My inspiration for running comes from an appreciation of being able to do just that. As a professional dancer with 32 years experience, I can unfortunately relate to the phrase “the mind is willing but the body just ain’t”. During my last pregnancy, I was literally unable to walk for the last 3 months due to severe hip pain. Because of this experience, I especially understand the angst of literally not being able to walk to my kitchen, never mind run 5 km. I don’t perform professionally anymore, but I do dance my heart out for hours every week at my own dance school. But after today, I will forever run with a renewed appreciation of just how fortunate I am – definitely NO whining allowed!
I was humbled by the strength of a vast number of women who walked and ran in support of finding a cure for breast cancer. There was one woman in particular who truly does not realize how inspiring she is – Karen Logan. For one thing, I don’t know Karen very well. My BRF as you know, Jodi, called me up one night and told me to add one more race to our September schedule. She wanted me there in support of her team, K.Lo’s Krew, running for Karen who was diagnosed with breast cancer this past spring. And so, I went along with my dear husband and two little girls this morning to do just that.
Our race day began like most others. We awoke at about 6 am and got ready quickly…don’t tell anyone that I dressed the girls halfway through the night when they woke up for a potty break! So we were out the door in time and on to our traditional Timmie’s pre-race snack (Chai Tea and 1/2 bagel always makes me ready to run!). Arriving at Jodi’s by 9am, it was obvious the K.Lo’s Krew spirit was in full force: pink hair, tutus, tattoos and SWEAT PINK shoelaces. Most exciting was the race kit that our team received thanks to amazing sponsorship: personalized team back packs filled with swag from pre and post race munchies to pink laces to band-aids for blister prevention. Everything was covered! Our nerves were settled and the diapers were changed. We were ready for this – after all, last week at this time we were already on our way to completing 10 km at the Toronto Zoo!
I was overwhelmed to see the amount of people of all ages waiting in a sprinkle of rain, dancing to the beat in preparation for the CIBC Run for the Cure. What was most amazing to me was the camaraderie and friendliness of all of the participants. I only knew Jodi’s family and a handful of regular runners that I see at races. (Hey – does that mean I am a real runner?!?) Running truly did bring people of all walks of life together in the hopes of changing the world! Check out the size of this team, all rallying together for one woman and one cause:
Tutus were adjusted. iPods and other technical gadgets were ready. (Garmin – I am still waiting for our love affair to begin! You sound so loyal, dedicated and reliable!) I prepared to run the 5km and my husband would attempt the 1 km – with our 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 year olds! The race was slow to start and after a fight with my shoe lace – I was off. Usually I run intervals – but not today. This scenic course weaved around St. Lawrence College and the Kingston waterfront. There were flat breaks with a couple of hills that made the course enjoyable and a bit challenging too. At the 10 minute mark, my left brain began to nag and it was then that I saw Karen propped up on the back of a convertible looking as important as a MPP! She hooted and hollered support. There was no way that I was going to give up. Just the thought of her heroic journey humbled me and empowered me to run!
The volunteers throughout the course were placed at just the right points to give additional cheers of support. At 3.5 km, the thought of all of the wonderful people who sponsored me pushed my aching right cheek on: Connie, Jennifer, Jenna, Rebecca and Ian! I was never so pleased to hear the cheers of the finish line. Although times were not the focus of today, it was an added bonus for both Jodi and I to set new PRs – Jodi ran the course in 26:44 minutes (see, she has a Garmin!), and I ran a fantastic 36 ish minute race.
I was so very proud to be part of K.Lo’s Krew led by Jodi and her co-captain, Kim. Jodi’s inspiration for making the most out of Karen’s fight has been life changing for many. I know that many people began and will continue running because of K.Lo’s Krew. Jodi’s passion for living life to the fullest and looking fantastic while doing it is a motto to live by. I am so proud to be her BRF. And I know Jodi is just beginning…just wait until you see our 2013 Race List!
This was a race that I totally felt that I fit in. There were some elite runners but mostly, there were inspirational runners. Flashes of pink were everywhere. In fact, you would have felt left out if you didn’t have a tutu on! My favourite was the pink spray like nylons on one particular male runner on our team. My daughter actually asked me if we were in heaven! Oh, Luisa! Today, thanks to so many people, heaven will have to wait!