November 20, 2011

Power of pink

Went for a run yesterday.

My running, like my writing, has been more sporadic than usual. I am running a 5k in a few days, and the marathon is a little more than two months away. I should be logging lots of miles for the marathon, with some speed work sessions to improve my 5k time.

Not so much.

My runs during the first couple of weeks after the Long Beach Marathon felt great. I was surprised at how well I recovered after feeling so terrible at the finish. But November seems to be the month of slumps. I have only been getting out twice a week lately, and I seem to be getting slower. I have been achy and unmotivated and it seems that much harder to get out the door before work.

But the weekend runs have continued, and I went out for a fifteen mile run yesterday. And I found a little inspiration.

Unplanned, I ended up smack in the middle of the Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure. During this event, participants walk a total of 60 miles over the course of three days to raise money for breast cancer research. According to their website, they have raised over $1.9 billion dollars since 1982, when Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.

I have a friend that is breast cancer survivor, and we ran a couple of events in her honor when she was sidelined with chemo treatments. We printed up badges with her face on it, and pink was the color of the day. But the 3 Day event was a whole different experience.

I ran along the river path like a salmon swimming upstream through a sea of pink. Thousands and thousands of people dressed in crazy outfits, with silly and suggestive team names walked by. They walked with survivor names and those they had lost emblazoned on their backs. They walked and walked and walked. They just kept coming, and I would run past them for miles.

Hundreds of supporters lined the path handing out refreshments and shouts of encouragement. Pink ribbons and temporary tattoos were passed out like Halloween candy, and a wall of people wore gloves on one hand because they were giving out so many high-fives. It was like a marathon course but more inspiring in a way. The walkers were moving slower, so they could enjoy each supporter individually.

Many marathoners run to raise money for various charities. Team in Training is a staple at most every event, and you can pick them out of the crowd with their purple shirts. They even have their own set of supporters cheering them on. But here at the 3Day, every one of the walkers was there to support their loved ones and raise money for countless other strangers. Every walker was there for someone else.

I was running through, alongside, or within sight of the pink brigade for probably 11 of my 15 miles. I was reminded over and over of the fight that so many are going through, and the strength and power of people gathering for one focus.

My run was a bit of a struggle for my sore bones, but yesterday I had no excuse to quit.

1 comment:

Spicy said...

Absolutely amazing and sounds inspiring.