My most “REAL” Race…

As one of their Ambassadors*, Skirt Sports periodically asks me to write on a particular topic. This month, they asked me to write about my most “REAL” Race experience. I cannot tell you how long I’ve been staring at this page! According to AthLinks, I’ve run 71 races since my first 5K in 2010, and I know there are a few missing from that list! How do you pick just one that is the most “Real”?

Every single one was real at the time. I’ve heard other runners talk about how you learn something different from each race and that is very true! In the moment, there is nothing more real than the current challenge that you are facing! My first 5K was supposed to be the Komen Race for the Cure in Cleveland, OH. However, on my (almost) annual summer trip home to my home town in Illinois, they were holding a 5K in honor of my cousin, Brian Munz, who was a firefighter who died in the line of duty at the young age of 24. The money from the 5K was going toward the new Safety Complex named in his honor. How could I not move up my planned first race to this one? And so I did! There was nothing more real than that first race and seeing Brian’s Dad and Brother there — all of us running in his memory. And I’m happy to say that just this month, the Safety Complex opened and now (five years later) houses all of the fire trucks and ambulances for my home town!

My First 5K — Fairbury, IL
Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon — aka Birthday Half Marathon!

So many firsts! My first Half Marathon back in Nashville, TN, — The Women’s Half Marathon! In a way, it was going home for me as I had lived in Nashville right after undergrad and my Dad was there to cheer me on! I also totally forgot how hilly Nashville is — DUR! Lesson learned? Double check the elevation chart and plan your training accordingly! I also remember my first trail 25K when I sprained my ankle at mile 10 and chose to continue on with the last 3 miles basically being a hilly, soupy mud pit. Can we say 34 minute miles? Then there was The Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon…ON my Birthday! Lesson learned? Just say no to the “Happy Birthday” tiara…ouch!

Thirsty Dog 8K — Akron, OH

Since each race is real “in this moment” the most real race would be the one closest to the moment that I’m writing right now. And that would be the Thirsty Dog 8K — which was yesterday! The Thirsty Dog 1 mile/8K is the first in the 3 race Rubber City Race Series. And as race day loomed, the weather forecast grew bleaker by the minute! Going into Saturday, I knew there would be rain the entire time and the only question was if there would be lightening (it’s bad if people are referring to a run as a swim, right?). So I chose a race outfit that would hold up well in the rain and grabbed my Race Series Cap — ready to go, bring on the puddles! It was a ton of fun! It rained on us a good half of the race, but I’ll take wet and a bit chilly over super hot and humid ANY DAY! I didn’t PR, but I beat the times of my last several 5 mile/8K races by several minutes, so I was super happy with that!

Every single rain drop…every single puddle and every single mile of that race was VERY real! What did I learn? First — I won’t melt. Second — I need a visor! Even when it’s a bit chilly, running caps are too hot! Third — Puddles are super fun to jump in! Above all — I’m so blessed to be able to run these races at all!

And remember — #REALwomenMOVE!

*As an Ambassador of Skirt Sports I receive discounts and free merchandise. As a reader of mine, you may receive a 20% discount too if you use the following code (NOT APPLICABLE TO SALE MERCHANDISE): 20% off Share Code: SSMM20. This code may also be used for Virtual Runs.

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