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This past spring I re-introduced running into my cardio regime. I did this mostly to help lean out my legs for the NPC Pittsburgh Show in May. I never want to view cardio as a chore, or something I have to “get done” during my contest preparation. So when asked in my post-show interview about the running, I casually mentioned running a 5K over the summer, to keep things interesting.
So true to my word, on August 10th, I ran in the 32nd Annual Brookline Breeze! “Brookline,” my original stomping grounds, is a neighborhood within the city limits of Pittsburgh, where my parents and extended family still live. The Breeze started as a local fun run and has expanded into an entire community celebration, renamed Breezefest.
Typically my morning runs are just the cornfields and me, so I was lucky to have some wonderful company for my first 5K, my sister Dena. Ok, before everyone starts wondering, yes, that really is my sister and yes she is just the slightest bit taller than me (read: 8” give or take! Haha).
Both the race and the entire day was a complete success. I finished in just over 28 minutes, which is a record time for me. I may have been passed by several children, the elderly and a woman wearing a skirt, but... I finished! The Breeze is more than just another summer 5K. It truly is an event for Brookline, whereas neighbors line up along the race path to cheer on all of the runners. There was one particular woman who got out her garden hose to offer some misting as we ran by! But more than everything else, I was able to share my love of fitness with my sister. We both have busy work schedules and active lives, so this was a perfect way for me to take a break from the rigors of competition prep and have some fun with fitness! The Breeze happened to fall just one week out from The Shawn Ray Classic, so I was very thankful for my HMB to help me recover quickly and keep up the intense training leading into peak week. HMB truly is my secret weapon to staying strong and continuing to give it 100% day in and day out.