Saturday, September 21, 2013

Race Time

I am doing a night race this evening.  It is a 5K on the beach to support research and care of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's).

From the ALS Association Webpage:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment–"No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.
As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.
My aunt passed away from ALS so I am running for her.  It is a really small race in Charleston, but it is for a really good cause! I encourage you to search for ALS races in your area because it really is a great cause.  Money is used for care (medical care, equipment, support services) and research- both of which are desperately needed.

Race Goals:
I have been training for a half-marathon, and I am in the middle of training for that so I am not expecting a PR out of this race, but who knows?

A Goal: Sub-25:00- It has been done before, but not recently.
B Goal: Age Group Place- Like I said, this is a really small race so it isn't super competitive, but it is always a goal to shoot for.
C Goal: Sub-27:00- So goal pace for my half-marathon, so hopefully I will be able to do it in a 5K (I had a super-successful speed work session this week so I am hopeful)!

I am going to try to do a race report before next Saturday, but we will see!

Don't forget: look for a race for ALS in your area if you are looking for your next race.  If you have trouble finding one, contact me and I can help!

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