Saturday, May 2, 2009

Race Report: Girls on the Run 5K 5/02/09

I feel like I just wrote a race report... after not doing any spring races, the summer season has begun!

Pre-race: This race was previously called the Wondergirl (see race report from May 2008). It is the culmination of all practices and training for the girls in the spring GOTR program. I ran this race last year as a running buddy, and fell so in love with the program that I started coaching, and became a part of the Operations Committee in the fall. I also ran for the program for the PF Chang's 1/2, although the program name has changed.

This year, due to travel requirements, I have not been able to coach. However, not coaching made me eligible as a running buddy again! Since I was familiar with several of the returnees from Manitas, I fished around and offered to run as "Maire's" running buddy. We share the same middle name, Maire, which is the gaelic version of Mary, and sounds more like Marie. This girl reminds me so much of myself - she's not a natural athlete, she's a huge bookworm, she's way beyond the other girls in her class as far as interests and the things that she "gets". In fact, she frequently made comments during discussions at practice that just floored me - a very wise girl. Which means she's also vastly awkward and not at all popular. I can foresee that the teen years will not be easy for her, but if she can get through it, she'll be an amazing young woman.

OK sorry... the race...

So I got there, signed in, and went and found Manitas. It was great to see the girls and parents all excited for the race. I also got to see Lady Tiara, which was great, and one of the coaches from Crockett that I heart. It was very mellow but exciting. Maire brought me a bright pink feather boa to run in (which by the way, was pretty hot to run in, and the feathers stuck to my lip gloss) but we had GREAT flare and were ready to roll!

Race: Maire is one of the few participants who understands the concept of pacing. She actually asked to go to the back of the starting line (most girls are pushing to be the first one under the balloon arches) so that we would have more room and wouldn't get pushed around - sure, I always start at the back! Her mom had actually signed up originally to run with her, but due to some confidence issues, she was afraid she'd keep Maire back. She did want to make the point that you follow through on what you start, so she was racing anyway, though she expected to be far behind us. We started out after the gun, and we were off!

Maire was in charge of our starts and stops, and ran/walked consistently throughout the course. She had a good steady solid pace that she kept up for fair distances throughout the race. Each time she stopped to walk, we agreed that she had to say something positive. This was to ensure that she didn't think of walking as a bad thing. Her positive affirmations ranged from "The breeze is nice" to "those are pretty hibiscus flowers" (yes she actually said hibiscus) "I'm feeling really good" to "I like donuts". Whatever works. The surprise was that her mom kept up with us the whole way! Maire learned to make friends with the hills, and to push through her running to her goal locations, be it the water bubbler or the boat ramp.

It was a two lap course, and I have to say that from a personal perspective that even though we were not pushing my pace, it felt a lot shorter than it has in the past, even though I haven't really been running longer than 2.5 - 4 miles at a time lately.

At 52 minutes into the race, the feathered up ladies crossed the finish line. Maire felt awesome finishing her "6th" 5k (she's done four in practice in two seasons). It was great to experience, and both mom and daughter were an inspiration. The best part was that the mom was saying before the race that she was planning on doing the race and then throwing out her asthma inhaler, because she was never running again. By the end of the race, she was talking about taking the whole family to the ARR Summer Series races at Papago and Kiwanis this summer.

Overall it was a great day. I love being able to share in the excitement as all of the girls told me how great they did, and how proud they were. It was definitely worth the packed travel day to start at the race. I needed that pick-me-up that I could put in my pocket, and take out this week and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Fun!! I am doing the summer series too! I have a very ambitious goal for the series...cut 5 minutes off my PR. Oh jeez. I am up for the challenge! Make sure to let her know kids race for free with the registration sent in ahead of time! :) Safe travels!