In preparation for last Saturday's surprise running engagement, I decided I needed a new pair of sneakers. Granted, my current pair of sneakers don't see too much action, in general, but at 10? years, I figured they've probably lost some key joint-protection qualities, like fiber degradation or something. Plus, they're not jazzy in the least. Jazzy sneakers are scientifically proven to improve your running.
So I made sure I got home early on Friday night to stop at the store and picked out a gorgeous pair of sneakers. Gorgeous. They felt great, light, comfortable - fast. I also picked out some all purpose workout gear to replace the maternity yoga tanks I had been wearing to do my non-sweat producing "workouts." This sports store trip left me extremely satisfied and feeling almost like an athlete. I mean, at least looks-wise.
Back at home, I admired those beautiful sneakers - purple blending into green and yellow. I was about to remove the tags when I read on the little card, "Caution: may result in injury to calves, feet..." and to introduce them gradually into your routine to prevent injury. What?? I looked up the model and I suppose "Minimus" should have been a tip off. They were those barefoot sneakers to simulate running with absolutely no support whatsoever. Awesome.
Mental note: return shoes.
Race day, we showed up in full family force. All wearing race numbers. I have to admit it felt super family fun. The Husband would run with Girl and Boy2 in the jogging stroller, and Boy and I would be the slow-moving barge of walk-running delight. Girl told me encouragingly, "You might be able to win the slowest runner award."
The 5K/2K was put on by our church: think small, families, local. We saw lots of families we knew, lots of jogging strollers and elderly family members. And then there was this one dude in a blue track suit warming up in the parking lot that we were pretty sure was one of those elite African runners who live in the area. I'm not sure he knew he was competing against 10 year olds.
Stiff competition for the Elite runner.
When the signal went off, the kids took off. Husband and co. were long gone. Boy took my hand as we ran at a nice, sustainable pace. Many passed us. We passed few (elderly, walkers, other small children). I began hoping that Boy would get tired and ask to walk. I mean, he's 5. "Are you tired?" I'd ask, hope alight in my voice for a running break. The answer was either always "No," or "Yes," followed by an immediate spurt of faster running, dragging me along with him. Boy ran THE WHOLE WAY. Seriously. No break for unconditioned, tired Mama, who hadn't run that far in over a decade. We sprinted at the end, and crossed still holding hands.
It was kind of awesome.
(Oh, and btw, Elite Runner finished his 5K before we did for our 2. He had a head start but still.)
At the finish line, we had sno-cones and snacks and despite it starting to rain on us all, everyone was out and about milling around, being so communal. (Elite Runner and his coach? cousin? taxi driver? sat away from the crowds looking bored out of his gourd awaiting the awards ceremony and his pirate's booty.) I heard he had arrived 2 hours before it started and asked if the race organizers (aka friends' moms) had special provisions for elite athletes. Have you seen where you're running?
My legs were super sore that day (tiny screams with bending or stairs), but not too bad the next and basicallly normal today. No massive muscle breakdown. No tendon rupture. All in all a success. And a super fun morning with the fam and our community. (Can I say super fun one more time? Only time will tell.)
Although, at bedtime, Boy had asked the Husband privately that if we did the race next year, could he run with him instead? Since, he really had no chance of winning a medal for his age group having to run with Mommy.
EMTs thankfully bored.