A few weekends ago, I ran my first 5k for a girl named Kali.
I’m a little late on this post since I started my new job the weekend after, but I really wanted to share my experience and I was really proud of how I did.
My sister asked me back in May if I would want to run a 5K with her, specifically one called Race for Refuge. I’ve been wanting to run one for a while now, knowing that it would motivate me to be more consistent with my running and just for the overall experience. So we signed up. Race for Refuge is sponsored by the Covering House, an organization that provide physical and emotional relief from sexual abuse and exploitation. So all money fundraised goes directly to them.
While I’ve never been directly connected to sex-trafficking or human-trafficking, it has always been an issue near to my heart. So as I talked about the race to my parents and friends, they wanted to sign up, too! They signed up for the walk instead, but it was encouraging knowing that they were doing it with me and that so many people also wanted to give their time and money to such a great cause.
We picked up the race packets the day before the race. Inside were some fliers for some of the sponsors, a reusable grocery tote, a couple pens, and then the story of a girl that the Covering House helped. Each runner received the name and story of a different girl.
I raced for Kali, a girl who had experienced sexual abuse since a mere six-years-old. At seventeen, her so-called boyfriend forced her into prostitution for three years until she escaped. While I don’t know the rest of Kali’s story, and I don’t know her personally, I was so honored to be able to race for her.
It was a beautiful morning for a race. It stayed right around 70 degree Fahrenheit so it wasn’t too warm. I wasn’t as prepared for the race as I would have like to have been, but since it was my first one, I just wanted to finish. I didn’t have a specific time I wanted to beat; just finish.
The race began at 8:00 A.M and there were more people participating than I was expecting. I had forgotten my headphones so I wouldn’t be able to listen to music, but it wasn’t a huge deal. The first mile was pretty easy and I felt good. But after about a mile and a fourth, my left leg started to hurt. I’ve been dealing with some leg pain while running since last summer so I was really peeved that it was starting to bother me again. That made the rest of the run really, really difficult.
At about mile two, my right leg started to hurt. This was new, because only my left leg ever bothered me before. That last mile was the worst I have ever felt while running. But I kept thinking about how much I wanted to finish and I thought about who I was running for, and after what felt like a marathon, I finally finished.
I finished in 36:20, which may not seem particularly remarkable, but it is now my new personal best! I’m an extremely slow runner, so I was just proud that I finished and that I wasn’t the last to finish, haha! I actually finished about right in the middle of all the runners, so that was quite an accomplishment for me!
I’d like to another 5k eventually, but I feel like I need to get my leg pain sorted out first. Hopefully I will be able to run more 5Ks in the future!