Volunteering & An Injury Update

I haven’t been posting on here as much because I haven’t really been running.  A few weeks back, I decided that if I couldn’t run the Publix Georgia Half Marathon, I’d volunteer….which I did today!

I had quite a few friends running the race, and I really wanted to be at the finish line.  There’s something about seeing others accomplish something that is so inspiring.  I signed up for the chocolate milk station!  This is apparently one of the most popular stations at the finish.  Publix sponsors the race and donates all the chocolate milk (which is really, REALLY) good.

Even though I wasn’t running, I still had to get up at 4:30 this morning and was down at the volunteer tent by 5:30.  In addition to the Half Marathon, there was also a 5k and a full Marathon, so there were a lot of runners expected!  After we checked in (and drank coffee while everyone arrived) we got to work unloading and setting up the chocolate milk station.  Before we got started, the volunteer coordinator ran over some basics, like how to keep an eye out for runners that may need medical attention, and most importantly, that our biggest job was to celebrate the runners!  He said to make sure we make them feel special.  No problem at all!

Chocolate Milk Volunteer Team

Here’s Team Chocolate Milk!

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The tables lined with crates of Chocolate Milk!

Since there was a 5k, the runners started coming through pretty early and kept us busy for about 5 hours.  I had a big grin on my face the entire time, telling folks “Congratulations!” and “Great Job…want some Chocolate Milk?”

We got all kinds of funny responses to our Chocolate Milk proposals–most just responded with a very enthusiastic “YES!”.  Some said things like “Oh my….God Bless You!”, “This is the best thing ever”, and “I was thinking about this chocolate milk the entire time”.  We also got a few runners ask for the “light” version and some tell us they were lactose intolerant (bummer).  My favorite runners though, were those who told me it was their first 5k/Half Marathon/Marathon and those who thanked us (the volunteers).  I even took photos for a few folks!  There was one gentleman whose phone died as I was taking a photo, so I took one with my phone and sent it to him.  He was so grateful…but really, I was so happy to help.

I also got to see most of my friends who ran the race.  Here is my running buddy, Lauren, and I after she finished the half:

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Luckily, the weather was mild (a bit chilly) and the rain mostly stayed away.  I have to say–I had so much fun volunteering.  I’m really glad that I chose to do this instead of just staying home, as I’m pretty sure I would have just been feeling bad for myself if I hadn’t done this.  And, I was super motivated afterwards!  It was great to see all the runners, especially the marathoners.  I did notice that there was a marked difference in the way the half marathoners looked versus the marathoners.  I can’t really describe it in words, except that they both looked accomplished, but the marathoners just looked SPENT.  I mean, 26.2 miles is no joke, and the Georgia Marathon is a VERY hilly course, so I’m not surprised.  But it was definitely a noticeable difference!

After volunteering, I was so pumped up that I went to the gym and did a nice workout.  I was able to do 3 miles on the elliptical and 0.75 miles on the treadmill.  Considering last week I was boot, I’ll take it!  This week I’ll be able to move to outdoor running again and I CAN’T WAIT!! My foot is still feeling good (though my muscles in my legs have been sore) so fingers crossed I don’t re-injure myself.

Hopefully, lots more running updates coming up this week!

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Jess

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