6 years ago my sister called me up and said, “Hey, want to run a 5K with me? We get cookies as part of the swag?” She had been running much longer than I and knew that this was an event we could run together. I instantly said, “Hell yes!” At that time, I was also running in local 5Ks and this was a great opportunity to run with my sister. Since then, we’ve ran in 4 Freihofer’s Run for Women events in Albany, NY, with 2 races competing as a Sister-Sister Team called Relative Danger. Not only do I get to spend the weekend and visit with her and her family, but we also get a chance to compete together. We haven’t had that opportunity to compete together since we were playing recreational softball when we were kids.
In a mass start of 2500+ women, it’s wonderful to be lined up next to my sister, even if her pace is slightly faster than mine. Having the opportunity to run the race with her, also motivates me to go ‘find’ her in the pack when she just takes off. Although I can never catch up, I know I’m not too far behind and I’ll see her at the finish line. We share the love for running, the support and encouragement to keep going even when it’s hot, humid or raining, knowing that we have our meeting place after the finish line to rehash what just happened and take a fun after race picture.
Out of all the events I compete in throughout the year, this one is the one I will not miss for anything, the one that I look forward to. Women supporting women, sisters supporting sisters, mothers supporting daughters and so on. It’s inspiring for young women and children to know that events like this motivate others to give it a try, to show up with friends and motivate each other, no matter what their chip time is. (Except for us, because I always want us to place pretty well in the stats as a team!
I’ve become competitive since I started running and cycling on a consistent basis. (No wait, I’ve always been competitive) I also incorporate strength training into my workouts to help my lower body become stronger, for endurance training and going up those steep hills. Along with exercise comes nutrition, the proper way to fuel your body pre- and post race. Knowing the proper combination of what works the best for your body can be a work in progress, but once you figure it out, you’ll find you become stronger, and have less pain and discomfort after a race or training. Having the right gear is also a bonus, so if you have your fuel, your strength training dialed in, plus the right gear, it will make you a stronger finisher! You can also read my blog post on Beginner Running for tips if you are new to running.