Thursday, May 11, 2017

Where I Learn: I Am Not A Sprinter

Subtitle: Be careful what you teach your children as it may come back to bite you

Each year a local running group in my area sponsors an Open Community Track Meet. It is a fundraiser for an athletic scholarship for the local university (which I attended) and it is a really fun event that somehow I've never had a chance to participate in until this year. The event starts out with a few kids races and then several adult races, all super casual and the fun part is awards are given to 4th place finishers (as 4th place is an underappreciated placing).

2 Tough Girls Ready to Run
I talked to my little, who is 7 about it, and she was interested in competing. See she is training in order to do the Insane Inflatable race in Nov. and as excited as she is to bounce on the obstacles, she is nervous about the 5K distance. So I've been scheduling small races throughout the year to prove to her she can do it. The plan was she would do the 2 kids events (the 50 meter and 100 meter sprints) and then daddy would take her home while I did a few of the adult races. She was nervous but excited and we geared up and headed to the track.

Unfortunately on the way I got a call from the husband that he wouldn't make it in time due to a meeting at work. No big deal, a friend and her daughter would also be there and my little could hang with them while I run a few events. The meet went kinda late so we'd have to leave early which meant no 5K for me which I was ok with. Wasn't looking forward to doing 13 laps around the track anyway, that just sound's kinda boring to me.

First event was exclusive to the kids of a local school so we just watched and the little got to see what she would be doing. Next up, the kid's 50 meter. She raced in the 2nd group (1st was under 6, her wave was 7-8 year olds) and she ran her little heart out finishing solidly in the middle of the pack. Pulled up daddy on Facetime so he could watch. She was super excited and got a ribbon. Next up was the 100 meter and it didn't quite go as well for her. First of all, it was a HOT day. 84 degrees with no shade, and this was her first time sprinting. I recommended that she not run as hard as she could and instead pace herself to not run out of steam. She took that to heart and ended up placing last, which she was disappointed in. It took a bit to convince her that finishing last wasn't a big deal, that I was so proud of her for doing it and the important thing was she tried her best and had fun. That being brave enough to compete was the real win here, and it didn't matter her place. Our friends did the same and we were able to convince her. This will come back on me though.

Next up were the adult races. I first competed in a 100 meter sprint. I am not a sprinter. It was just a small group of us, 4 ladies and I managed to squeak out a 2nd place finish (1st place was WAY ahead of me though). Next event, 1 mile sprint. I took 1 look at the competition and was like, nope. It was mixed gender, only 1 other girl, and pretty sure the other competitors were about 15 years younger than me on average. I told my friend that I was going to sit it out as there was no way I could compete with them. Then I hear a little voice telling me, "Mommy, it is fine if you come in last place, what is important is that you try your best. I'll be proud of you no matter what."

After the 1 mile. I may have been last, but was still feeling strong
So you know what happened next of course. I lined up, fully expecting to get killed. And that is pretty much what happened. Although I will say, I did not technically come in last as I did pass this guy during the 2nd lap, but he quit shortly after. So I was the last one to cross the finish, but I did complete all 4 laps. Really wish I had been wearing some kind of timing so I know what my pace was, but if I had to guess, it was somewhere around just under 9 min mile, which for me is pretty great. I got a huge hug at the end and a very happy little girl who didn't feel so bad about finishing last anymore because mommy, who is a "real runner" also finished last in her event. So yeah, humbling, but worth it.

After that, I competed in one last event, the 4x 100 meter relay. We formed a team on the side of the track which consisted of 3 of us who are in a running group together and this nice guy we just met at the event. I was the 2nd leg and had a lot of fun talking to this really nervous 4th grader who had never run a relay before. I gave him some tips and made him laugh some and he did awesome. I think our team came in 5th, but I honestly wasn't paying attention, it was just for fun.

By then it was almost 7 pm and I had a little who hadn't had dinner and needed a shower so it was time to take her home. Overall, it was a lot of fun and the little said she wanted to do it again (she was sad she'd have to wait a year). But yeah, while I may compete again next year, I'll stick to distance running over sprinting thank you very much!

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