The Run 4 Phil 5K

It was 90ºF. I hadn’t run in two weeks. My goal was to run without pain and, hopefully, well.

Between the heat and my layoff to deal with the plantar fasciitis in my right foot, I was not looking for a PR at the Run 4 Phil 5K. I wasn’t even sure I was going to do the race until yesterday morning when I woke up with my right foot feeling good enough.

The race was a fundraiser for Phil Prygoski, an instructor at Cooley Law School, who suffered a stroke in March of 2012. He was in the process of training for a half-marathon and is now confined to a wheel chair.

I had signed up to do the race because Phil’s wife Mary is the piano teacher for our neighbor’s son. Their son is our son’s best friend. Our neighbors, who also happen to be wonderful people, had asked their family and friends on Facebook if they would sign up for the race or donate to the cause.

Before the start of the race, Mary made several remarks, thanking all who attended and participated in the race and explaining how the money would help cover the costs of his recovery. Phil said a few words of thanks. It was obvious he was moved by the support from so many people and the dozens of sponsors (including Mid-Michigan’s running resource Playmakers), and the large turnout at the race itself.

As of the start of the race, they had raised over $70,000. That’s the kind of thing the community in which I live will do for its people.

If you’re so moved, you can still donate. They are still accepting donations through their website.

How did I do? At the first mile marker it read 7:10, and I knew I had started more than 10 seconds behind the start. I was going way too fast, so I slowed down.

There were water stations at the half-mile, mile, and two mile markers. I grabbed cups, sipped a mouthful and dumped the rest down my back. And I kept going. It felt like running inside a giant oven, the hot air compressing your body.

When I saw the Start/Finish line in the parking lot I was relieved. “Finally! The race is almost over,” I thought. And then I saw that we had to make a small loop through the lot and I felt let down.

I did the loop and crossed the Finish line with a time of 23:06. Given the conditions of my body, my training, and the heat, I’d say it was pretty good for me.

Though I felt no pain in either of my feet, I intend to take another two weeks off, maybe three, for my right foot to fully heal. My eyes are still focused on that 15K at the Istanbul Marathon in November.

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