So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Toddlers, Teenagers, Turkey Trots

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the token Turkey Trot.   Which, of course, does not surprise anyone since running is favorite thing to do upon waking up.  I also signed Brenna up for the "tot trot" - a short 35 meter dash for kids under seven years old.   She was excited and enthusiastic about it, especially since she had new running shoes.

In fact, both kids have new running shoes.

So it's just about transitioning from the stroller to the sidewalk.

Because yes,  we still do sometimes use the stroller, but it's not just as simple as it used to be.  For example, a simple jog to Walgreens to pick up a prescription easily turns into a shopping spree.

The day before Thanksgiving, I took the kids to the packet pickup.  Hayden surprised me by announcing that he also wanted to race.   "Are you sure?" I asked him, because the race had an $8 price  tag.   He assured me, and even though I was skeptical, I believed him.

Race day was hectic and the tot trot was crowded.  The kids were understandably intimidated.

Brenna was a trooper and nervously stood at the start line.
Hayden, on the other hand, refused to leave my side.
 The start gun went off and the tot trot turned into the tot stampede...there were kids running everywhere.  My kids ran too - or maybe Hayden moreso got dragged - and less than 60 seconds later, it was all over.  The finish was a sea of lost kids, standing and screaming for their parents.  Once nice thing about having kids attached to your hip is you cannot lose them, even if you tried.

The adult race was much more organized.  The 10K started first and the 5K started five minutes later.   Of
course I chose the 5K!

The race started off fast but I stayed in my comfortable zone.  Within the first mile, I passed most of the girls in front of me.  I knew there was one more girl up ahead, but she remained out of my sight for most of the race.  The course quickly became crowded as we merged with the slower 10K runners.   It is much easier to just go around people on the left instead of weaving through the crowd, however, it's not very strategic because it is a longer route.  I chose that option anyway.

My longer route was 3.19 miles but I didn't care.  Until I saw the finish, looked down at my watch, and realized I was not going to break 20 minutes unless I started to sprint.  So, I smiled one last time and managed to cross the finish line at 19:56.

I recently turned 32 and I guess maybe I acquired some patience with my older age because for the first time ever, my mile splits go from slowest to fastest.
Mile 1 - 6:20
Mile 2 - 6:15
Mile 3 - 6:10

I knew that there was one girl very much ahead of me who after the first corner, never re-entered my sight line.  So I was surprised to learn at the rewards that I finished third place, not second.  Who was the other girl?

The other girl turned out to be so much faster than me that she never was in my sight to begin with!  And not only was this girl many minutes faster than me - she was only 13 years old.

But anyway, I got a small check and a pie.  The pie was strawberry.

On a similar note,
I am doing an inaugural, all-women trail race series.
The first race was a 5K on a hilly trail and an easy win.
The second race, a 6K, was on Saturday.  
There were some new, fast looking faces at the race.  But the only one that made me nervous was a short, thin girl lined up directly on the start line.  She was 13 years old.

Again, the race started off fast, but again, I know better so I allowed the young girl to take the lead.  I knew my best bet was not to run fast, but to run smart.  Unlike at the turkey  trot, I selective about my route...keeping the distance as short as possible, while attempting to avoid puddles of wet mud. 

A little past Mile 2, I was able to take the lead and pick it up for Mile 3.  This race was 3.75 miles and during the last half mile, I got tired.  I carefully glanced over my shoulder and saw emptiness.  I sighed with relief and slowed down.  But a few minutes later, I glanced again and there she was - moments behind me.

So once again, I realized that I had to frantically sprint to the finish.
This time, I barely beat the kid.  These kids are going to be super stars one day.

I wonder if it all started with a toddler trot?