I am not a runner. Never have been – never ever. However, in the hopes of helping raise some $$$$ for my favorite breast cancer nonprofit, Puget Sound Susan G. Komen for the Cure, I have committed to run, YES, RUN, every single meter of the Race for the Cure on June 6 (Join Me!). So, when I heard about the Top Pot Doughnut Dash, a 5K complete with doughnuts and coffee served post-race, I figured it would be an ideal way to get in a practice 5K, run/walk style. I mean, really, there’s just something kind of awesome about running for doughnuts.
My girlfriend, Jules, came up from Portland for the event and Jim and one of my tennis buddies and her husband rounded out our group. The race was scheduled to start at the respectable hour of 9:30 am – major selling point. We met up around 9 am, picked up our race packets and hung out. It was COLD! Way too cold for April, hence the jacket I’m sporting in the photo (really bad idea BTW, but more on that later). After a little chit-chat it was time to get in position for the Race. Jules, Jim and Chris headed off to the 7 and 8 minute mile starting points, Lucia and I went to the 10 minute mile start. We ran into Jamie, the Race for the Cure Manager, looking sporty in a pink ballcap, Race for the Cure shirt, running pants and pearls (love it!).
7 minutes after the scheduled start (not bad) the games began. There were a little over 1500 runners/walkers in the race and it was pretty amazing to see everyone just start moving in a giant wave. We moved with them and within a minute or so were across the start line and I had officially started my very first 5K.
My goal was to run the entire first mile without stopping. The 5K was around Greenlake – a route I know well from many spring and summertime walks around the lake. It is ideal for goal setting. Lucia and I started off by setting little goals for ourselves, “we’ll run until that tree”, “we’ll run until the red tree”, and mine, “I’ll run until the aqua arena.” I pushed myself until I saw the arena come into view and then I pushed myself some more. When I reached the arena and slowed into a fast walk to recover I saw the 1 mile marker. I DID IT! Purely by chance.
At this point, I decided I was hot and took my jacket off. Hmmm . . . . I ended up tying it around my waist and for the next 2.12 miles got to constantly retie it as it slipped off (until I double knotted it around my waist – lame looking but effective) and have my keys bang into my leg with every step I took. Can you say ROOKIE?
For the rest of the race I alternated between walking and running, playing little games with myself, like you only have to run for 3 minutes, or until the next bend, or whatever. When I saw the paddle boat place come into view, I knew I was near the finish line and committed to running the rest of the race once I hit the boats. Of course, I totally misjudged the distance to the finish and it was much longer than I thought. And that’s where Jules came in. When I turned off the lake and entered into the final stretch, Jules jumped in beside me and ran with me to the finish line. She told me I could do it when I was pretty sure I couldn’t, and cheered me on the entire way. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was when my foot (and timing chip) crossed that finish line. Ecstatic doesn’t even come close.
Our group met up to devour post race doughnuts and coffee only to find THEY WERE OUT – scandalous – but Lucia managed to grab me one of the last doughnuts. We headed off to our cars and to rendez-vous for post-race brunch at Coastal Kitchen.
Later that afternoon, Lucia texted me my race results – 34:37 – not bad for a first and a run/walk at that. I’ll take it. (My “primary physician” came in second in women and top in my age group – I kind of love and hate her for that).
Oh, and that doughnut Lucia snagged for me? It’s still sitting on my kitchen counter. I’m considering bronzing it.