One of the high points of the weekend was the 5k. I ran it with a friend who has never raced before and in fact, is fairly new to running. When she posted on my wall several months ago that she was running and thinking about a 5k, I suggested the RAM Hot Chocolate event (RAM has GREAT swag) and told her I'd run it with her. It didn't take her long at all to commit (she's ballsy). And Saturday, I met her at her hotel at the crack of dark am so she could cross "5k" off her bucket list.
My friend rocked her run. We chatted the entire time (I don't think I started talking out loud during my running workouts until this spring -- I never had enough oxygen to run and talk at the same time, so props to her for that early milestone in her running career!) and she didn't walk a single step. She didn't even stop for water! My only 'job' on that run (in my mind) was to check our pace and make sure we weren't going faster than either of us could handle (I haven't run more than 20 consecutive minutes in about 8 weeks, so a faster pace could have been devastating!). At one point, my Garmin read that we were at a 7 min/mile pace: I made us slow down. Although the race was a little longer than it should have been due to an emergency reroute (a truck got stuck under a bridge somewhere), she had enough left to sprint through the finish line like a rock star.
The experience brought up two things to me. The first: I HATE waking up early on race day. I just HATE it. I've never yet woken up on a race day when I didn't think, "Oh God, can I just go back to bed?". The second: running is awesome. Anyone can run. And everyone, from Desiree Davila to little old me, can run on the same course, in the same race. I mean, of course Davila is going to be light years ahead of me at the start line ... and crossing the finish line ... but in theory, I could be running in her footsteps.
We went for a beautiful run on Saturday morning -- in a gorgeous city -- with about 18,000 other runners. Crossing the finish line felt great, and not because I had a new PR (I didn't), but because my friend told me at about 2.85 miles that she was hooked: she needed to find another 5k. I wasn't that surprised when she e-mailed me the next day to ask if I was going to a run a 5k Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving!
I think experienced/seasoned runners everywhere should partner with a new runner and get them through that first race. I also understand why my coach is a coach: supporting someone through that process is so rewarding. I'm as happy today as I was back in August when I did PR at a different RAM event.
Thanks, Kristina, for letting me be a part of your first race. It was among my favorite races of this season! Now...what's it gonna take for me to get you in a swimming pool?:)
|Pre Race. It was brisk.|