My daughter and I completed our first 5K on Saturday. I had been telling her for weeks ahead of time that it was important for her to stay with me the whole time, even though I knew I would be running slowly. There were thousands of people participating in the event, and I didn't want to lose her in the crowd. I have to say that it was a lot of fun. The organizers had all of the runners set up in waves. The kid and I were in Wave E, which was second from last. Each wave left the finish line a couple minutes apart. As we waited our turn, music was thumping out of huge speakers and there was a lot of adrenaline flowing through the crowd. I started to feel a little more confident. I know this sounds terrible but I saw some largish people at the start line and started to think, "Well, if she can do it . . . "
I think the kid was a little annoyed with me because I strapped my phone to my arm so that I could listen to music while I ran. I think she was under the impression that we would chat the whole way or something. "I can't run and talk," I told her. "Not happening." I ran for the first half mile or so, then walked a bit, then ran for a bit, and so forth. I could tell she really wanted to sprint. At times, she turned around and ran backwards so that I could still see her. Occasionally she ran ahead and then ran back to where I was slogging along. When we got near the end of the 5K, I told her she could run ahead and finish without me.
After we crossed the finish line, we each received a really spiffy medal. The kid was excited and wore it the rest of the day, even when we went to the airport to pick up my sister. Get this: the kid never even broke a sweat. She didn't have to shower when we got home or anything. Kids and their boundless energy, I tell ya. I think my daughter was a little bit disappointed that we didn't "win" the race. I told her that it was never about that (and not just because winning it was an impossibility from the word "go.") It was about doing something together, being healthy, and all that jazz. We're signed up to do a 10K next month. I'm expecting it to be similar to the 5K except, you know, longer.
The day after our 5K, my middle sister ran the half marathon, which was part of the same series of events. I was a little worried about her because it was super humid on Sunday. However, she ran like a pro and finished with a very respectable time. We cheered her on at a couple of spots along the course. She got a spiffy medal, too. The whole weekend was a lot of fun. I don't think I see any marathons in my own future, but I can see my sister and my kid running one together someday.