Sunday, December 7, 2014

Jingle All the Way - Family 5K

This morning, I ran Helen's first 5K with her. It was a crazy amount of fun for me. We started out with a friend of hers, but he was traveling a bit faster than we were going to manage. From running with Ed in the morning off and on, Helen has learned that it's best to find a pace you can hold, and then stay the course. So rather than burning out trying to keep up, she just kept putting one foot in front of the other and let him go.

And at about mile 0.5 she asked, "have we gone a mile yet?", which is the running equivalent of asking "are were there yet" as your family heads off on summer vacation, and you haven't even escaped the city limits. No, not a mile, Helen, but we are so strong.

I sang about every holiday song I know. Helen was inspired by every baby she saw being pushed in a buggy, and we laughed a lot at the silly costumes people were wearing and all the dogs running. Extra points if the dog had on reindeer antlers!

By the time we saw a man running around with cracked eggs falling out of an egg carton, only Helen was able to shout "SIX GEESE A-LAYING", which I thought was pretty clever. We had previously seen 4 Calling Birds.

At mile 1.3, I was pretty confident Helen had run further than she ever had before, so I cheered her "distance PR". Shortly after that, she started complaining about:
  • being unable to breathe
  • her foot hurting
  • her shoulder hurting
  • and so many other aching body parts that I can't even remember them all.
I just smiled and cheered her forward, shaking my jingle bells. Two or three times, we had to walk. Helen just could not fathom running any further. Before we started walking, I would ask her to name the point when we would start running, and every time she picked up the pace before that agreed up on point - always because a dog or baby passed us that she just had to get a closer look at.

Helen crossed the line with a net time of 39:14, which is an average pace of 12:38. According to my watch, we ran positive splits - slowing down just a little bit with each mile, which was to be expected. Helen sprinted across the finish line, and she is really proud of herself. She plans to write a story about the race in Writer's Workshop at her school tomorrow, and I am very much looking forward to her version of events.

Connor and Ed ran the race together. Ed reports that Connor held a steady pace for the whole race, and at the end - Connor was not even particularly tired. I told him that meant he could've gone faster, but Ed preaches slow and steady, and it was definitely a fun race for Connor. I'm not sure what exactly the men of the family talked about, but I understand they talked through the whole thing. During the last mile, Ed had to swipe Connor's stocking cap off, for fear the little dude would overheat. Ed was worried about Connor's red face. Connor's goal was to beat last year's pace of 11:53 minute miles. And he did! This year, Connor crossed the line at 33:23, which is an average pace of 10:45. 

Bravo, all! I failed to capture any in-race photos, but I got everyone to pretend to run in our sitting room, sans the hats we all wore. Helen insisted we pretend like we were running.

Our recovery food was Stonyfield vanilla yogurt, with granola crumbled on top of Helen's two bowls and cinnamon added to Connor's three bowls! They thought we might run out of yogurt - but there's more where that came from! 

About halfway through the race, Helen asked if we could go to Pinkberry, a nearby frozen yogurt shop, afterwards. And while ice cream on a cold day might not be the first treat I think of, there was no way I was going to disappoint Helen during the race. So yes we can go to Pinkberry, Helen! It sounds like a fantastic idea.

The sweetest moment of the whole experience came at the end of the race. Connor congratulated Helen and told her "You have the family 5K record for 7 year olds"! Which is, he pointed out, a title she will hold forever since there will be no more 7 year olds in our home.

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own. Stonyfield was a sponsor of the Boston Marathon last year, which makes me love them even more than I previously did.

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