Prior to the race, we spent about one month preparing. Inspired by our monthly physical challenge, we ran a half mile one day, took a rest day, ran half a mile, one mile, then another rest day, and we kept adding to our distance until we hit about 2.5 or 3 miles. By the time the big day came, the kids were totally ready. Helen was even ready with a strategy that would involve her sprinting to the finish. I know Connor planned to do this as well, but since Ed ran with him, I'm not sure if it actually happened, though I think it did.
Helen was part of the cheer squad for the 1 mile fun run, but I had already told her that no matter what, she was running the 5K. We had worked too hard to not do it, and it is super important to me that Helen knows she can be in the action on the race course, not just on the sideline.
Connor and Helen both knocked several minutes off their Jingle Bell 5K time they had recorded in December 2014. (Helen made it to 35:23 and Connor checked in with a 28:47). Unlike the Jingle Bell race, which was mostly flat, the school 5K involved a pretty good hill. All the way up it I sang silly songs - and though Helen pretended to be embarrassed occasionally, she was also laughing and not thinking about how hard she was working. And, when a person a few yards back shouted "please don't stop singing" when Helen and I got to the top, Helen loved being able to roll her eyes and pretend that she didn't need the song at all.
When we got to the finish, a bunch of adults were running down the sidewalk leading to the end. Helen wasn't quite sure what to do, because they weren't sprinting. So I shouted "spring through the grass" and she took off, passing probably 6 - 10 runners in the last half block or so. She felt so incredibly strong, and it was a joy to see her huge smile. She was particularly proud because everyone she passed was older than she was.
Per usual, she complained throughout much of the race. But unlike the last race where she stopped to walk a few times, she pretty much chugged right along, possibly because she didn't want anyone she knew to see her not going full blast.
Since she completed this race, she has told many, many people about her MULTIPLE 5Ks and without batting an eye will let anyone know she can run one with no trouble.
Next up? This year's Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell.
(I love training with Connor, but we haven't raced together. I feel guilty subjecting Ed to the endless stream of complaints from Helen while she runs, and I don't want to mess up the good groove Connor and Ed have going.)