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).

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