You may remember, that in December, Travis ran his first 5K, as part of a program he does after school, called STRIDE. Every participant learns valuable life lessons that include: nutrition and fitness, goal setting, communication skills, making a difference, working as a team, and character development. He asked if he could participate in STRIDE for the spring season, and we agreed. Since I wasn't able to train and run with him in the fall, due to my shoulder surgery, he asked me if I would do so this time, and run his spring 5K with him. That very week, that we signed him up for spring STRIDE, I began the Couch to 5K running program. Even though I ran track in high school (shorter distances, not long distance), I now suffer from Exercise induced asthma, so I knew I had to go slow in my progression and training. The first few weeks were rough for me. I began training in peak spring allergy season. Some days, my asthma would be triggered just from walking up a flight of stairs at work, so running aggravated it big time. I considered a run a success if I didn't have to use my rescue inhaler during the run! But, never one to be deterred by a challenge, I was determined to make my lungs stronger. After all, some of the most elite distance runners in the world suffer from asthma also! Travis would run with me, and his encouragement pushed me to want to do better. He would say things like "you are getting so much better mom!" and "come on, you are almost there!". Speed will likely never be in my future because of my asthma, so my goal was to just be able to run the 5K, with no walking, and preferably, with no rescue inhaler use. And I knew I had NO chance of matching my pace to his, and that was ok with me. He just wanted me to do it with him, and I just wanted him to do his best. So yesterday morning, we got up at 5:30am. He and I ate a light breakfast of a waffle and drank some water. We got a very cranky Riley out of bed a little after 6am, and the 4 of us headed to the race site. It was a chilly morning, and it was windy also, so the hour of waiting prior to the race was a little bit miserable (for me at least!).
You can't even tell my teeth were chattering in this picture. Taking off the long sleeved shirt was tough! However, it was perfect running weather (once we got moving).
But finally, it was almost 8am, and the 1300 runners assembled there, headed to the starting line. We were packed in like cattle, which made for an interesting experience when the "GO!" was called out....we just stood there for about another 30 seconds, until we had room to move. Jay said it took about 3 minutes for everyone to cross the starting line.
There I go! (Travis zoomed by so fast, Jay didn't get to take a picture of him!)
The run was interesting for about the first mile...even though we were on a wide street, it was crowded, and since there were almost 700 kids running, it was also hazardous at times too! At our first turn, there was an Elvis impersonator cheering on the crowd and giving commentary. Kids ran through sprinklers in peoples yards, there were people sitting in their yards cheering us all on, waving, holding up signs...there were signs along side the street with quotes from Yoda...one lady was with a toddler and she was wearing a full Indian headdress and dancing and "woo-wooing" us as we ran by. There was lots to look at to say the least! I never saw Travis during the run. Once he took off running and crossed the starting line, I never saw him again until it was over!
He ran the first 2 miles of the race with his friend who isn't as fast as he is. He decided it was better to be a good friend than get a lightening fast time. The last mile he took off though(with his buddy's blessing) and he came in with a time of 25:56. That was 92 overall and 5th out of 57 in his age group! He realizes he could have placed if he ran full out the entire time, but he really enjoyed running with his friend and is perfectly happy with his results, as are we.
Crossing the finish line (the time on the clock is different from the time I said because remember...it took awhile for us to cross the start line)
Me, I was lost in my music and the sights, and then I heard a man tell a kid near me "come on, you are almost there, once we turn that corner, you can see the finish line!". That gave me a kick in the pants to pick up the pace a little and sure enough, we turned the corner, and there was Elvis and the finish line in the distance! My mom and Riley were standing along here also, and Riley was waving his little heart out at me as I went by. A little further down, my dad was standing and I waved at him and then there I was, the last little homestretch where all the people were crowded and cheering so loud I could no longer hear the music from my headphones. I had a time of 33:45 which was 409 overall and 19 out of 46 in my age group! I was tickled pink with that. AND...I didn't walk once AND...I didn't have to use my inhaler. WIN!
I went to see Travis after I finished and he gave me a hug and told me he was SO proud of me, and would I keep running with him...and I said YES!
Going to check our official times:
After we got home, Travis and I both took a nap!
A side note: I was speaking with one of Travis' stride coaches recently, about one of his freakish fast and far running times that he had achieved, and she had the best things to say about him. She said that he was ALWAYS encouraging to his peers, and although he always finished his laps first, he never teased others and would cheer on the others when he was done. He often would go run with a slower runner as they finished their laps and just overall was always positive and encouraging and cheerful. How proud was I standing there hearing her say those things? One thing I try to instill in him, is the importance of being a good friend. Apparently, he has been listening!
A small funny from during the race: A guy we know was running the race with his son. I came up to them, realized who it was, and punched him in the shoulder as I passed him! Later, I was running on a dry stretch of road (there were puddles in some places) and felt water splash me on the back of my legs. I was all confused, and thought to myself "did I just run through a puddle I didn't see?!". I turned to look behind me, thoroughly confused, only to see the same guy laughing like crazy. He grabbed a cup of water at the water stop we had passed not long before, sprinted up to me and tossed it at me!! It only barely splashed the back of my legs, so it didn't turn out nearly as funny as he had hoped for his effort. :o) I laughed at him, as he stood there, waiting for his son to catch back up to him, bent over, trying to catch his breath. We both had a good laugh about it, after the race was over!