Two week ago I finally ran my first 5K—without stopping, and more importantly…I finished.
The 5K was for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Almost every fall I participate in the Race, and am going on my sixth year [I believe]. Since moving to St. Louis, I always fly home for it, with the exception of my sophomore of college. This year was no exception with going home for it. I flew home Saturday morning and flew back to St. Louis Sunday night, only getting about 34 hours at home in Nebraska and seeing everyone for the first time in five months.
I was supposed to run the 5K last year, but that didn’t exactly happen. My Aunt Mary (she’s the second from the left in back in the picture) had convinced me last July to run it with her. She’s the only one in our group that ever runs it. I accepted the challenge and started training. However, a foot injury [torn ligaments in my right foot] 3 weeks before the Race prevented me from running the whole thing. I did endure the pain and ran the last mile. This year, however, I ran the whole thing…with a little help of my Aunt. I didn’t run a whole lot in the month of September to prepare for it due to constantly being busy—in and outside of work—and my week-long vacation to Hawaii. The morning of the Race, I told Mary that I hadn’t run in over a week and it might be a push. Now some people may thing,”come one, it’s only 3.1 miles.” Well it’s 3.1 miles with 22,000 other people and some hills. Around 2 – 2.5 miles I started losing steam. So Mary and I slowed our pace a bit and with some words of encouragement we continued on. We finished in 29 minutes, 32 seconds. It was Mary’s personal best, and well I guess mine too. We were both extremely proud of ourselves.
But this year, I also had a different reason for wanting to run the whole thing. Not only was it a personal goal, but I personally know someone who has breast cancer—which I didn’t think would ever happen. I was introduced to Jenna Oesch within the last year through my boyfriend, Tim. Tim and Jenna’s husband, Rett, work together, and the four of us went out on a double date. We all had a good time and I’ve seen Jenna several time since that double date. Jenna helped me get my first job after college, and I’m forever thankful to her for that. So not only was she diagnosed with breast cancer, but it just so happen to be while she’s pregnant with her and Rett’s first baby. Jenna is such a strong woman to be going through all of this. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be on chemotherapy and pregnant at the same time. She’s such a go-getter when it comes to everything—life, her job, everything. She’s such an inspiration to not only me, but should be for all women. She keeps her head held high and stays positive. She is now about 20 weeks along in her pregnancy and the baby is perfectly healthy! And the best news? Her tumor has already started to shrink! You read her blog (named Not a Part of the Plan) and follow her through her journey here. Thanks for being such an inspiration, Jenna.