What is Better Than a PR?

Running alongside my 10 year-old as she completed her first 5K. She did fantastic! I couldn’t be more proud.

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My son and I ran this race last year. It was my first 5K and I was terribly unprepared. I was really new to running. I had only been running 2 months and had no business running a 5K. But my son, who runs on the cross-country team at school, was very persuasive and convinced me that it would be fun for us to do our first 5K together. He beat me by a good 10 minutes. I was terribly slow and barely made it across the finish line. I vowed up completion of that Spud Run that I would train consistently and return for a re-do this year.

I trained consistently, my running has improved tremendously over the past year, and I returned for my re-do of the Spud Run this year. My re-do wasn’t the speedy one I had envisioned. The actual re-do was so much better because I got to run with both my kids.

Backing up the choo-choo train a little bit…

A few months ago, my daughter expressed an interest in running. She wanted to try the Girls on the Run program, but their schedule didn’t match ours, so I suggested we try the Spud Run instead. The Spud Run is a nice, local, family-friendly race that raises money for MDA. A lot of her friends run it, so I thought it might be a good one for her to try. I downloaded a training schedule from the Girls on the Run website and we started practicing. We didn’t follow the schedule always, we had to be flexible because both kids are in other sports, but she did enough that she was able to complete the entire distance using a 3 min run/1 min walk strategy with a sprint to the finish line. We finished in 36:47, which is faster than my time from last year. And she came in 4th for her age group. Not bad for her first 5K.

Just finished her first 5K

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She rewarded herself with brownies and a bag of apple slices at the finish line. She had a blast. I think I’ve created a new runner in the family. As soon as we got home, she asked when we could sign up for the next race.

And my son won a medal for placing second in his age group. And he shaved 2 minutes off of last year’s time.

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I think I see a Turkey Trot in our future!

Do your kids like to run? Have you run any races with your kids?

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Race Report: YMCA 5K

Yesterday I ran my first race of the season. And it just happened to fall on the day after my “runiversary”. It was on March 22, 2012, when I logged my first “official” run on Runkeeper in training for my first 5K that I ran with my son. I remember that run. I remember it being incredibly hard. I remember collapsing on my dining room floor afterwards while my cats and dog stared at me slightly confused. I especially remember it being a warm, sunny day.

Yesterday was cold and bitter. At least it was sunny though. I have to say, the beginning of this training season has been a bit of a mental challenge for me. All the running I’ve been doing in this unseasonably, bitter cold weather has been discouraging. I’ve been slow, sore, and just plain tired the last couple of weeks. I felt like my running has been stagnant and I haven’t been making much progress. As a result, I entered into this race with a bit of a bad attitude. Thankfully, the night before the 5K I read this article about the impact cold weather has on running. It planted enough of a seed in my head that I managed to buckle down and PR yesterday. My final time was 33:25. I placed 91st out of 220 and 4th in my age group – only seconds off the 3rd place finisher, which was frustrating. I’m very competitive and hate losing by such a small margin. I feel like I should have pushed a little harder, but I gave as much as I could in the cold yesterday. My leg muscles and lungs were on fire at the end. And I know that is not a very fast time for a 5K, but it was my fastest time yet.

The course was pretty, but I wasn’t fully prepared for it. The first half was all uphill and shaded. I’ve been trying to work some hills into my training runs, but I haven’t run a course with such a long, steady incline. During the back half of the course, we ran along a scenic lake, but the wind coming off the lake was bitter cold. It was tough, but the adrenaline, and my competitive nature, helped push me through. The biggest mistake I made was leaving my gloves in my jacket pocket, which I left with my husband at the starting line. I don’t know what I was thinking. My hands were so sore and chaffed by the time I got to the finish line.

And my husband is great at some things, but he’s horrible at photography. I’ve tried teaching him, but he just doesn’t get it. So this is the best photo I have of the day.

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All in all, yesterday’s 5K was the kick in the pants I needed. I finally saw some progress and results for all my hard work. And I’m imagining how much faster I’ll be when it’s finally warm outside.

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Half Marathon Training Week 5

  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: 4 easy miles + core workout
  • Tuesday: Yoga
  • Wednesday: 3 cold and very windy miles + core workout
  • Thursday: 2.5 easy miles
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 3.1 miles at race pace