What a great day for Huntsville’s 32nd annual Cotton Row Run. It was the 2011 race that got me running further and harder, before an unsuccessful go at the Rocket City Half Marathon last fall led to my (temporary!) physical fitness demise.
After several months of not running, or doing much of anything, I started working out again in early March. I would run a few miles one day and walk several the next. I focused on healthy moderation instead of the obsessive-compulsive “must run six miles every day” that drove me to participate in last year’s half marathon, a 13.1 mile event for which I was ill prepared.
Months later, I found myself among some 3,000 or so others on Memorial Day morning in downtown Huntsville for a 10K Runner’s World ranks as one of the country’s best 100 road races. The Cotton Row Run features an excellent route with a killer upward slope at Mountainwood followed by a nice steep downward run on Bankhead Parkway. But more than that, this event is an excellent way to kick off Memorial Day.
The theme, “Running to Remember,” puts a well-deserved patriotic spark in the runners’ hearts. A prayer, Taps, the Pledge of Allegiance and a meaningful reminder that the U.S. is the “land of the free because of the brave.”
Race-wise, the 2012 Cotton Row wasn’t my best. I did 1:05:54 compared to my first shot at the Cotton Row in 2011 with 1:03:29. But I proved to myself that I could finish the race again. Sure, I wanted to beat last year’s time, but coming up short doesn’t define me. I am giving myself a break – something I don’t think we, as women, moms, wives and even runners, do nearly enough.
Besides, there is always next year!
For results from the 2012 Cotton Row Run, click here.