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Running Through a Fulfilled Life


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Race Recap: The Holly Run 5K

Back on November 8th, I participated in Milan’s first Holly Run 5k.  It is a race that I had marked on my calendar since the date had been announced.  The race was to benefit Life Is Good No Matter What, a foundation created in memory of Holly Sneider (a beautiful soul that I am honored to have known).  It offers a way for adults with a cancer diagnosis to have an “escape” for several hours, days, or a week from that diagnosis so often monopolizes their life.  More information on Life Is Good No Matter What can be found at this link.

One of my besties, Lydia, and I went together to the race.  We arrived about 40 minutes before the start and could already tell that this chilly November morning was going to allow for an excellent race with an awesome turnout.  We picked up our race packets (which included these super cute shirts) and sat in my car waiting until a suitable moment to run over to the start line since we both are freeze babies.

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That time shortly arrived and we lined up.  Prior to the race starting, there were touching speeches during which I’m pretty sure I shed a tear or two, introductions of previous recipients of escapes, and finally the motorcycles were revved to signal the start.  And we were off!

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I had absolutely zero goals for this race other than to enjoy the day and to run for Holly.  I found my legs falling into a quick cadence that felt sustainable and I felt really good.  Probably the best I have felt since having a baby in relation to running.  I felt like myself.

We wound through the town of Milan, past the cemetery, through some neighborhoods, past the schools, and I enjoyed how much this town had come together for this event.  It’s a reflection upon just how close knit a small town is and how much Holly was loved.  When I rounded the final corner and actually saw how fast I had been running, I was super shocked.  I pushed and gave it my all across the finish line.

Final Finish: 21:26
2nd Overall Female

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I was only 3 seconds off my 5k PR.  I felt good and was able to run hard on minimal training and only 3 months after having a super wonderful baby boy.  I’d like to think that Holly had something to do with that as I know she was watching over all 700 people that participated in some shape and form in this special event.  I plan to run this race each year as it holds special significance, was a very organized and runner friendly event, and goes to a great cause.  Here’s a link to the Sandusky Register article post-race: Holly Run 5K

For those in the Cleveland/Akron/Canton areas, there will be a 2nd Holly Run on December 6th in Akron.  Registration can be found here: Holly Run Akron  Please consider registering to help benefit a worthy charity organization!


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Race Recap: Rich Dalessandro Memorial Fall Turkey Trot 5K

Yes, the name may be a mouthful, but this race is definitely a Fall favorite of mine.  Plus, it goes to a great cause (which is one way I have become more selective and picky in the races I choose to support).  The proceeds of this race each year supports leukemia research and benefits area families battling leukemia.

There really is no better sights, sounds, and smells than running in the Fall.  AmIRight?!  I love a course that highlights the beautiful fall foliage and gives out cider and donuts afterwards.  Back on November 1, I headed down to Dalton, OH.  Nestled right on the outskirts of Amish Country, this tiny town provides a nice backdrop for a 5k.  In that, I mean it’s hilly as crap.

The course, while redesigned this year to allow for a more spacious space for registration, awards, food munching, still included its fair share of the original course.  Especially “The Hill”.  Or as I know it, the hill where Eli’s legs come to die.

The weather was a bit frigid and windy.  Something I am definitely not quite used to, but it’s just another sign that YES winter is coming and YES I’m going to complain.  But instead, I broke down and put on my running tights for the first time this fall and broke out the gloves.  The race started on the dot at 9:00 AM and we took off into a slight uphill.

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I may have started myself too far back, as I found myself doing Ye Olde Bob n’ Weave and wasting far too much energy trying to get some space.  So, inevitably I clocked too fast of a first mile for my liking considering it included several hills.

Mile 1: 7:07

The second mile was entirely downhill.  Like seriously.  I have never experienced this, but now I know why people trash their quads during downhill half and full marathons.  I just put things on cruise control and ran super hard.  Obviously this is poor choice because what goes down down down, must come back up at some point in a race.

Mile 2: 6:37 (my fastest mile in a 5K since popping out a bub)

So yes, that 3rd mile kicked my behind.  Because it was uphill.  Into the wind.  And if this were a “I’m going to tell you kids how hard I had it” story, it would include: while running backwards, barefoot, over snow drifts, and with a Yeti chasing me.  But frankly, I have no excuses for why I slowed considerably.  I just did.  I was trying to hang on for dear life and hoping to come in at least close to my last 5K.  Which I achieved.

Final Finish: 22:35
3rd Overall

Told you I looked rough.  I look like I'm about to run over that poor child.

Told you I looked rough. I look like I’m about to run over that poor child.  I’m a great mother.

One of the fun things about this race is that they award “special awards” to the oldest and youngest finishers, fastest jogging stroller, largest team, and pregnant/up to 1 year post-partum runner.  So I got to double dip and Baby J (because let’s be honest he wins this award for putting me in that category) won his first race award 🙂

Receiving our fastest post-partum award.  Baby J obviously hates paparazzi.

Receiving our fastest post-partum award. Baby J obviously hates paparazzi.

Receiving our super beautiful laser etched wood plaque for 3rd overall.  Baby J is still too good for awards pictures.

Receiving our super beautiful laser etched wood plaque for 3rd overall. Baby J is still too good for awards pictures.