Tomorrow I should be running (okay, most likely jogging) my first 5K. I am by no means a “runner.” I kinda amble along and try not to complain too much while doing it. I like the safety of my treadmill. I even asked my Super Runner Friend, Mara, of A Runner’s Life how to kick my treadmill safety blanket (here’s her answer). Mara is a badass distance runner and completed many a marathon including the Boston Marathon a few months before her wedding! Go girl! If you can believe it, I have been too shy to run by myself on the sidewalks of Brooklyn because I feel super self-conscious. I’ve done a few “runs” by myself now, but it’s still something that I am getting used to.
Obviously not me
I’m not really sure whether or not I want to become a real competitive runner doing multiple races, etc. I’m happy to just have another outlet that I can add to my exercise repertoire. At the same time, I do harbor this strange secret desire to actually run a marathon someday or even better a triathlon (Apparently, I might want to learn how to really SWIM). If you want me to cry like a baby, sit me in front of the Ironman Triathlon. I find it so inspiring. Seriously, I’m weird like that. By the way, the major Ironman in Hawaii is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon back to back without stopping really, so I hope you realize why I have such admiration for the people that do it.
Honestly, I don’t really care how fast I finish tomorrow. To me, it’s really about finishing period, which I think I will do. It will feel like a major sense of accomplishment for someone who hated the idea of running anywhere for any reason last year.
I writing this post actually to tell you WHY I am running this 5k. It’s the inaugural 5k run for the Christopher Carter Foundation. Husband J knew Chris from their college fraternity days. Chris fell ill in the Spring of 2009. Thinking it was just a cold or something benign, he tried his best to kick his illness. What he did not know was that he had diabetes and what he was experiencing was an aggravation of that condition. He passed away shortly thereafter. He was only 34. Although I only met him once very briefly, I remember him being very sweet, personable and extremely funny. I know that his friends and family miss him dearly.
Chris’ friends established this foundation in his honor to promote diabetes education, prevention and awareness in the Northern Virginia area. They are hoping that through their efforts, in conjunction with the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia, they will be able to create a diabetes treatment and education clinic within that hospital, an awesome goal!
This hits home for me as well because Chris was African-American, and sadly for a variety of public health and sociological reasons, Black folks are 2 times more likely to be able diagnosed with this condition. Check out some stats from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. They are sobering to me.
Anyway, this is all to say that I won’t be very self-conscious tomorrow as I will remembering why I am running and very proud that I will be helping promote this cause and remember Chris’ life.
Have a great weekend, everyone!