Sometimes the Best Races are the Ones that are Unplanned

By Heather Anzallo
October 21st 2019

My First 5K

Running has always been a source of happiness for me. I started running when I was young, participating in 1 Mile Kid Fun Runs.  I continued to run track & field and play competitive travel soccer throughout my school years. In high school I decided soccer would take priority over running and went on to play DIII soccer for four years.

In the Spring of 2019 I decided to enter the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon and got accepted, unlike to year prior. I had no goal in mind, just the idea of running the marathon while my husband was still serving in the Marine Corps. Fast forward to the beginning of August, I realized I still had not

increased my running appropriately to train for an October marathon. I chatted with my father and got a shortened running plan to guide me until race day. I started attending Tuesday AM and Wednesday PM WOL practices on a more regular basis and incorporated speed work. I liked the idea of two workouts back to back with a shortened rest.

Two weeks out from race day, I was working the Son Run 5K in Wrightsville Beach. My coworker Michelle Hackman, who is also planning to run the Marine Corps Marathon, had planned to run the race as part of her training plan. With luck, I was able to race the 5K as well. I was a little hesitant, not only because I had already completed my morning run, but this would be my first 5K.

When I crossed the finish line I had no idea what time I had run. Unlike most runners, I rarely look at my watch when I am running. I ran a 19:19. I was happy. It gave my hope for the next race. Especially when I heard Alli, a fellow WOL runner, cheer me on mid race and say “You are still smiling, you have more to give”.

Now I am looking forward to running and enjoying the marathon experience once again. With more training and preparation, I am eager to see what happens on race day.