Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First 5k with the family (PRs included!)

My sister, nephew, dad, and I post-race at grandma's birthday party.  We brought our shirts to take a quick picture. 

As alluded to in yesterday's post, I ran a 5k over the weekend with my dad, sister and nephew.  My sister and I tried to talk my brother into doing it, but running just isn't his thing.  Tearing his MCL once and ACL twice will do that to a guy.

My twelve year-old nephew has been bit by the running bug.  He ran his first 5k ever a few weeks ago and took home second place in his age group.  Of course he was devastated that some punk 10 year-old beat him.  The kid was looking to improve his time from his previous race and place in his age group.

So Sunday morning, the four of us piled in my sister's car and headed over to the race.  I've got to say, after doing big races with thousands and tens of thousands of runners it was really nice to run a small race.  We got an amazing parking spot on a side street mere steps from the finish line.  We had so much time to kill after picking up our packets pre-race that we went back to the car to get out of the slightly chilly June air.

Then, came race time.  There were two races that morning: the Rowley 5k and the Classic 10k.  Thankfully, the 10k was the main event and the starts were staggered so that the 10k runners could cheer for the bulk of the 5k runners as they finished.  My sister and my dad were walking the 5k race, so I took the kid up to the front of the pack.

Was there ever a doubt that I'm a natural red head? 

There were quite a few high school track teams represented on the front line, so the kid and I were satisfied standing two rows back. The pre-race pep talk was done by Frank Shorter, who won Olympic Gold in the 1972 marathon, and I told the kid at the end of the speech, "you're going to beat a guy who won an Olympic Gold medal."

The kid was giddy.

Then, the gun went off and the kid took off like a bat out of hell, which is exactly how 12 year old boys run.  Now, I ran a solid 10 miles COMBINED last week after taking three weeks off from running, so needless to say I was out of running form.  So when that punk kid went out at a 6:00 mile pace I was not happy.  Since this wasn't a race in his hometown I wanted to stay within eye sight of the kid the entire time.  Call me a helicopter aunt if you will, but I wasn't about to let the kid run around all by himself. However, I didn't want to run right with him because I wanted him to feel like a kid and have fun by himself.

Mile 1 -  7:35.6

I'm keeping the kid within my sight for the most part.  There are quite a few turns through the course and I do lose the kid when he makes a turn.  For the most part I'm 100 - 200 yards behind him.  He definitely doesn't know I'm there, which is exactly what I wanted.

Mile 2 -  8:17.7

Thank goodness the kid has slowed down!  We've come across some rolling hills and I can tell the kid doesn't share my love of a nice hill.  He's not charging the hills and I've cut his lead down a bit.

I see my dad and my sister at the water station.  They're heading out and I'm heading back in.  I made the mistake of reaching for a glass of water as my dad yells, "don't let that kid beat you!" which makes me laugh and causes me to stop and drop my water all over me.  Excellent.

The kid is now mixed up with a few other runners and I can't tell if it's him or not.  Kid is running in a white t-shirt and I definitely need to get him some brightly colored running gear and ASAP!  Of course I'm wearing my beloved Baltimore Half Marathon shirt and it's so bright and orange you can see me from outer space.

At mile 2.7 I decide to turn it over.  I start passing people left and right. It's crazy because I NEVER pass that many people.  The kid definitely slowed at the beginning of the mile and I think even he realizes we're getting close to the finish.

Next thing I know we're coming up to the school complex where the race finished.  We run into the track and football stadium where a loudspeaker announces the kid, "Here comes our youngest finisher yet, THE KID, age 12!"  It was really awesome because people started cheering for him.  The kid, however, was looking beat entering the track and he was not kicking it to the finish.

I'm coming up hot and heavy and SCREAM to the kid, "KICK KID! KICK!"

Swear to goodness, he turns around, sees me, realizes I'm coming, and then hauls ass down the straightaway of the track.  Okay, I might have yelled so loud that the guy 15 yards in front of me turned around.  Whoops!  I quickly overtake that guy and as I'm going around him I say, "just come with me, all the way to the finish, let's do this!"  We had been passing each other throughout the race and it was kind of awesome to all out sprint to the finish line.

Dude didn't pass me.

Final splits (damn you weaving all over the course!).  So, let's talk positives.  The official results had my time as 25:07, which is a new adult PR for me.  The 8:07 mile average was nice.

Negatives: SO CLOSE to running sub 8:00s!  So CLOSE!  Honestly, I can't blame the kid because I don't know if I would have ran so hard for a fun run.

Oh yeah, the kid beat me by 12 seconds.  He got beat by a 13 year old and a 14 year old and the kid was comfortable losing to people who were older than him.  He was really upset that his time was slower for this race, but my sister told him over and over again that this course had more hills on it.  The kid was put in a good mood when he looked at the results and realized he beat his friends :)  Classic boy behavior.

While waiting for my sister and dad to finish the kid and I hung out and walked around the complex.  We ran into one of my friends from high school who kindly pointed out that if I didn't yell at the kid to kick at the end I probably would have beaten him.  Yeah, I'm okay with losing to a 12 year old.  My friend who was running the 10k that day and told the kid to come on by anytime and they could go running together.

The funniest moment of the day was when my dad and sister came onto the track.  The kid and I were cheering on the first turn and my dad goes, "What do you think, should I beat her?"

I said yes and then my dad took his 6'6" long-self and hauled ass down the track.  My sister was not amused.

After the race we hung around because we had a pretty good idea that the kid would have placed in his age group.  We watched the finish of the 10k and the kid was pretty amazed to see the elite runners finish.  We had bumped into a few of the elites in the bathroom line right before the race and the kid was pretty excited to be so close to them.

The kid was psyched to see that during the 10k a 15 year old kid who ran at the local track finished the race in 18th place in a time of 34:13.  To see another "kid" finish with the elite runner was pretty cool.  I was amazed when Lindsey Scherin, of Fayettville, NC, won the women's 10k in a time of 33:29.  Everyone in the stadium stood up to cheer when they saw her 30 seconds ahead of the other elite women.  She was the first American women's winner to win the race in 30 years!

The only downside was we had to go to grandma's birthday party and that meant we couldn't stay for the awards ceremony.  As the moments trickled passed we realized we had to head back and get ready for the party.  I hope the kid gets something in the mail for kicking butt in his age group.  Okay, I hope I get something too!

Final results for the day:

The Kid:
24:55 (8:01 average). 3rd out of 20 in age group.  Overall: 43 out of 350.

25:07 (8:07 average). 2nd out of 23 in age group.  Overall: 45 out of 350.

We're going to make it a family event to run more races together!

My dad gets an instant PR for running his very first race at the young age of 54.  Seriously people, you're never too old to try something new.  The dude picked up a year-long marathon training program information packet at the expo that starts in October 2012 to run a first marathon in October 2013.  I can't even put into words how amazing it would be to run a marathon with my dad in October 2013.

I've never run a race with anyone in my family besides the hubs.  This was really cool to run the same course as everyone and share funny moments with each other before and after the race.

The family that runs together, stays together!


  1. Great post, I hope to run the next one with the family

  2. It certainly was an excellent day, can't wait till our next family race!