Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Last Time I'm doing This!

I ran another race – this time, a 5k sponsored by my daughters’ school. The event was a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization that builds playground equipment for special needs children.

After my successful groundbreaking run in the 10k (see my post dated 4/2/09), my enthusiasm was still pumping, so when the 5k entry form came home, I signed up. My kids did the same, piggybacking my excitement. Even my husband, who does not easily give up a Saturday morning, said yes to the 3.1 mile run/walk.

The five of us, dressed in our matching white, event T-shirts, paraded onto the school grounds to join other weekend warriors (and bonafide runners, too) dressed in their white T-shirts with the school mascot stamped across the front. Everyone appeared alert and ready!

At 8 a.m., the kids' one mile race began. The first wave of kindergarten and first graders ran around the track, dropping a craft stick into a bucket each time they completed one of the four laps. They looked so cuddly and little and cute.

The next wave, grades two and three, included my Mallory. Kelly was in the last wave of fourth and fifth graders.

The parents and spectators whooped and hollered as the kids raced around the bend past the bulk of us. As they faded into the distance, we noticed the sprinting had turned to walking during the second lap – hmmm, a pattern – sprint past hollering parents to impress; rest on the far side of the track when out of sight of squinty-eyed parents.

Nine o’clock – time for the three mile trek from the middle school track, to the elementary school, through a small neighborhood, to the high school, around its track, back to the elementary school, and one more lap around the middle school track.

The sky was overcast when the kids ran, but just when the adults and ambitious and/or older kids (including my Hayley) started out, Mother Nature decided to grant us the sun – the HOT sun.

If it were not for the teachers and my pride – them cheering us on all throughout the course, and me just wanting to complete my mission - I may have ducked over into the woods, or blended in with the moms pushing the strollers, or with my walking friends. I REALLY WANTED TO WALK!

Why do I do this? My legs begin to feel heavy; my breathing becomes labored. And that’s within the first mile!

Eventually it gets better, but then worse again as the finish line nears. One of the cheerleaders (or were they there to be ready to call the EMT?) was my daughter’s teacher when she was in fourth grade. Karen K. yelled out some words of encouragement as I passed her, and also told me to, “put it in your blog!” I yelled back, “LAST TIME I’M DOING THIS!”

Will it be my last time? My first experience was in cool, pleasant weather. This time, the heat was a revelation, and it wasn’t even THAT hot. If I do it again, what’ll be next – torrential rain?

Yes, I’ll do it again, because it really WAS okay. It really WAS fun.

What does your inner athlete tell you to do? Do you do it?


Hilary said...

The first race I ever did was a 10K, which is 8 miles. My pride was what pushed me through that rigorous course. I scaled back to doing 5Ks, and while I am no means lightening fast, I make pretty decent time. Like you, though, every race finds me saying "Never again", but my competitive streak has me signing up again and again. Plus, I love a good event T-shirt!

Judy Thomas said...

I have a friend who gives me a book of quatations she has selected for special birthdays or events. My favorite? "Start slow and taper off."
Despite this quote, my inner athlete tells me to keep plodding...and plod I do.

Anita said...

HILARY, I'm reading between the lines - You sound like a serious runner - like you know what you're doing out there!

Anita said...

JUDY - Plodding...I'm familiar with acting out that word, too.

Beth said...

Running is certainly not my thing! i just wanted to thank you and your family for the effort and time. As a mother of a special needs child, my heart warms to hear of these events!

Anita said...

You're welcome BETH. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of participation. And last year, an auction was held for the same charity with kids' art work as the main items, and the community really contributed big bucks. Acts of kindness blesses both the givers and receivers.