Yes, folks, that season is upon us once again--the time of abundant blossoms, temperate breezes...and apparently, multiple options available every weekend for runners to pound the pavement around town, sporting their sponsored "support-this-or-that-cause" t-shirts. With so many choices happening very close to home (because, you know, we really enjoy doing the races, and all...just as long as we don't have to get up too early for it!) Team WestEnders was considering participating in the 5K for Fitness, sponsored by the Public School Foundation.
However, Husband had a scheduled soccer game that conflicted with it, time-wise. And then there's also one of those "color runs" next Saturday, which prompted Derek to decide that he didn't want to commit to two 5Ks in a row (for reasons unknown--it's not like the boy doesn't run around all the time anyway, but whatever...) So the bottom line was: Riley and I would do the one this weekend, then we'd all four experience the goofy, rainbow-hued one together next week.
What really sealed the deal was when Riley told me he'd get extra credit in PE for showing proof that he completed this particular race. (I know, I know, the athletically-inclined kid isn't the one who actually needs the additional points....but I humored him anyway) So it came as no great surprise when we walked up to the area on UNC's campus where everyone was congregating before the event, and he immediately spotted a whole passel of other kids from his school. Now, I normally end up striding without my family anyway, by virtue of the fact that we all mosey along at very different paces. Fortunately--since it seems I was being well-and-truly ditched in favor of the peer group--this time I'd planned wisely and brought my headphones, so I could at least have peppy musical accompaniment.
As for the actual race, the weather was favorable--overcast and cool, with the rain holding off until we were totally finished (yessss!). But the course itself? In a word: HILLY. I mean, I'm not talking about scaling the...Cliffs of Chapel Hill (yeah, that's a figment of my imagination)...or anything, just rolling terrain that, over time, wore me right the heck out. (I felt better when I heard other people commenting about the same thing at the end, so it wasn't just me...being wimpy!) Let's just say that I slogged through my Slowest...3.1 miles..Ever. Riley, of course, was hanging with his buddies waiting for me to cross the Finish Line, looking fresh as the proverbial daisy. (Grr...the boundless energy of youth...where do I get me some of that?)
Anyway, they used a cool technology that we'd never seen before--where you actually wore the timing device behind the bib with your number on it. As you came to the end, someone with a...space-age-scanner-type-thingie (very advanced terminology...for those "in the know"...or perhaps those "making stuff up"...again...) waved it in the region of your belly (or back, if you had pinned the paper there instead) and thus recorded your "official time". So it turned out that Riley had clocked in at 24:30, good for 57th place overall (out of 330 people). And me? A relatively pokey 31:15...but 142nd put me in the middle of the pack, and as wiped as I felt when it was all over, that sounded pretty darn good to me. We did have a couple of brushes with greatness, though: one kid that Riley knew from school was doing his very first 5K...and he won his age group (20 minutes...seriously, how is it even possible to move that fast?) and a friend of Derek's also took first place for the 15 and 16 year old boys.
Personally, I know I've said it before, but in order for me to even have a snowball's chance of hauling my cookies at that speed, something reeeaaaallly scary would have to be chasing me. No, scratch that--as long as it wasn't a creature that wanted to eat me right away, I'd rather just allow it to catch me and drag me back to its lair, where I would then have the opportunity to come up with and execute a brilliant escape plan to save my life. And now you know the shameful lengths to which I would go...in order to avoid being forced to sprint. Lazy? Nah, I prefer to think of it as "sensible conservation of resources"...or some such nonsense...
Finally, of course, there's the reward...no, I'm not talking about the bananas and bagels provided as after-race snacks. I'm referring to the gourmet coffee and hot chocolate Riley and I stopped for on the way home. Hey, I can't help it if Weaver Street Market is directly in our path, right? Believe me, we earned it. Oh, and guess what: it's begun pouring in earnest at this point. So with our workout already in the books, the rest of the day can be spent LOUNGING with no guilt whatsoever..and maybe some more warm beverages....aaahhhh....