Daily Chatter

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Not Really a Race Race Report

As you might recall from yesterday's clifnotes post, our family weekend was a busy one.  It came on the heels of several very full weekends.  Although I knew we had several activities planned with the kids I was actually looking forward to getting to relax, put my feet up and let go of some of the stress of the hectic schedule.
However when the kids and I arrive in VA it wasn't long before Hubbs told me that he had registered us for a 5k, aka the least favorite distance for Shelly to run let alone race ever!
I am no longer 20 something.  It hurts to run fast and not in that "I've been running for 10 hours" good kind of hurt way that I currently love.  Running fast hurts.  Running fast makes me feel like I am going to puke.  And I promised myself a long time ago the puking was something I wasn't going to do anymore*.  But in light of my Hubbs new found desire to run and race a little more I cheerfully agreed that it sounded like a great way to start our Fourth of July day.
while secretly starting to worry about what kind of paces I could hit
The morning of the Fourth I was up early doing all the normal pre-race things.  We were ready to go in plenty of time.  Hubbs even had time and energy to be the one to start the trash texting with his guy friends who would also be running. 
We arrived for the Kiwanis Independence Day 5k sponsored by the Charlottesville Track Club and picked up our bibs and T-shirts.  Then joined Hubbs friends for a little pre-race discussion of the other runners race plans.  While we were talking another friend, D shows up.  D is running late and quickly goes to get his bib.  The next time I see him he has a year old-ish baby in a jogging stroller and is standing near the back of the pack.  The group of guys are saying how D is really getting back into shape and is really working hard.  I figure that his wife probably had to work and he figured he would get in a little supported 5k run in with his daughter. 
I tell Hubbs I'm going to offer to push the baby so he can race with the guys.  Hubbs thinks that a great idea.  I sprint off to ask D if he'd rather race with his friends.  After several offers D seems very interested in being able to race and I'm rather okay with pushing the jogger since I do it all the time anyway.
But then....
I see a lady walking towards us and she seems concerned as I have my hands on the jogging stroller. 
Oh snap!
Seems D's wife isn't working, she is working on learning to run and preparing for a September 4 miler.  This is to be her first race EVER.  Okay I'm cool with running with the jogger but she isn't inclined to allow me to do that without her.  Although D is now eager to get to the front of the pack. 
Now I enjoy helping others reach new goals.  I was a trainer for years after all.  So I assure the wife that she can set the pace and I will just stay with her.  Finally she's okay.
After so many years of running you forget all those little things you learned and race habits you picked up along the way until you race with someone who has never.ever.raced.  When the "gun" went off she didn't move.  When there was a person in front of her she didn't go around.  Once I got her moving and away from the pack, she fell into a steady pace with really good form.  Race virgins don't realize that without a garmin they are very likely to be pulled along with the other runners causing them to run a faster pace.  I did do most of the talking but when I picked up the pace the slightest bit she responded without her form decaying at all.
Our first mile was 10:20.  I swear a minute and a half was spent standing behind the start line.  But I digress.  The Wife is breathing hard now but it is very hot and humid.  I ask her how that pace is for a mile.  A PR?  She says it's very fast!  I am praising her up on side and down the other.  She is not as happy.  I ask if she needs a walk break knowing she had said she might not be running the entire race.  She says no.  Her form is great so I do what any supporter would do....
...I start running a stride or two in front of her.  Now remember I'm pushing the baby not her.  She keeps pace with me.  I frequently check in with how she is feeling. 
aka Get the F away from me
That is the most accurate way of describing how the wife was looking at me when we reached the bottom of a hill and the water stop at about 1 3/4miles.  Even though I assured her we could walk she was adamant that I go on without her.  We had seen my husband as we come down the hill to the water stop and she encouraged me to try and catch him on the return trip.  She had had enough cheerleader Shelly.
I thought there might be an outside chance I could catch Hubbs.  And we all know I didn't really want him to beat me anyway...stroller or no stroller!  So I was off on a sprint to catch him.  Let me just say, not everyone knows what you mean when you say, Left, Left, On your Left, Passing Left.....10 dozen times.  It was really fun to feel so fast as I passed people but a bit humbling when I saw how many young kids were out running the 5k.  A few of them were not very happy that I was passing them. 
Every blue shirt I saw I would sprint to only to see it wasn't him.  I passed D and paused to explain that the wife had nicely asked me to go on without her.  I wasn't happy to see him double back (he was so close to finishing, now I really feel bad!) but he assured me that she had run far more of the race with me than she had planned on running anyway.  What a great husband.  Off I went one more blue shirt.  Could it be? 
Unfortunately it wasn't and I ran out of race course.  See why I do longer races?
Hubbs had finished and was walking back from the finish shoot to meet me.  So after a 10:20 first mile and a 10:40 second mile (that's where the wife and I walked at the end) I finished a 5k in 29 minutes, a Personal Worst.
Since I didn't race until the last mile or so I can't really count this as a race so I won't beat myself up.  I will have a list of take aways from this experience and will share those in my next post. 
I'll leave you with one final thought, some times we grow the most when we've performed at our least.

* yes there is a whole story behind that comment.  I'm sure you can figure it out.  If not and you are interested feel free to email me.  I'd be happy to share my story.


  1. Ahahaha, anytime you want to come and take the stroller from me feel free! :) Love the description of her trying to get rid of you! I like that running times are relative: I'd be so happy with a 29min 5k. That's a good tempo run for me.

    ps - haven't been where you are re: tiny bottom note, but I seriously encourage you to post it here. I truly believe that anyone who's going through/gone through the same thing will see how incredibly healthy you are now and it will make a difference. Even if it's only for one person it might be what they need to read (but might not ask you directly).

  2. It's sweet of the husband to run back...but I would have wanted him to finish first. And you ran a crazy fast last mile!

  3. All races aren't created equal and some races aren't races at all. That one wasn't a race - it was a run with lots of other runners.

  4. What a story! I love running with newbie runners...but not off the cuff and not knowing what the plan is. It was nice of you to take the stroller though.