Well, this is not so much a race report as a race reminiscence. Yesterday in Rochester was the Chase Corporate Challenge, which several of my friends here ran. Maybe you can see a picture of them if you check out the Democrat and Chronicle photo gallery.
Though I was unable to run the race–since I am no longer an employee of a Rochester company–this event always brings back fond memories for me. The Corporate Challenge was my first race several years ago. Just being around to do the race was a big deal for me. You see, in 2004 I was raped by an individual who drugged me at a bar and kidnapped me. I eventually got away and went to police with the incident. What followed was a year and a half long odyssey to take my rapist to trial. To this day, I consider that the hardest thing I have ever done. I had an order of protection while my rapist was out on bail, I feared for my safety, I had to re-live the experience over and over again to detectives, attorneys, police officers, and in a courtroom, and the entire process took such a toll on my relationship with my boyfriend (who, during the process, became my fiance) that I think it ultimately doomed us. I try not to think about it a lot, but what I do remember quite vividly is sitting on a witness stand, being cross-examined by my attacker’s ass of a defense lawyer, and thinking to myself, “If you get through this, you are never again allowed to say you can’t do something, because nothing will ever be as hard as this.”
Running a 3.5-mile race seems like nothing to me now, but before I started training for the Corporate Challenge I had never run farther than the 1-mile fitness challenge back in high school. I worked out, but didn’t consider myself an athlete. I had a friend who did the race every year and who always tried to recruit me, but I said no for years because I just didn’t think I could do it. But that first year after the trial, I couldn’t say no. I trained and ran the race, and I’ve been running ever since. I ran the Corporate Challenge three times, eventually becoming co-chair of my company’s event team before leaving my old job. I’ve also worked up to running many more 5Ks, 10Ks, and two half marathons. This year, in the month of May, I ran over 60 miles. I will soon pass 250 miles run this year. Lots of things in my life have come and gone since that first race, but running has remained a part of my life and I hope it always will.