Sunday, October 13, 2013

You Know You're A Mother Runner When.... (Heritage 5K)

The title is a weekly feature on Run Like a Mother (Another Mother Runner) where moms are asked to complete the sentence about how you know you are a mother runner.  Well, I ended up with a good one this week.

We were not previously scheduled to run the Heritage 5K.  It is our fun local race that is run right on the roads that I train on all the time.  I did the 1/2 marathon last year and PRd and ran sub 2 on the course.  Anyway, we hadn't planned to run this year because of OC100 last week, and Zach was supposed to run in the Glory Days Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.  The cross country race got canceled due to flooding at Bull Run Regional Park because it has been raining since Wednesday.  He had really been looking forward to racing this weekend so I quickly signed him up for Heritage 5K.  Nicolas also had soccer canceled this weekend so he said that he would run as well.  I had a great week of running this week so I figured that I would give it a shot so JD decided to do it too.

This is a great race because the kids have a chance at winning age group awards as the age group is 1-9 instead of the normal <14 age groups in most of the other local races.  Nic said that he wanted to try running on his own for the first time.  I thought the women's field might be a bit softer than usual since a lot of the women would be running the half so I decided to let it fly and try for an age group award for myself.

So it is pouring rain this morning, but we are undaunted because it's not even close to what we Resolution 5K in Beaufort.  The kids are both excited to really let it go on the course because it is familiar to them and not overly hilly.  This race is also awesome because a ton of MRTTer's are there so I got to meet up with all of my running friends.

Right before 7 am we toed the line (another reason that I love this race is the early start).  I noticed as we lined up that there were more kids at the front of the line than adults so I was feeling pretty good about my age group chances.  The gun goes off and we all fly out of there.  I was sub-7 for about the first 1/2 mile and then settled into a 7:30 pace.  I knew there were only a handful of women ahead of me, and I was pretty sure they were not in my age group so I was feeling pretty good.  Near the end of the first mile I hear Nic calling my name from behind me.  He had freaked out a little at the start of the race since everyone else in the family took off faster than him, and it was a little dark outside.  Somehow little man managed to throw down a 7:30 first mile to catch up to me to say that he now wanted to run with me.

So now my competitiveness is fighting with my mommy instinct.  The mommy strongly wanted to kick in and slow down to let him run with me, but the competitor was fighting with the mom a bit.  I was really torn.  I slowed down a little and told him that I was going to run right ahead of him and asked him if he could run on his own if he could see me.  He nodded so I settled in at about an 8:30 pace (thinking that I still had a shot at 2nd or 3rd in my age group) as long as I kept an eye on who was passing me and maybe had something left to catch them at the end.  As we hit mile 1.5 with a water stop and turn around, I realized that Nic was really struggling and near tears.  Poor little guy had a bad stitch that he was trying to work through.  That basically did it for me.  At that point I completely stopped and pulled over to the side of the course to wait for him to get to me so we could run it in together.  Zach passed me, and I yelled to him that I thought he might be 3rd in his age group and not to let any other boys pass him.

I was dying as I slowed to a 10 minute pace and watched a bunch of women pass me.  I gave up trying to figure out their ages and just resigned myself to the fact that an AG award was not going to happen.  As we were nearing the high school track (location of the finish line), I checked my Garmin and noticed that Nic had a chance to break 30 minutes.  So I let him know that if he could push it in really hard around the track that he would get a big PR.  This kid gave me everything he had.  I know that stitch was killing him, but he just dug in and gutted it out.  We finished together at 29:25!!! A huge PR for him (last best was 31:44 at Manassas Runway-a faster course in better conditions).  I was so proud and happy for him.

We waited around for the awards to start because we weren't sure about Zach.  It turned out that he placed 4th in his age group because I had thought one of the other boys was a girl (ooops!-long hair and running fast).  He wasn't too disappointed though because the 1-9 age group was super tough today.  The winner ran sub-21!!!  Zach ended up with a massive PR of 26:02 (3 minutes better than his previous time) so he was really excited about that.

Wet and cold, but with PRs!!!
Anyway, the announcer gets to the 35-39 year old women, and I'm inwardly dying because I'm thinking about the award that I gave up.  I've only placed 3rd in my age group once before so it was a big deal for me to let an AG award slip away from me.  All of a sudden, he calls my name for 3rd place.  I was not quite prepared for that so I gasped "Are you kidding me?"  He said that they most certainly were not kidding and that I should come and get my award. Nicolas and I are going to share the award because if he wouldn't have pushed so hard at the end I would not have stayed in front of the other runners.  So the award is a little bittersweet because I feel like the time wasn't good enough to earn the award, but I'll take it and move on.

This race gave me a lot of confidence going into the last weeks before Richmond because it let me know that I still had some speed in my legs after all of those long slow runs that I've been doing.

So today's installment of "You know you're a mother runner...." when you give up an age group win to wait for your little one who is running and still somehow manage to get an age group award because your kid is getting so fast.
My award while warming up at Starbucks

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic day for you and the kids. Heritage is such a well-organized race and close to your home. Congrats to you and the family!