Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jingle Jingle all the Way

Last year this was Ashley's first 5K, so naturally when the time came to sign up for this years event we didn't even hesitate. After we signed up with a team from Ryan's Tae Kwon Do school -Team Just for Kick's, I looked at the date and realized it was the day before my sister in law's graduation to get her Masters Degree. Never once did it cross my mind to not do the race- I figured we would just work around it. Then my non- running friend Kerri signed up to run it as her first 5K ( I love when my friends start running!!!)

We showed up to the race and Ashley and I were talking about her goals. (I guess most people don't do this with their 8 year olds???) She said that she wanted to do better than her last one (the boo run in October 36:33) and I told her that if she did I would give her $20 (doesn't everyone bribe their kids to exercise?)

There were so many people at this race, 3000 registered. We met up with out TKD friends from Carpenters ATA and took some pictures. Then Ashley and I found Kerri and went searching for another friend Laureen. It was much harder to find people than I expected. We had a really hard time finding Laureen but somehow we did and made our way to the starting line.

Carpenters ATA Group

The horn went off and NO ONE MOVED. I am not exaggerating when I say this...there were just so many people that I felt like we were at the start of a Disney race. We were able to cross the street and Ashley and I settled into a nice pace. She seemed to be doing ok and when I asked her she was smiling. We had just run this route in October for the Boo Run so I knew how to pace her better than I did then. There were still A LOT of people and they hadn't been able to close down the road, so we had to all keep to one side of a cone (very difficult to do).  We got to the one mile mark and I looked at my watch and it said 10:45...ummmmm....we need to slow down was the first thought that crossed my mind. Our goal was to beat 36:33 and at this pace we would be 3 minutes under that. She still hadn't asked to walk yet but I KNEW that was quickly approaching. We made it to the 1.5 mile mark where they had people handing out water, I told her to grab one and we walked through it, partially because she wanted to walk and partially because I haven't really met anyone who can successfully drink from a cup while running.  At this point I knew I had to start getting her mind off of what she was doing plus just be silly and help her to realize that what she was doing was FUN (my major goal!!) She was beginning to get more tired so we started doing a bit of the run/walk until we reached mile 2. I just kept trying to tell her what a good job she was doing and how many adults she was doing better than (whatever works!!). When we were about .5 from being done she really started to fade. We were still going to beat her 36:33 but I didn't know if she was going to just want to walk the rest of the way. I don't really know how to motivate an 8 year old, especially mine. She is highly competitive so I was trying to just let her run if she wanted to and not say much if she wasn't (so so hard for me to do!!)
She started running again, on her own and we made the turn so that we could see the finish line and then...we got stopped at the light because the town couldn't stop traffic for a race. WHAT?!?!?
I know that this is a fun event and a family friendly one at that but it is still a 5K race. Most runners want to try and do their best. The man who stopped us and other runners actually said "now we are doing this for fun not PR's" and on most occasions I would have agreed with him and totally not cared but this wasn't for me, it was for my Ashley so the fact that they stopped us really, really bothered me. Once the light changed and we were able to start again I told her that we were going to meet her goal and that she should be extremely proud. She finished her 3rd 5K in 34:27 :)
I am so proud of her- she could have quit but she didn't and that is all that matters. I then handed her a 20 dollar bill to fulfill my part of the bargain :) It was a fun event but they need to work on the traffic situation and they need to have people handing water out at the finish as well, not just cases sitting on the ground, a quarter mile from the finish.
I would do it again, after all it is tradition. Happy Holidays!!!

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