What a relief to FINALLY be getting caught up on all these race recaps and product reviews! I pretty much always go in order, but for now I’m delaying the BoldrDash Beach Race recap (lots of video to edit). I also usually like to have recaps up within a few days after the race…but if you’ve read my most recent article you know what’s up.
At any rate – today I have the distinct pleasure of talking about the race that began it all…and how things came full-circle one year later with a new PR 🙂
This race was so early in my running career that I hadn’t even created “So THIS Is Fitness…” yet! That said, I should do some explaining…
Lovin’ L.I.F.E. is a charity 5K run/walk that benefits L.I.F.E.
OK…so what is L.I.F.E.?
L.I.F.E. (Living Independently Forever) is a unique non-profit program that has been serving adults with learning and intellectual disabilities for more than 20 years. It’s this little assisted living community tucked away in Mashpee, and you’d never know it was anything short of normal…which, I suppose, is the point. They do great work at L.I.F.E. supporting their residents and encouraging them to live life to the fullest – they even have an athletic program, and many of the residents participate in the Special Olympics! Pretty great if you ask me.
And it’s where it all started for me
Lovin’ L.I.F.E. 5K was the very first race I ever ran, and I was SO out of my element. The race was in early May, and I had only gone for my first run at the end of March…saying I was new and clueless is an understatement. Nevertheless, I had been working out hard and had made major progress over the 8 months leading up to the race, so I figured I could handle it. I made sure to get out there, run, and be as prepared as I could. Overall, I would say I did an OK job, especially considering how little I knew.
Race day came- and I felt ready. I was so pumped up and excited and I had my little cheering section there for encouragement. I was gonna take on the world. When it came time for the start, I lined myself right up at the front and was poised for the gun to go off (there wasn’t a gun…just a “GO!”).
Long story short – I exceeded my own expectations. I was one of the leaders for a pretty decent portion of the race, ended up being one of the top finishers, and took 1st place in my age group. As I rounded the corner and saw the finish…I also saw the big L.E.D. clock with the time…and my jaw dropped…I was stunned with how well I did.
One year later – another GREAT race!
This year was much the same as last year – a large contingent of walkers, a lot of people out for a good time and a “fun” 5K…and a few people like me gunning for gold. I thought, considering my performance a year earlier, I might actually stand a chance at an overall podium finish…maybe even win the whole thing! I went out hungry for 1st place…it might be my only shot for a long time in a real race environment (spoiler alert: I’m not THAT good of a racer).
The race began, and for almost a mile, I was in the lead! Somewhere near the one mile mark, someone passed me – it was the guy that ended up winning. Come to find out…it was the SAME guy that won last year! That’s ok though, I kept chugging along. Little by little, a few more people passed me along the way, but I kept on going… I was determined.
In the end, I came to the home stretch and I knew a PR was within my reach. I rounded the corner just like last year, saw the L.E.D. timing clock just like last year…and the afterburners kicked on to seal the deal.
I PR’D! I came in at 23:41 – 10 seconds off my Personal Record! I came in 5th place out of 171 and once again took 1st in my age group! I was SO happy – my one year race-aversary produced some stellar results and great memories. It was nice to have my mom and fiancee there to cheer me on and watch me finish, and during the awards ceremony the Race Director, Ian, even gave me a special little intro/shout out (he knew it had been my first race ever).
All in all, I was THRILLED with the day. Lovin’ L.I.F.E. 5K is a GREAT local race, and I strongly recommend you register for it next year if you live in the area. This race holds a special place in my little fitness world, and I’m sure no matter where I live I’ll find an excuse each year to come back home for the first weekend in May to run this race.
Everybody starts somewhere. Never forget where the journey began – you might lose sight of where you’re going.