This whole running thing seems to be taking on a life of it's own and I'm just getting swept up into the wave and carried along. It's almost like when before you had kids, your friends with kids would tell you how wonderful it was but you suspected they just wanted to pull you in to share their misery. Yeah, it's kinda like that.
Well, once word of my C25K training got out to my friends, they all started trying to recruit me into their running cult of 5Ks. What they don't quite get is that I can't run the three-something miles yet. They claimed the upcoming St. Patrick's Day O'Niantic had big appeal because it was pretty relaxed and the kids could participate. A few of our friends were going to run, one of them with her son and so the four of us would run together until the kids couldn't run anymore and then we'd all walk together (which I assumed would be about 2.9 miles). This sounded like a great introduction to my first 5K. A buddy system, plus the reward at the end was finishing my first race capped with a beer. Sounded good.
Here are a few things that helped make my race successful:
Running with your child. What a great cover! For walking. A great opportunity to cloak my own inability in my child's.
People came out of the woodwork to walk with me in case I got tired. This sounded great, as I envisioned is all striding along together chipper and smiley. But once we began, this sympathy walking actually had the reverse psychological effect and made me run because I was not going to be anyone's charity case.
Out of the gate I felt confident and secure in my little bubble of people that moved me along. About twenty steps in, my seven year old asked if we could stop for a rest...and I just kept going leaving him with the husband. They remained close behind me until our first turn in which he stopped to tie his shoe and the whole using my child as a crutch went out the window. I had abandoned my family. I was going to see how much of this race I could run and nobody was going to hinder me! I lost site of my friend/son duo assuming they were up ahead. Friend #2 left me in the dust. It was a complete breakdown of the buddy system plan less than 100 feet into the race!
As I said, I thought my friend and her son had somehow moved ahead of me, so I continued to run in pursuit of them. And so I ran. I ran for 1.7 miles straight. And then I walked a bit. Then I ran, and walked a little bit more. And this is how I finished the last half of the race, with my total time 36:14. It was really pretty fun.
Until I had the finish line in my sights. That's when I decided to just kick it and run as fast as I could weaving in between the other runners as fast as my shin splinted legs would carry me. It felt fantastic! (And wasn't at all because this is where all the spectators were, wink wink). But as I crossed the finish line, not only did I feel a complete sense of accomplishment, I felt...I felt....like my heart was going to freaking explode! Yeah that last burst of energy really did me in. As I sat recovering and waiting for the boys to come across the finish line....there was the mom/son duo that I was chasing....behind me. In came my son and it was fantastic to see him run across the finish line!
All in all a great day, capped with a beer (or five). Next race - James Greenleaf Memorial. Who's with me? I'll walk with you if you get tired.