The 5k goal has officially been met–and not a moment too soon. I had just about reached my training limit–not that I was improving all that much, I was just sick of it. Let’s do this already!
My son and I lined up near the back on race day, letting the real competitors make their way up front. Temps were in the frosty mid 30s but toasty sunshine made it bearable. The starting horn sounded and we were off!
I had told my son ahead of time not to wait for me. Even though he hadn’t trained at all (and had only tried on his tennis shoes a few days before to see if they still fit), I knew he’d be faster than me. He was. I watched him disappear up ahead as I maintained my steady trot.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was different than what I expected. Maybe I expected the Boston Marathon: big crowd of runners side by side, elbow to elbow, racing toward a common goal. It wasn’t like that at all. It was mostly a bunch of people like me who clearly don’t run much on a regular basis. It wasn’t elbow to elbow; we were all spread out on almost empty back roads, which meant I had a lot of time to think…Well, this is kind of anti-climactic, isn’t it?
Just before the second mile, I saw my son walking up ahead. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see that turkey walking. I think we both figured he’d sail right through this thing. I caught up to him and he trotted along with me for a bit then took off with his bigger, faster stride again. Another few minutes and I saw him walking–Yes! Looking back, though, I’m pretty sure he did that on purpose so that I could catch up to him and we could reach the 3.1 mile mark–my 5k goal–together. And we did! We crossed the line, high-fived each other, and started walking back the way we came because, as you may recall, this was only the halfway mark. In order to reach my 5k goal, I’d signed up for a 10k with the hope of running half and walking half. The first part was finished, now we started our stroll back the other 3.1 miles.
As we walked the road from mile 3 to mile 4 we wondered out loud if we could maybe run a little more. Maybe one more mile? Maybe even a half?
“Let’s shoot for one more,” I said. He was fine with that.
We set our eyes on the 4-mile marker where we’d start running again, pep talking ourselves into thinking it shouldn’t be too bad.
“Holy cow!” I laughed. My knees had already stiffened up. “Maybe just a half mile!” I called as he ran up ahead of me. It didn’t take long for him to disappear, but I trotted along knowing I’d catch up to him when he took a break.
Where IS that turkey?
Then I saw the 5-mile marker and I figured he probably decided to just go for it and run the whole thing–Ah, youth… But something about seeing that marker made me decide the same thing, so I kept going. I made it that last mile, up the crazy steep ending, and across the finish line. My son was there, waiting with another high-five. Man, I love that kid.
The final tally: ran 3 miles, walked 1, ran the last 2. That was such a better result than what I was shooting for!
I don’t think I’m going to become a runner anytime soon, but it was a good goal to work toward, and it does make me wonder: What’s next?
Thanks, turkey. ❤️