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On Saturday, I ran in the Helen Gold 10K race. I was super excited for this particular race for many reasons.

Why I Love This Run

1. It is for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. All of the proceeds from the race help fund the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Our money helps fund multiple research projects, including maintenance of a database that houses data about the various symptoms of Parkinson’s, disease progression, and the effects of various treatments, and it also helps fund studies that focus on improving walking, fatigue, balance, and daily functioning for those who have Parkinson’s disease. In a nutshell, we are helping improve the quality of life for those who have Parkinson’s. Now why is it dear to my heart? My grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000. I want to do what I can. This event is the perfect opportunity to dedicate not only my money, but also my time, to the cause. It’s great to see others out there showing their support. So often these races focus on fighting cancer or other diseases that are well-known to the public. Don’t get me wrong, that is wonderful (I run in the Purple Stride 5K each year to fight pancreatic cancer), but I’m also glad there are events like this that spotlight a different disease. After all, Parkinson’s disease affects about 1.5 million people in the United States.

2. My mom and grandma also participate in the event by walking the 5K. Although I’m sure she would hate me pointing this out, I’m going to anyways… My grandma is 89 years old. This year she was talking about not walking the 5K because she had been getting short of breath lately. Well, after going to the doctor, undergoing a stress test, and getting the notification it was not her heart, she decided she was going to walk it anyways. Now that is dedication. What a spectacular lady!

3. I placed third in my age division (20 to 24 years of age) last year with a time of 1 hr, 2 min. I even won a medal. It was awesome. You can tell by the smile on my face:

(Photo taken by Thomas Photographic)

So, I was pumped to see what this year would bring since I have been training longer and harder than I did last year.

4. The course consists of two loops. This may be boring to some runners, but I think it is beneficial because you can gauge your pace better than in a race where you’re thinking, where is the finish line?

5. This run has the best post-race food. You won’t find just bagels and water. You’ll also find oranges, bananas, donuts (for those who can handle mega sugar right after a run), bakery goodies, such as banana bread or chocolate chip cookies, and coffee.

How The Run Went

The run went so much better than I had hoped! It was my goal to finish the race in an hour. Instead, I finished second in my age group with a time of 56:41! And, no joke, I did an air pump to the ground about an eighth of a mile from the finish line. Usually I aim too high when I set goals, so it felt incredible that I actually accomplished this one.

I attribute feeling (and doing) so good on this run to: completing two runs this past week, drinking nothing but water from lunch on the day before, avoiding fried foods the day before, and putting together the playlist below. The playlist is exactly 1 hr long. I made sure my iPod wasn’t set to Shuffle, that way I would know when I needed to get my butt moving (for instance, around “More” by Usher). Because I completed the race faster than I had anticipated, I wasn’t able to finish my playlist, but that is a sacrifice I was willing to make! :)

Good Time — Owl City & Carly Rae Jepson
Time is Love — Josh Turner
Moves Like Jagger — Maroon 5
Fastest Girl in Town — Miranda Lambert
Country Girl (Shake It For Me) — Luke Bryan
Springsteen — Eric Church
Thnks Fr Th Mmrs — Fall Out Boy
Blown Away — Carrie Underwood
Back in Time (from Men in Black III) — Pitbull
Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) — Flo Rida
DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love (feat. Pitbull) — Usher
Blow — Ke$ha
Hot Tottie (feat. Jay-Z) — Usher
Electric Chapel — Lady Gaga
More (RedOne Jimmy Joker Remix) — Usher
Scream — Usher
Heartbeat (feat. Nicole Scherzinger) — Enrique Iglesias

I’ll definitely set up another timed playlist for the half marathon!

Next up: Kansas City Zoo run next weekend!