Posted by: deerharas | October 21, 2009

This Run’s for Jack

Okay, Tracy, this update’s for you.  🙂

So I have been blog-absent the past couple months, and for good reason.  You know you are crazy busy when you feel guilty sleeping/working out/taking showers/putting on makeup because by doing so you’re neglecting homework.  However just today I turned in the last of my three 3000 word papers to complete (along with 1000+ pages reading and 10 hours of Hebrew translation … yeah, came up a little short on those) my TWO HOUR A-quad class.  Yes, two hours.  Two hours of just as much work if not more than any four hour class I’ve taken in my program thus far.  But that is not what this blog’s about, so we’ll desist with the axe grinding.

Actually, as much as I felt overwhelmed with the workload in that class, I’d have to say it’s one of the best I’ve ever taken.  Probably the closest to my hermeneutics class in undergrad, it’s given me a lot to think about.  And write about.  So hopefully that will come soon.

But on to this blog.  This blog’s for Jack.  So for the past year I’ve worked part time as a test prep tutor, helping high school students improve their ACT and SAT scores.  This summer I was assigned to a wonderful family that I immediately clicked with over a mutual love for running.  It turned out that Sharon had lost her husband to Melanoma four years ago and had since started a running charity to raise money for Melanoma research and awareness.  Teams raise support and then run in marathons and half marathons all over the country, and in the fall, the charity sponsors a local 5K race called “This Run’s for Jack.”  One afternoon tutoring session, Sharon came up with a handful of old race shirts and a stack of brochures, encouraging me to run this year’s race and anyone else I could convince as well.

Over the summer I had trained for the Chicago Half Marathon in September.  Training went well, although it took up a lot of time.  However, race day was kinda sucky.  It was hot (for Chicago in September) and humid, and the course was really boring.  I’m not a fan of there-and-backs, and running one alone sans music is really not fun.  I didn’t meet my goal, although I did beat my first half marathon time from a few years back.  Anyway, I was glad to see the day come and go and was thankful for the added time in my schedule … remember the whole guilt trip for working out?  🙂  But the thought of a 5K was appealing; workout-wise, it’s good for me to have goals I’m working toward.

So I ran a couple miles here and there, just figuring the 5K would be a fun race.  I convinced my cousin to run with me, knowing that she’d push me come race day.  However, the week before I got a message on Facebook announcing the results of a 5K some friends of mine in Oklahoma did.  They did a great job, a couple of them placing in their age divisions.  And here’s where my competitive spirit raised its pretty head.  🙂  One of these people who happened to place, I happened to have dated, and suddenly I happened to want to beat him.  I told my cousin as much, so that was our goal for race day.

So fast forward to race morning.  My plan was to get up early and take a pre-race shower.  When I told my roommate this, she looked at me like I was completely ridiculous.  What is the point of showering right before you’re gonna get sweaty and gross, you might ask.  I’ll tell you the point, friends.  It’s hot water.  It’s a miracle waker-upper.  And it doesn’t hurt to look clean and put together at any gathering with potentially available physically fit males, either.  🙂  So the whole shower thing was the plan, but at 7:11 that morning I woke up to a text message from Jayme asking where I was.  The late night scary movie with the roommate the night before proved to be my undoing as evidently I had slept through my alarm.  Frantically I raced around, throwing on clothes and grabbing a piece of cinnamon raisin bread and some gatorade as I head out the door, however forgetting my super-fantastic GPS watch.

Anyway, we fortunately made it to the race site with time to spare, and Jayme was able to pick up her packet with no hassle.  And then we raced.

Glen Ellyn in the fall is incredibly beautiful.  The course meandered through neighborhoods with elegant old houses and trees with leaves of every fall color imaginable kissing in the middle of the street.  Without my watch to tell us how far we’d gone and how much time had passed, we were left guessing until we saw the clock at mile one.  I was a little worried because I thought we’d started too fast and didn’t think I’d be able to keep up that pace.  We ran up some difficult hills and made up some time on a fabulous long downhill just before rounding a lovely little lake.  We circled back to the park where the race began and strided in that last .1 of a mile.  And let me just tell you how thankful I am for my speedy little cousin, because we finished over two minutes under our goal.

And as if that wasn’t enough, it turns out that we placed!  Jayme got 3rd in the women’s 20-24 division, and I got 2nd in the women’s 25-29.  So it was a pretty good day for us; now if we can just convince our family to run in the Amarillo Turkey Trot with us on Thanksgiving Day … 🙂




  1. Sarah,

    I’m super duper impressed with you! You are pretty amazing. I can barely keep up with classwork and I have no friends here, no concerts to go to, and no excuses, but I’m sure I couldn’t train for a race too! You’re a super woman!

  2. I concur, Amanda! Way to go, Sarah! You are an inspiration!

    Thanks for the post!

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