.  While undergoing treatment, she had inquired, "When can I run again?" 

This was her first road race and I, believe, the first time she ran on the road instead of a track. 

How can this not inspire?

I love this family like my own and it was such an honor to stand as a proud member of Team Beth.
My mom, also a fan of Beth (the two of them have so much in common- politics and a love of opera are but a few) came up for the race.  This was her first ever road race too and she planned to walk it and, ideally, help me with the kids.
Fashionista runner:
I offered to take Skyler with me and the girls so Emilie could run with her mom.  Since it is a 5K race (3.2 miles) I brought my 2 seater buggy with me for rest breaks.  I had a multitude of snacks and Ella and Skyler were wearing Emilie's and my hydration packs.  My thought was the kids could run a little, walk a little, ride a little.

I got incredibly lucky and met up with Lindsay and Andrew Harmon and their adorable daughter Leah (pictured below) also of Team Beth and they made the difference between it being a tolerable experience managing three kids on foot in a wall of moving people, to being really fun.  Thank you Harmons!
When the race started we were mid to back of the pack on purpose because of the stroller. Hoping the kids could have that race start experience, we had planned to run a bit.  I guess if we want to achieve this next year, we are going to have to elbow in with the real contenders.  We seriously couldn't run AT ALL. There was a wall of walkers around us and short of weaving in and out and causing ankle injuries to others with my massive buggy and yelling "'scuse us! Runners coming through!" we were destined to walk. (I know, because I tried.)

Finally, nearing mile 2 the girls could stretch their legs on the sidewalk.

And who can resist a finish line picture of four little girls sprinting to the end?
A little post-race refueling.  I was so proud of my girls.  They did such a great job!  No complaining or whining or fighting.  They sacrificed for the cause.
My mom, who was concerned her walking legs couldn't keep up if we ran a bit, matched up with another member of Team Beth and left us in her dust.  She power walked her way to her first 5K finish with a big thumbs up to show for it.

Over 5000 people attended the Komen Race this year and it has raised over $300,000.  They gave pink carnations to the survivors when they finished.  While the majority of participants are walkers, the overall male runner finished in 15:35 and the female in 17:36.  We finished in a respectable 1 hour and 3 minutes.

If you've never done it, the Komen Race is the coolest event about celebrating women and embracing the fight. Plus I think I just the love the idea of an event centered around the importance of women's breasts.

Favorite quotes of the day:

My mom, pre-race, driving down to the waterfront an hour and 10 minutes prior to the start: "I could have worn those pants that woman has on.  I have the same ones with the pink stripe down the side.  But I would be too hot in those.  Why are people wearing shorts and tanks tops?  It is so cold.  Are we late?  Why are all those people walking?  Has it started yet?  I didn't know I was supposed to wear pink.  No one told me."
(Remind me I can never do a real running race with my mom.)

From Emilie: "Suzanne, don't leave without me finding you after the race. You have my keys."
Me: "Don't I also have your CHILD?"

Ella, post-race: "I want to do that race every year. I'm going to keep this bib forever. It was my first race."

My mom, post-race at 11:30 am: "I'm not hungry at all.  Is that normal?  Does running make you not hungry?"
Me:  "Did you run that race, Mom?"
(I couldn't help it.  Clearly the whole race idea had gone to her head.)

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