Sunday, November 28, 2010

Girls on the Run 5K

The Girls on the Run 5K was Sunday, November 21st and it went really well. We've had GOTR at Emerson in the past, although it was always a separate program put together by parents for some of our older girls (middle school). This year, I brought the program to Emerson for 3-5th graders and was thrilled to see 8 of our girls thrive within it. I was very excited to run the season-ending 5K celebration with the girls.

In addition to being excited to see our girls through to the end of their first running program, I was also excited to return for personal reasons as well. The GOTR 5K is the very first race that I ran last year. If you remember from much earlier posts, my sister talked me into walking a 5K last October and from then on I was determined to run one. In training for a December race, I talked Pat into running the GOTR race with me last year as our very first one. So, this day held a lot of meaning for me.

I met the girls early and they were very surprised and excited to see me there. I think the main part was that I was in running tights, a long sleeve tech shirt and a headband - not normal clothes they'd ever seen me in. I don't think they recognized me at first :) We hung out, stretched, and chatted with parents before it was time to begin. This race took on a whole new meaning to me this year as I was here for moral support to my girls and to let them know how proud I was of them and that it's okay to walk some if you need it.

It was nice to chat with parents as I discovered that many of them were runners themselves and were thrilled to share their running stories with me. Four dads ran with their girls; with the GOTR coach, her mom, and me, that made 7 adults running with our girls and numerous others cheering us on the sidelines. For me, it was one of the first times I felt companionship in other runners as I typically run all of my races alone - definitely a plus for all involved.

The race went great; I started off with a few of our girls, lightly jogged with one, and then was able to get into a groove by myself about a mile into the race. It was so nice seeing so many girls out there. I even ran into a handful of girls I knew from summer camp! In contrast to last year, I was able to run the entire time and have breath to cheer on all the other girls (last year, I ran solo, listening to an ipod and just trying to finish with a walk break at mile 2). I made 'friends' with a girl who was on my pace most of the race - she would walk for a bit, then sprint, then walk again. She'd drop behind me then shoot past me and every time we passed, she smiled as I gave her encouragement - it felt amazing!

Overall, it was a great day. The cool thing about the GOTR 5K is that it's so friendly and laid back; they aren't timed and emphasize just getting out there and completing what you put your mind to.

I couldn't help but time myself though, and I finished one minute slower than last year's same race: 33:20 :) But I'm totally okay with it and very happy for this very different race experience. I hope we get a new team this spring so we can do it all again!

The above picture is one of the GOTR coaches running with one of our girls and her dad. Much smaller and a bit ahead of them is another one of our dads running with his son (a GOTR brother).

I'm still a runner :)

Now that it's been more than a month since my first half marathon, I still consider myself a runner. After my ice bath, I never felt any pain after the half marathon - it was amazing! I felt better after 13.1 miles than I did after the Crim's 10 miles (although that race had much more hills than the Detroit Half Marathon).

Since then, I've still been running and have actually been enjoying running outside in cold weather. When in the summer, I had to wait for certain times so it wasn't too hot out to run, now I have to time my runs right so it's not too dark :) I also have been working on increasing my winter running gear so that I don't have to do laundry every other day.

Even on Turkey week, I squeezed in 5 runs and they each felt amazing! I just can't get over how great I feel after a run. As hard as it is to get out the door, I always feel amazing when I get back.

The best run I've had since the half marathon by far was my run in Mt. Clemens yesterday morning. It was my first run in our hometown ever and it was amazing. I ran for 4 miles around Pat's mom's neighborhood - which is one of the nicest in the city. It was so much fun reminiscing all the memories from living there and hanging out with friends as I passed so many people's houses.

Skip this part if you're not from MC: I ran up S Wilson from Carol's past Stouter's and Gies' house. Turned the corner at Cass and came back down Moross. They're really fixing up the oldest house in MC, it looks great! Down our old block of Moross was fun as I listed off all the houses that I knew: past the Lang's, Hug's, Beller's, Sarver's, Gramer's, Jon's... it was so much fun! They still haven't fixed the sidewalk a few houses down from ours where the best puddles were after it rained. Our old house now has a fenced in back yard and I couldn't see the tree house we built. I continued down Moross all the way to Bellview, turned and went up Beuland past Rosco's house and up Lodewyck past Mrs. Baark's and Grandpa's houses. The new house on the corner of Lodewyck and Church enormous - I'd love to see the inside. I rounded out the rest of Lodewyck and turned back south onto Miller. Took that until it ended at Robertson and ran down to South street past the synagogue. Skipped Queen street and jumped back across Church next to the HS and down to Smith street. I was amazed to see how different Smith and South are as compared to the rest of the neighborhood. Past the Callanan's house and Stark's to turn the corner at Bellview and headed back home. The only problem with this route is that the last mile was all into the wind. It made the end tougher than the first 3 miles, but it was nice to still check out everyone's house to keep me distracted. The blue house (that is no longer blue, but you know what I mean) at the corner of S Wilson and Bellview was littered with all sorts of tacky Christmas decorations already. I was excited to see that the McNally house wasn't decorated yet in the same fashion :)

It's always exciting to try a new route, but this one was the best. I'm looking forward to going back home for Christmas and doing it again!

For now, I plan to run 4-5 times a week and in January get back on a half marathon training plan. I have two half marathons in my sights for early 2011: March 20th on Grosse Ile and April 30th in downtown Mt. Clemens.

The Grosse Ile race I read about in an issue of Runner's World. A girl around my age who was born with cystic fibrosis and found refuge in running is putting on her very first half marathon with all proceeds going to cystic fibrosis in her home town of Grosse Ile. Being that we visit Grosse Ile often as Pat's Aunt and Uncle live on the island, I thought this would be perfect. I emailed the girl Emily directly and now am all set and excited to run that great course with her in March.

For more info about Emily and what she's doing to help patients with CF, check out her website:

I found out about the Mt. Clemens half at the expo for the Detroit Half. As I was walking through a sea of people and booths, I saw a screen with a picture of Metro Beach on it. This is the beach we grew up with and isn't that popular, or so I thought. It drew me to the booth where the lady shared info about a new healthy initiative taking place in Macomb County. They're putting together a half marathon and 5K in April called the "Let's Move Festival of Races" that begins and ends in downtown Mt. Clemens - just minutes from my parents' house! I'm so excited to be able to run a familiar course in a race - I've never had that experience before.

If you're an east-sider and want to check it out:

I'll keep you posted on how it's going, but now you know what I have in mind so I have to follow through :)