My First 5K

(Topic: Fitness, In Memory, Hiking)

Dear Friends,

I am part of a lovely group of ladies on Facebook, all of whom are committed to trying to become more healthy, and all of whom have experienced loss – I believe all of us have experienced late pregnancy loss. It’s a fabulously supportive group, because we are all there for a reason but we also all understand the emotional sensitivities that we are prone to.

Each month on Facebook we start a new group, so we can stay focused month by month. In the most recent month, August, we focused on distance – communally. So while each of us did not necessarily contribute a huge number of miles, together we counted steps and did the equivalent of the distance from Ireland to Paris, which is pretty cool!

As part of trying to walk more, one person suggested doing a walk from RunMotivators.com, in this case one of their charity races. Basically, RunMotivators is a website where you can purchase medals like those you would get at the end of a race – and you complete the miles on your own (honor system). This makes it more fun to add fitness to your life! It’s a “virtual race” since the individuals doing it are not doing it on the same day in the same place, and there are no winners/losers. If you go to the website, you can pick out different races to participate in, based on length or the theme, whatever gets you excited to move! For instance, there are races with Harry Potter themes, and some that are short and some that are long, and some that support charities like “save the manatees”, or, in our particular case, several of us from our group decided to all order medals for the “Run For The Angels” race, in which a portion of our race fee for the medal (and paper race bib) went to a foundation called Share: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support: “This non-profit organization provides support and education across the country for miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss”.

(If you go to the website, hover over “Events” and hover over “Virtual Events”, you’ll see a list of current themes, and then if you click on “Fundraisers and Charity Events”, this is where they list the ones where a portion of the proceeds go to a good cause. This is where any of their Angel races are listed when active. http://www.runmotivators.com/events/fundraisers-and-charities I’m noticing that, as I write this, Run For The Angels is still listed, but I know it’s likely to sell out. So if you want to participate, please do! You can do it as a 5K, 10K, or half marathon.)

We all agreed on a day that we would do our race – though this is not necessary at all, it was fun and helped us know we were not alone in supporting our babies or in trying to improve our fitness. On that day, I decided that since I don’t run yet, hiking a 5K was probably about my speed. I picked out a couple of trail options, knowing that bathrooms and trail length would be my limitations.

The first trail I picked was a wooded loop that was about half the length I needed, with no facilities. So I stopped at the library before, walked the loop, and then dashed back to the library after!

Trail says it’s about 1.4 mi, but there’s an optional little loop at the far end that I did, and I logged 1.7 miles.

I had never been on this trail before. It was startlingly beautiful, and just enough on the edge of town to be very quiet. Portions were more meadow-like, some was wooded, some was wooded with ferns and moss, and there was also a creek. Beautiful and peaceful.

The creek.

Strangely golden mushrooms.
Final details of the first loop

Once I finished this leg and my pitstop, I found another trail nearby that looked like it might be fun and was new to me.
This trail is a boardwalk around a dammed lily pond. Not actually long enough, but by adding a spur and looping the pond twice, I hit my 5K mark!

There were a lot of turtles. Didn’t see much other wildlife, but there were quite a few people and it was the middle of the day, so I’m not surprised.

Turtles!

Did you know this? I did not know this! How neat!

More turtles! I probably saw two dozen.

The pond. It’s bigger than than just what shows here, but not huge.

Following a spur trail and adding a second loop got me to 1.4 miles – added to the 1.71 from earlier gives me 3.11. Since 3.1 miles is 5K, there we go!!!!

As you saw at the beginning of the post, the medal is a suncatcher and is beautiful up against the light. I did my walk so soon after I ordered the medal that I didn’t have it right away, but when I came in the mail it was amazing! Here’s a close up of the medal itself:

The ribbon is pink/blue like the infant loss awareness ribbon, and says “Run for the Angels 2018 5K 10K 13.1” and on the other side it says “I run for the feet that never had the chance to run on Earth”. I think I wore it the whole day!

I had a lot of fun with this, and I even signed up for another “real” race – coming up in about a week. It’s a 5K too, but I’m stepping of a starting line with hundreds of other people, so this will be a new experience! I’m planning to walk it again. At this point I’m not running. Who knows – maybe someday I’ll build up to that??

Yours,

Sarah

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Resource list: Visit my spreadsheet at www.tinyurl.com/infantloss

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