Today, I ran the Best Dam Run for Autism, my first official race ever. As many of you know, I run quite a bit: 5-6 days a week, between 4 and 7 miles a day. I also try to push myself with speed. The thing of it is, I stick to the treadmill because of my Raynaud’s. Raynaud’s is a condition where you lose circulation in your hands and feets when exposed to temperature changes. This makes running outdoors EXTREMELY difficult for me. My Raynaud’s is so severe that it is actually visible in my legs (unheard of). Regardless, I’ve been wanted to do a race and this race was really important to me.
Let me tell you something, treadmill running and road running cannot be compared. What I would have considered a really easy run on the treadmill was really difficult outdoors (at least for me). I never, ever struggle to breathe while running in doors, but with this race I was panting by the first half mile. Not because I was out of shape, my legs and body could have gone on and on.
Thank god I had my sister Annie there with me. She calmed me down when I was freaking out and stayed at my pace (which at an 8:35 minute miles turned out the be pretty good, all things considered).
The course itself was gorgeous, the race was held at Peace Valley Park in Chalfont, PA (a suburb of Philly). We ran around Lake Gelena, which was really serene. There were some hills, but nothing that wasn’t doable. It was actually the perfect location and the right intensity for my first run.
Although I didn’t perform quite as well as I hoped, it inspired me to do more. Much more. This summer I plan on running at least two more races and training outdoors in between. More importantly, its motivated me to really take care of my health. I have no idea why I couldn’t breathe during the race, or why my Raynaud’s went wild, but I do know that I’m going back to my doctor and will get to the bottom of this. Saying that makes me feel better already.
And to the results: I ran a 5K in 26:36, I came in 4th for my age group and 26th overall. I’m extremely proud of myself and my family for their dedication!