Woke up to a beautiful morning, and it's a beautiful day, too...but hot. Just right for an already challenging XC 5K! My cousin was running the race, also, so he picked me up and we got there about 7:15 to get our timing chips. I'd have traded another hour of sleep to start at 7 rather than 8!!
J. and Junior came right before the race started to cheer me on, take pictures, and wait until Jr's fun run after the 5K. He was already feeling the heat.
There were around 700 runners registered by race time.
The race is a fundraiser for the local XC/track and field booster clubs for the middle schools and high school, so it's a big group effort. It's very well-run. It also has good participation from past and present members of the high school teams. The superintendent of schools fired the starting gun.
This is my second cross country race run, and I figured I'd have no problem setting a XC PR since the previous experience involved crawling through mud pits and slogging across creeks. By the first mile, though, I was wondering. Between the heat and hills (and I don't think the hills were even that bad at this point), I was dying.
And it shows. I always want pictures from the runs, and then I see them and think how much happier I was before I realized how bad I look running.
I had started out ahead of my cousin but had to stop about .5 mile into the run to tie my shoe (recurring problem. Perhaps one day I'll learn from experience) and he passed me there. I passed him a bit later, but then I did some walking at the first water stop. He didn't, so he pulled ahead and, while I saw him from time to time, I never caught up with him again. I walked another time or two on a couple of the bigger hills.
Where is mommy? What's taking her so long?
The middle section of the run was through a wooded portion. I passed the singletrack trails where I dislocated my thumb in April. Thought about flashing them the middle finger but decided to be the bigger person and forgive. I was very happy to see the last stretch of the race, but that whole section was in the sun. Hot, hot, hot. There was one woman around me who looked to be my age, so I worked on slowly gaining on her. I passed her and pushed at the end.
J. took about 10 pictures of me running, and not one is flattering. In addition to being at death's doorstep, I was also stressing out bc my iPhone was freaking out. At water stop 2 (yep...2 water stops for a 5K, and thank goodness for it!), I drank half of my water and dumped the rest on my back. Some of it ran down my arm, so I was worried that my phone had gotten wet. That is, wetter than it already was from all my sweat.
I was a little disappointed as I crossed the finish line to see my time: 30:25.
Yep, there it is. Sigh.
I had hoped to finish under 30 minutes. It's still a PR for me by about 5 minutes, but I wasn't crawling this time! (Almost, but not quite). Still, my little boy was proud of me.
Or, you know, just glad it was over.
Of course, that wasn't the end of it. Once the 5K was over, it was time for the fun run. We had to walk over to the 1 mile marker and run the first section of the race backwards. I was kind of glad to get in the extra mile because I was scheduled for 6 miles today for HM training. Back across the grass we went.
**Sidenote: I made this trek many a time when my older boys and niece (who lived with me at the time) ran cross country in middle school. I wasn't a huge fan of cross country OR track & field: it was hard to get to the meets on time, the XC meets were over so fast that you barely saw anything, I seemed to always miss the kids' events in track because I was chasing Jr (a toddler at the time), and their times didn't mean anything to me. I'd always ask how they did and then follow it up with "Is that good?" I'm sure the fact that I've started running and now Junior is showing an interest is something of a bad dream to J.
Ready to run!
We had talked before the run about pacing. Jr. is fast, but he has no stamina nor desire to work to improve it. That's fine. He's 6. None of my kids have had that killer instinct at a young age. I encouraged him to run at a pace that he could keep up until he saw the finish line, and then he could pour it on.
I love this picture. He looks so focused. Also, cool thing: the guy to the far right in the white shirt is one of Jr.'s after school program workers. As he ran past, he called out "Junior G____!"
He listened to my advice carefully and promptly ignored it as soon as he heard "Go!" He sprinted off. I wasn't catching up with him. I'd told him, I'll catch up with you. I'll watch you. You go at your pace. Well, he got a ways, maybe 100 feet (I'm not so good with judging distance), and had to walk. We spent most of the mile walking.
I'd say, "Just let me know when you're ready to run," and he'd say, "No, I think I'm just going to walk until the end." He wasn't at all concerned by other kids passing him. He has such a sense of himself. Sometimes I'd like to see him push himself more, but I'm also glad that he's comfortable saying, "Nope, I'm good."
He did run out the last stretch, though. I love the little grin on his face as he waves to his dad.
And, most important, he got his medal.
So, all in all, a good morning. The rest of the day is about relaxing together. Church tonight, then a long bike ride tomorrow. I really need to get in some miles before the century in September.
Bike: 12.44 miles
Run: 11.6 miles
Walk: 1 mile
Gym: 80 min. elliptical; strength: 2x arms, 1x legs
Swim: 250 yards (100, 150)