Three 5Ks in May

Let me start by stating: I am NOT a runner. I would much prefer to go for a hike in the woods or do a leisurely bike ride (along a flat trail) than run. In November 2016, I decided that I should cross something off my bucket list, and attempt to do a 5K. Unfortunately, the one I signed up for happened to be the morning after our Brownie sleepout in cabins at a local Girl Scout camp. Let's just say I was running on coffee and fumes as I made my way though the streets of Morristown that morning, after a not-so-restful night trying to get 15 girls to eventually fall asleep! But I did it! In May 2017, I tried another--the Madison Education Foundation's 5K. I "enjoyed" "running" through the streets of our town as families cheered us on from their lawns. Then, I took a break.

Last month, as things would have it, I ended up doing three 5Ks in one month, in three different states! One had been planned for months, one was planned about a week ahead of time, and one was completely last-minute. I wouldn't say I would decide to do 3 5Ks in a month ever again, but each one I did had special meaning.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Madison Education Foundation 5K, Madison, NJ

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It was a drizzly day, my husband was playing softball, I dropped the kids off at their last day of Hebrew school, and the timing was right for me to fit in the 5K before picking them back up. I had no excuses. I knew two friends would be running the Madison Education Foundation's 5K, so I quickly sent a text saying I'd be joining them. Speedy registration at the table, and I met them at the starting line. Just like last year, families cheered us on as we ran through the streets. Once again, the Walnut Street hill was brutal, and once again, I enjoyed the comradery of friends and fellow Madisonians as we raised money for special programs for our schools.

Sunday, May 13, 2018 (Mother's Day)

Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure, Philadelphia, PA

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We had been planning this race for several months. My mother-in-law passed away in August 2017. She was an amazing example of how to live your life to the fullest despite breast cancer diagnosis. Her cancer had recurred several times (first diagnosed in her early 40s), and was 17 years metastatic. She was a strong advocate for research (sitting on numerous grant review committees), and encouraged other diagnosed women to get involved. One woman she influenced, Robin, asked us if she could start a team for the Komen race, Axler Angels. My son, Jordan, decided that raising money and running the race to honor and remember his grandmother would be his Bar Mitzvah project. We worked together to set up his fund raising page with a write-up about his memories of Nanny and why he's doing the 5K, plus a photo of him walking with her at the 2014 Race. (Click here if you want to read it.) He ended up raising $5,668, and was the sixth top fundraiser for the entire Philly Race for the Cure.

It was drizzling much of the morning, and the lawn at the Philadelphia Art Museum (where the race began and ended) was a muddy mess. We arrived about 7am to tents and balloons. Our team was given a table and tent area because we were one of the top fund raisers, and our team members (about 45 friends and family members) met there over the next 45 minutes or so. We passed out purple shirts we had designed, which had my mother-in-law's picture on the back, and a quote that Jordan loved that was from one of her trinket boxes: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance in the rain." (Very appropriate quote for the rainy day, especially.)

The 5K took us along Kelly Drive, past Boathouse Row, past the zoo, across the Schuylkill River, and back to the Art Museum. My husband, a real runner, ran for time, but Jordan, my brother-in-law, and I kept a slow pace, and chatted the whole way. I think Jordan and my brother-in-law both enjoyed having a chance to bond over the race. We came across a few Axler Angels team members along the way, wearing their purple shirts, and we cheered each other on. Though the whole event was over by about 10am, it was a powerful day for all of us, and the energy of the thousands of people there was quite an experience.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

BASE Race, Cooperstown, NY

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We are a baseball family. We are Phillies fans through and through, my son plays baseball, my husband and daughter play softball (not on the same team, obviously), and I have perfected how to sit comfortably on bleachers. Cooperstown is a magical place for any baseball fan. This Memorial Day was our fourth visit there with the kids. We like to go over Memorial Day because there are some great events during the Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, in particular a game where one former player from each major league team plays -- National League vs. American League. Another event, the BASE Race ("Be A Superior Example"), promotes healthy lifestyle choices for all ages. So, of course, our trip had to include this 5K for me, Eric, and Jordan!

Before the race began, runners were allowed on Doubleday Field to stretch. A former major league player (I forget which one) sounded the starting bell, and we were off. Jordan and I decided to take it at an easy pace again, and actually walked at many points because he had a cramp in his side. (I definitely was not complaining about walking!) We all found the course to be challenging (hills, etc.), but it was beautiful! We chatted as we went past farmland, historic homes, and the beautiful Lake Otsego. It may not have been the best 5K pace, but it was a nice memory and bonding time for all of us!