It was the best of 5ks, it was the worst of 10ks…
Three weeks ago*, I ran in the Tour des Fleurs 10k. I was not overly enthusiastic about this race, having just finished my ridiculous summer runstreak, and my legs were still not feeling recovered. I decided to approach it as less a “race” and more a really pretty 6 mile run.
The race begins and ends in the Arboretum, and follows along White Rock Lake, so the location is ideal.
Unfortunately, the “cold” front we were supposed to get overnight never came in, so it was a humid 80 degrees at 8am when the race got underway.
This race was probably my weirdest race to date. Despite not feeling emotionally or physically prepared for the race, I actually felt pretty good throughout the entire 10k. Although I gave myself permission to walk/run if I needed to, I realized around mile 4 (when I still felt fairly comfortable) that I was going to be able to run the entire thing. I didn’t feel like I was running particularly fast, but neither did I feel like I was slogging along. I felt steady, and somewhat strong, and far better than I thought would feel.
And apparently far better than I actually performed, because I finished in 1:06:58, which is both my worst 10k (granted, of only 3) to date, and close to my average half marathon pace (10:40 min/mile).
Don’t I look like I’m running fast?
Two weeks ago**, my family attended our 9th (!) Heroes for Children 5k. To be honest, we were all a little cranky about this, since 1. it’s getting harder and harder to get teenagers to voluntarily rise early on a Saturday morning and 2. we were all up late the night before due to our drumline cymbal player’s football game.
The line “it could be worse, you could have cancer, get OUT OF BED WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE” may have been uttered.
I actually didn’t decide if I was even going to race it until the drive over, when we discussed our family plan. I was planning on staying back with my daughter, until all 3 kids decided they wanted to “see how long they could stick to mom’s pace.” Okay, then, guess mom is racing it.
To say I was not in a PR mindset is an understatement.
We all began together. Fairly quickly, my daughter (and husband, who for the 2nd year in a row did stepdude duty with our youngest and stuck with her) fell behind me. The 15 year old stuck with me for about a half a mile, when I heard him say just over my shoulder “Well, considering I’m running AS FAST AS I CAN to keep up with you, I don’t think this is my race.” I didn’t see any of them again until the finish line.
And then there were two. (the 13yr old and me)
For the first mile, he had trouble staying with me because he wanted to run ahead. We had discussed this before the race (after last year, when he disappeared during the first mile, then I passed him, then he finished over 8 min behind me), so he spent the first mile running a body length or two ahead of me, glancing over his shoulder, then slowing down.
The second mile, he started panting. He stayed beside me, but I could tell he was starting to tire. I periodically patted his back, told him he could do it, and updated him on our progress (we’re halfway through the 2nd mile, Sam! We’re almost done with the second mile! One mile left!).
Somewhere around mile 2.25, he spied the upcoming water station. He told me he needed to stop for water. I glanced at my watch.
I asked him if he was okay catching up to me if he stopped and I kept running. He nodded. I glanced at my watch again, and did some quick math.
I kept running.
I know. I chose a PR pace over stopping with my kid. #badmom In my defense, I really did think he would be able to catch right up to me once he caught his breath.
I came in at 29:10, almost 45 seconds faster than my May 5k PR. That put me 5th in my age group, and 41st out of all females in the race.
My 13yr old? I missed his finish, because he came cruising in just 30 seconds behind me (I hadn’t even turned around yet…still walking and getting water). He beat his time from last year by 9 minutes. I told him that I was sorry I didn’t stop with him, but I could tell I was on a great pace. He put his arm around me and said “That’s okay, Mom. If you’re running fast, you gotta keep going. I almost caught you!” (he had me in his sights the entire time and was trying desperately to catch up).
My 11year old? Came in at 34:20, which was 11 minutes faster than last year. She rocked the run. I did capture her finish.
And the 15 year old? 41:34, still 2 minutes faster than last year. And he decided if he couldn’t finish quickly, he would finish with style.
* and ** I began this blog post two weeks ago, before running the 5k. After the 5k passed, I decided to condense the races in 1 post. Then more weeks went by. This whole “job” business is really messing with my life.