Sunday, May 12, 2013

Running Like a Mother

Pre-Race with my boys!
Last year I ran the Mother's Day 4 Miler organized by PR Race Series.  The course is challenging for the short distance as there are a number of rolling hills.  When I finished last year, my older son said that he wanted to run it with me this year.  So all year we have been talking about running his first over 5K distance together on Mother's Day.  About 3 weeks ago, my younger son (6 years old) expressed an interest in doing it too.  He has run a lot of 5Ks and does a great job at the distance, but I was hesitant to challenge with by adding another mile on a harder course.  He really, really wanted to do it so the whole family signed up for the race. I have really been looking forward to this because I love running as a family.  Some of my favorite Saturday/Sunday mornings are when we are all heading out for a race, we rock out the race, and then head to Starbucks for our post run recovery goodies and post-race discussion.

Once again, PR did not disappoint, and the race was so well organized.  Packet pick up on Saturday was easy.  There was plenty of parking at the race site.  The t-shirts were super cute although not great for the guys in the crowd (but it's a Mother's Day race so who really cares).  We also got commemorative pins.  I was rocking my new Run Like a Mother tank from Run Like a Mother: The Book.  Two thumbs up for the tank because it was very comfortable and super cute (got lots of compliments).

We arrived around 7:15 for the 8 am start.  They were playing a lot of great music, and the boys were really excited.  The race starts right in Brown's Chapel Park and then loops around parts of the neighborhood adjacent to the Reston Town Center before heading back into the park.   Before the race, I had joked with Zman that we were going to win the mother-son contents.  Little did I know that he took this seriously.  So we started off with all four of us running together with Nickel keeping pace well with his older brother.  Around 0.75 miles we hit a hill and Nickel couldn't hang on anymore and dropped back with JD (per our pre-race plan for me to go ahead with Zman).  Zman hung on and stayed around 10:13 minutes for the first mile.  As we crossed into mile 2, he says the we need to run faster if we are going to win the mother-son contest.  I told him that I was just joking about that, but he looked at me and said that he really wanted to win it for me.  I could have cried right there.  So I told him to go ahead and run at a pace that felt comfortable for him.  The second mile was rather hilly, but he dropped a 9:29 during that section.  As we cross the 2 mile mark, he turns to me and says that he's glad that we finally got rid of some girl that had been running near us.  He said she was annoying him by "constantly chasing him" so he wanted to speed up to get away from her.  All I could do was laugh. He had some water at mile 2, and slowed down a little on mile 3 back to ~10:15 pace.  I made a big deal of it when we got to the 5K mark since we crossed the longest distance that he had ever run.  The whole time I am running I'm worried about little Nickel and afraid that he would be really struggling because of the hills.
Me and the 6 year old phenom!

Zman pushed really hard on the last hill and crossed the finish line at 40:08 just barely missing sub-40. 

Heading to the finish!
Still smiling after 4 miles
America's Toughest Dad getting beat by his 6 year old!
We went to grab a banana thinking that it would be a while before Nickel came in.  Little did I know that he was out there killing the course.  JD said that he didn't walk at all and ran really hard the last mile including a sprint in the last 0.5 miles.  He finished at 43:56 getting him an average pace that was just under 11 minute miles.
Sprinting to the finish with Daddy.

I got a flower when I crossed the finish line, and the super staff at PR made sure that both of the kids got their names announced as they crossed the finish line.  I am so proud of both of them, and this is probably the best Mother's Day gift that I have ever gotten.  I'm not big on gifts anyway, but it just fills my heart with joy to see my boys embracing and loving running the way that JD and I do.  They were both really excited about their finish and both are now asking to try an 8K so we'll see!!
Post-race with my flower

We have also decided that this is our new Mother's Day tradition.  Next up for me is North Face Endurance Challenge DC Half Marathon followed the next week by EX2 Off Road Half Marathon within 7 days as I make a run at  Half Fanatic!  Next race with the boys is Run Amuck.

Losers we are not!