First Race in the Books

On Thursday I ran my first race. That’s right folks, I ran the whole way! The Chester County Turkey Trot started at my Alma Mater, Downingtown High School, and looped the flat streets of our small suburban town. Surprisingly, even though nearly 1700 people participated in the race, it didn’t seem that crowded.

Downingtown Stadium

I showed up e.a.r.l.y and committed my first snafoo by throwing my race chip into the trash. Luckily I was able to retrieve it without incident so that I could fasten the clip to my shoe for a record of my results. Now, I understand it’s my first time racing, but how many people stop to tie their shoes during those things? I really don’t think I could have kept up the whole way if I had stopped, so I’m thankful that my family showed up to cheer me on. I saw them at the 1 and 2 mile marks, and they gave me the encouragement I needed to keep plugging through. After all that, I came in 1205th place! Who even knew they timed us that far out? At just under an 11 minute mile, I’m not fast, but now I’ve got a time to beat for next year. Plus, the winners in the age 1-8 category were close to that time so I have 8 years to speed up if I want to hold hands with my girls at the finish line.

Turkey trot results

Click here for official race results

Completing this race truly meant a lot to my family and me. I’ve been eager to work on this challenge because I don’t want to be left in the dust while my husband has all the fun with the girls. It is very important to me to be a role model for my girls and to be active with them. I also wanted to run a race because I have been inspired by all the people that are blogging, tweeting, and facebooking about their races. A few months ago, I started networking with a group of women bloggers that frequently posted pictures and stats from their races. Imagine how excited I was to get to start out my first race with Whitney and Jo-Lynne!

Chester County Turkey Trot Racers

Whitney, Jeannette, and Jo-Lynne of Philly Social Media Moms

As I crossed the finish line and walked across the endzone, I felt the same rush and excitement as I did standing there 10 years ago prior to the kickoff of my first football game as a cheerleader. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring. If I keep setting goals and pursing them with a fervor, the way I always have, then I know it will be something to celebrate!

DDog and Fan

Couldn’t miss a photo-op with D-Dog!

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Halfway to a 5K

A few weeks ago I started training for my first 5K run and I’m happy to report that it is going really well. I never thought it would be possible, but there are so many reasons that I am loving running. It has been easy to incorporate into my lifestyle thanks to the support of my husband. My girls are the best inspiration I could ask for. All this time I thought I wanted to run so that I could keep up with my girls as they race around with their Father. I realized that it is just as important for me to be their inspiration to run and I am finally motivated to lead the pack!

My first race is right around the corner and I am not intimidated at all. I am excited that the challenge is going to increase every day until the Chester County Turkey Trot. Ever since giving birth the first time, I have wanted to become a runner, but my second pregnancy came around too quickly to allow that. I waited after Audrey’s birth until I was literally bursting at the seams with a desire to get fit and exercise to begin training. At first, I didn’t know if I would be able to conquer my hilly neighborhood. Now I wake up each morning and am excited to take in the view during my jog. I’ve even gotten adventurous and explored the trails that surround the houses. Tackling the toughest hills on practice runs makes me eager to see what I will be able to accomplish during a flat race. It’s not easy and I’m not going fast, but those baby steps are taking me places and melting away my post-baby belly as I go.

If you’ve ever seen a post or tweet and wondered why people talk about exercise, it is done for two reasons. First of all, it makes people happy! More importantly, social networks provide amazing support and encouragement for accomplishing fitness goals. I love knowing that at any given moment someone is ready to offer a kind word or a tidbit of advice for reaching the next physical plateau. Watching others set the bar is all I need to see to know that I can and will #GetAfterIt.

 

I’m linking up with the Motivation Monday Blog Carnival. Check it out here for more.

Chester County Turkey Trot Race

If you’re a Chester County local looking for a healthy way to start your Thanksgiving morning, join me for the Turkey Trot! I’m excited to run this race for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that this will be my first race. This race promises to be a quick challenge and is hugely popular in the area. There will be family-friendly activities and the loop layout allows for easy viewing by your supporters.

At first, I decided the race was a perfect fit for me because of timing. I just started running using an 8 week “couch-to-5k” program that will conveniently wrap up right around race day. The fall in PA is absolutely beautiful, so it makes waking up each morning to run a treat. Even on rainy days, I’m still eager to tie my shoes and head out the door for those tranquil early moments.

After doing some research, I found out that the race is benefitting a wonderful cause called Cure4Cam. It is a charity that seeks to improve the standards of care for young cancer patients by funding clinical studies and research grants that attack cancer on a cellular level and allow for a more humane treatment plan. This poignent message is from their website:

Today, standard therapies for children with cancer involve highly toxic and damaging treatments that cause painful and embarrassing side-effects, force separation from families and friends, have devastating short and long-term psychological impact, and produce permanent health issues. These unfavorable effects are not well known in the general population and, ultimately, many of  these children do not survive.  We believe in a future in which cancer treatment for children will be gentler and more effective.

I’ve always believed that giving time, not just money, to a cause is the greatest way to participate and I’m thankful that this race is going to bring together hundreds of people who are eager to support it.

Click here to sign up for the race.

Date

Start: Thursday, November 22, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

Address

Downingtown West High School
445 Manor Ave Downingtown, PA

Disclosure:

I received a free entry to the race in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.