This song by The Clash has been in my head the past week. Reminded me of this funny video. The Carlsbad 5000 is a race that has a special place in my heart. It is one of the largest 5K races in the US and consistently draws elite runners because it is a flat/fast course. In fact many world records have been set there! In 2005, at the 20th Anniversary Race I set my personal record for a 5K and ran a scorching 20:47. I earned my first long distance medal there for finishing in the top 250 out of ~1000 people in my age group (20-29.) I’ve always been a sprinter. I was the little guy who used his quickness in all competition. I never thought I would like distance/endurance racing. After the race in 2005, I remember thinking, “Hey, That was kinda cool. I can only get better.” Months later I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which prevented me from enjoying most of the athletic hobbies that used to define me. I am very lucky to be alive and am now learning new hobbies, but I still yearn for the physical activities I used to enjoy.
Three years ago, I returned to the Carlsbad 5000 with the mission to simply finish the race. It took me almost three hours with the help of my brother and friends to walk the 5 kilometers (or 3.1 miles). Two years ago, I returned to walk again with the help of my friends in honor of an online friend lost to brain cancer. We finished the race in a little over two hours. Last year, I was out of town for the race. This year was the 25th Anniversary race. I wanted to walk for all the brain tumor patients and young adult cancer survivors I’ve met in the past 4 years. There was no way I was going to miss this race. A few of my friends agreed to walk with me this year! I created a team, with the help of the Challenge Center, an awesome nonprofit organization that provides skilled physical therapy and fitness to patients with neurological deficits. They will help me in my quest to return to running. We decided to start our walk with the Women’s Masters Race early in the morning to avoid the crowds. This year I finished the walk in 1 hour and 25 minutes. We shaved off close to 45 minutes off my time. Today has given me hope. It made me even more hungry to return to running because I know there is still room for improvement! Every year I have improved. I just need to figure out how to improve my balance reactions. Things are starting to come in focus now! It’s only a matter of time before I figure out how to walk and run again. I’m confident the Challenge Center will help formulate a plan. My goal is by the 30th Anniversary Carlsbad 5000 I will jog it.