343.Janell Weaver Canton, PA 25 F 39:15 12:38 148/183 F25-29:16/20
344.Marissa Piazza High Bridge, NJ 25 F 39:15 12:38 149/183 F25-29:17/20
Don't get me wrong, I know we were both pretty happy and proud of ourselves for finishing, but looking back, it should have been easier on a pair of 25 year olds! That was the Run with Rotary 5k April 29, 2007 in Montgomery, NJ.
Why did I want to run it? To be honest, I'm not completely sure. I have always held an admiration for runners. Their endurance, athleticism, physiques, and mental toughness are all things I wanted to have. So maybe I thought I would just jump in and give it a try. I did not know about training.
Fast forward a few months and I have met my BFF Crystal. We both had just left our homes to accompany our husbands to U.S. Coast Guard Station Oak Island. There was a 5k and 10k held every April on the island so we decided to train for the 10k. Okay, so this time I knew about training, but we still had no idea what the heck we were doing. Nevertheless, we survived and I think that race sparked something within me. I finished in 1:11:10, an 11:28 pace. That pace was better than my first race, but I wanted to get better at running- faster, stronger, tougher.
The four of us (Joe, Crystal, Aaron and myself) continued to sign up for races here and there, I believe only 5ks. Our next race was the NC Freedom Run 5k, June 27, 2008. I finished in 32:11, a 10:22 pace. So despite my lack of understanding of training, my persistence was paying off.
Our next 5k was the Oyster Fest 5k October 18, 2008. I finished in 29:27, a 9:28 pace! Getting speedier! (I got to say tougher too. This race was cold, wet, and poorly organized!)
Crystal and I did a 5k run as part of the Soldier Ride through the Wounded Warrior Project on October 25, 2008. If it was timed I don't know, but it was a pretty nice run and we hung out on the beach a little bit afterwards.
Next up was the Bald Head Island Maritime Classic Road Race on November 8, 2008. Joe, Crystal, and I ran the 5k and Aaron did the 10k. My time was 29:26 with a 9:29/pace. Aaron (of course) kicked butt and got 2nd in his division with an 8:15/pace WHILE carrying all of our junk in a backpack AND running twice the distance as the rest of us. That was my last race before finding out I was pregnant with Cullen, but I did run two races while pregnant.
My first pregnant race was the Steve Haydu St. Patrick's LoTide Run 5k on March 14, 2009. I was 4.5 months pregnant and finished in 38:10 with a 12:17/pace. I remember this finished on the beach in some very-difficult-to-run-in sand!
A month later I did the Oak Island Lighthouse 5k. I finished in 35:58 with an 11:36/pace. This was my last race pre-baby.
An amazing thing was happening through all this running and racing. I was beginning to not only look better, but I was also beginning to feel a lot better. It was as if I found a piece of me that I never even knew was missing. Running did make me faster, stronger, and tougher. It lifted my mood and made me happy. Having a baby definitely changes everything, more on how that ties in to running later!