ESRC rocked eRace the Stigma and supported an important cause

Here are some members of Team ESRC after we were recognized for having the largest team at the eRace the Stigma 5K on May 11.

The Eastern Shore Running Club came out to last Saturday’s eRace the Stigma 5K in force. We had our new singlets available for purchase in time for the Salisbury Marathon, but we got them the day before the race.

Since the eRace the Stigma 5K was May 11, more people had time to get a singlet, and plenty of members showed up wearing them on Saturday — I’d encouraged everyone to do so if they wanted to. It was fun to see so many people repping ESRC at the race and in the photos afterward.

We also won for largest team, with 30 members. The largest team award came with a travel mug prize, which is a nice perk.

This was my fourth year running the eRace the Stigma, which I actually won in the female category back when it was a lot smaller. The race has really grown, and this was its third of five years in Downtown Salisbury.

I am friends with the race director, Lynn, who is our ESRC vice president, and did some minor things to help — picking up coffee for the race on race morning and sending out some tweets. The Eastern Shore Running Club was also provided with a race discount code for members, which was much appreciated.

Mental health is such an important issue, and I’m glad that this race brings the topic to the forefront. There’s also a mental health expo as part of the race, and there was a panel this year.

In October, I saw Peter Sagal, the host of NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” speak at Sixth and I in Washington. I’ve actually been meaning to blog about this and his book for months, but I keep writing about the more recent stuff now since that’s so far behind, but I will get to it — stay tuned!

Anyway, I jotted down a few things in my phone’s Notes app during the talk. I wasn’t there as a reporter, but there were some things I wanted to remember. He talked some about his experience with depression.

I went back to the talk in the Sixth & I Podcast and got a quote from Sagal, because I just thought it was so relatable and powerful.

“Coming to the realization on my own that this was a problem I had was both terrifying but also liberating, ’cause you’re like, ‘oh, I’m not like uniquely weird,'” Sagal said.

And relating to erasing the stigma surrounding mental health, here’s an interesting stat from the Mental Health First Aid website:

“In the United States, only 41 percent of the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services.”

Here’s the eRace the Stigma race shirt and the prize my fellow team members and I received for being part of the largest team.

I’m not sure exactly where the stat came from or how they know, if the people didn’t seek treatment, but if it’s accurate, that means more than half of people are suffering without getting the help they medically need. That’s a problem!

Onto the race…

This year, the course changed from a three-loop course to a course that had a lot of turns but did not include repeating loops. All the turns looked a little intimidating from the map, but it was well-marked and I had no problems following the course.

Right before I started the race, I ran back a super short distance to my car to put something in it. I noticed a very slight pain behind my knee.

I still decided that I wanted to go fast, if I could. Ideally, I wanted to beat last year’s time of 26:59, but I wasn’t sure if that was within reach.

Unfortunately, I had some pain in my upper right shin that hindered me for most of the race. I was still able to go at a pretty fast-for-me pace, but I think I would have been able to go faster if it wasn’t there — both because the pain was deterring me and mentally I was worried about hurting myself.

It wasn’t bad enough that I had to stop, though. If it were a longer race and the pain was continuing, I probably would have.

My friend Lisa captured a photo of me running the eRace the Stigma 5K (Lisa Bryant photo).

I ran the first mile in 8:49. I was following a couple people I knew for most of the race, staying at seemingly the same pace behind them, and then I passed them at the end. I knew a lot of people at the race, of course — I said earlier that the ESRC team had 30 people!

The race started out with runners heading down the plaza, and much of the second mile was around the riverwalk area. We ran almost all of the downtown area.

I ran the second mile in 9:17 and the third mile in 9:20. Then, knowing I was so close to the end and could withstand pain for a short amount of time, I picked up the pace for the last 0.1, running that in 47.6 seconds, a 7:42 pace.

Here’s a photo of Eastern Shore Running Club members. We were all laughing because Veronica’s dog Miles had barked right when the photographer said to say “Cheese.”

My time was 28:15, a 9:06 average pace. Although I hoped to be a little faster, I still feel good about that time. I was disappointed that my leg hurt, though. Since then, I used some of the Arcanum CBD product that I have and did some rolling. I was able to do a speed workout yesterday without issues, so hopefully I am keeping the problem at bay.

I usually stop for water, even at a 5K, but I didn’t at this one. There was one water stop that we passed just before hitting Mile 1 and with about 0.6 or so to go. I’m glad it was there, but it worked for me to not stop on Saturday.

It did start to get warm — not to the point that I felt like it was having a major effect on my running, but I always prefer cooler temperatures.

After the race ended, I got a photo of myself in downtown Salisbury using the self timer.

Like last year, I hadn’t raced a 5K since the Run, White and Blue 5K in September. My 5K was faster than that race and last year’s Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K, both of which were run in sweltering conditions.

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