Saturday, April 10, 2010

Community walk for Parkinson's and the 5k I didn't run

I've known about this local 5K for Parkinson's research for at least 2 1/2 months, but I never had any intention of running in it, because my main priority is the long runs to train for the half marathon, now only 3 weeks away. I've had my first 10-miler scheduled for this weekend, and I didn't want a 5k to interfere with it. My dad became a sponsor of this event, though, so I decided to participate by walking in the 1 mile community walk.

When I saw everyone else racing, I really wished that I was a part of it, but I went with my plan and walked, and I'm glad I did. I noticed that there was an elderly gentleman, who is a frequent library patron, walking and falling behind the group. He didn't have anyone with him, and I knew that soon he would fall so far behind that he would lose sight of the group. He was walking because he has Parkinson's disease, and I didn't want to see him not finish the walk, so I left the group to walk with him.

He did a great job walking at a much faster pace than he is used to. I told him that if we were going too fast, that I'd happily slow down, but he was determined that walking fast was good for him. His neurologist tells him to walk every day, and he listens.

We lost sight of the group several times, but when we did, I ran forward until I could see them and where they were turning and then ran back to him and kept walking. When we finally reached the finish, we were welcomed by the race director, who was very pleased to see that my friend was able to finish.

I watched a lot of the racers finish, and again I wished that I was sprinting to the chute, but my time for that will come soon enough, and there are plenty of other opportunities for 5Ks this year. After the half-marathon, I intend to start on speedwork so I can get fast again!

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