With my intercostal muscle and foot finally fully healed, I have been loving every step of running. I have not managed to find the willpower to find myself at the pool – it’s cold in the morning and in the afternoon, well, I rather run. I always tell myself, “Run today and swim tomorrow instead.” And then the following day, I simply repeat myself.
I had an itch to race but resistant because I am not in my best shape. When I saw my friend Angie last week at the trail race (as mentioned below), I thought it was really cool that she could just run a race for fun. She is nursing school so not in her best shape either (last year, she won that race - this year, she chatted with me for the last four miles).
I love racing. I also want to be able to separate the fun aspect from the competitive aspect. I cannot always be in tiptop shape but that doesn't mean I need to sit at home. Octoberfest seemed like the perfect event to pull off a "just for fun race."
My original plan was to do the 5 mile race as a tempo run. I cannot even recall my last tempo run. But after a chatty 45 minute warm-up with a friend, I missed the start and switched to the slightly later 5K. And also, 45 minutes to me is practically an entire workout on its own.
As always, I felt great during the first half mile but I cautiously kept myself from sprinting ahead. I was guessing I was running a 6 minute pace. I started to feel tired around Mile 2, which is typical, so I looked down at my watch. I was surprised to see I was only running a 6:20 pace. And then we reached the stairs. Stairs?!?! I took them two at a time, which in hindsight, was not the best approach. It made my legs feel really heavy when I attempted to run fast again. I looked at my watch – 6:27 pace!
I ended up with a 19:36, so not horrible considering the lack of training. And because of the convoluted local race schedule, I placed 3rd and got a plaque.
It made me re-realize how hard it is to run fast (if that is even considered fast). But, it was fun, and that was the point.
Next weekend is another race. It is a kid race. Like me, the kids have done minimal training.
Brenna, who literally follows in my footsteps (since I do not let her cling to my leg), is eager to run to run like mom. She even sticks out her tongue deep in concentration. Her short legs are surprisingly quick.
Hayden, on the other hand, is not only realizing how hard it is to run fast, but how hard it is just to run. After a few seconds, he pretends to fall. And after a few falls, he is exhausted. This is the result of too many summer afternoons watching My Little Pony because it was 120 degrees outside.
I don’t want to force him to do something he dislikes, but if up to him, he would only play with Lego and trains all day. So, I do not know if he will do the race – that’s for him to decide – I can only encourage him to be healthy and remind him what I remind myself: It’s all about having fun.