Three Friends

Three Friends
Three Friends

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Outside Looking In: 5ks and Half-Marathons

A few months ago, my oldest son ran his first-ever 5k with his dad and Spinster Beth; my 10 year old ran a mile; and the two younger kids each ran as well. It was an early morning trek to get to Gettysburg for the 5k, and (from a non-runner perspective) a Whole Lotta' Crazy.

After their first-5k at Gettysburg. All still look pretty fresh
It was a beautiful day. The weather was fairly mild; excitement and energy were high. Spinster walked the 12-year-old through some stretches and gave him a Gatorade super-sugar thing (no idea what those are really called, but they come in a fairly small packet that you drink to boost your sugar to superhuman levels for sustained endurance

A bit of energy left to play on the playground
until the you crash down from your sugar high and lie in a heap... twitching on the ground.) Anyway, they were pumped; they were ready to go; they turned toward the bathroom for pre-run relief. Upon seeing the entire remaining running cadre also had the same idea (the line was very long for those twenty port-o-potties!) they decided it could wait until later!

The youngest kids and I found a spot fairly close to the finish line at which to wait for "our" runners to pass through and hoped for a good
After a spot o' lunch, the gang were ready for a 
Gettysburg hike
 clear picture as each passed by the time marker. The baby stayed in the stroller (he did fairly well, with only the occasional whine to get out), the others sort of milled around, excited (for the 10 and 7s) and bored (for the 3 year-old.) Finally, they came through, the clocking devices on their shoes marked their times and it was all over. So where does that leave me, who doesn't run?

A little jealous, actually.

So many of my friends are running now. My kids are all getting into running. I'm proud of them - more than I can say, I am so proud of the fact that even my 7 year-old can run two miles easily, that even the 3 year-old can get in around a half-mile at a trot. But I am just not there. I don't see the joy in putting one foot in front of the other at a somewhat faster pace than I do every day around my house. I see that my friends all find the joy in it, I can accept that my children are finding that joy, but so far I just don't. (Apologies all around!)

Set and Ready to go! Our runners are well-
rested and look GREAT!
Fast forward to Labor Day weekend. At the very early hour of 4 a.m., I found myself in my new house, with Slick and her family, all togther getting up to head to Virginia Beach for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon and 5k. I thought Gettysburg was a Whole Lotta' Crazy - it was nothing compared to the Crazy found at Virginia Beach. 60,000 people converged on the place, 30- to 40,000 ready to run; the rest of us (the "sane" people?) were there for free Slurpee samples... uh, I mean, moral support of the runners!

It was not the same lovely weather we experienced in Gettysburg. It was instead a muggy, hot, miserable day for a run. (Spinster did not join in for this super-sticky run, partly because of the heat.) This run was populated enough that the runners were split into different "corrals." You can read a short insider's account over at Maestro's blog.

Nothing like a sweat-producing run to make you long for the Ocean Water!
And in spite of my earlier-professed jealousy at listening to my friends all talk about their runs, seeing their "so-and-so ran xx miles in xx minutes and felt ... (insert feeling here)" posts on Facebook, and watching my kids' endurance grow steadily with each daily trek, I am also inspired. A part of me wants to be that person - that Cool Runner person.

Lookin' pretty refreshed after a 5k run in muggy heat!
 Part of me wants to jump out there in the fray for a 3-miler (5k is just over 3 miles) and I know I can walk that far, easily. But to run it, to feel the wind in my hair, to blow through the finish line, looking all cool and refreshed (like Slick) at the end, check my watch to see my time, knowing I did such a great job... Yeah, my drive just isn't there. My fantastic imagination maybe, but I just don't have that drive for that particular sport.

For now, I'll stick to my walks (the youngest of my five can't run that fast anyway), send the older boys on "minimum one-, maximum two-" mile runs, and hit the Climbing gym every so often. Yeah. That sounds good and relaxing. I'll just close my eyes and wander my mind over there for a few - and meet you back here for the next post!

1 comment:

  1. I will be honest, the main attraction for running for me is to maintain my 35 lb weight loss and stay strong as I move into my middle-age years. As I started to feel healthy, I stopped wanting junk food and I stopped over-eating. You ran quite often in the Navy, I'll bet you still could crank out some miles! But if you don't want to, then don't worry about it -- there are lots of ways to stay in shape!