A running update …. Well, I guess it is fitting to start with what I didn’t do…
1 – I did not set any personal records during this race season.
2 – I did not get to every race that I planned, and even missed some that I had pre-paid for.
3 – I did not stick to my training schedule the way that I would have liked. Get the picture? My race season did not go as I planned, BUT the most important thing that I did NOT do – I did NOT give up!!
I could have given up. I might have wanted to more than once, and I am sure that I thought about it. After a spring and summer that was wrought with missed runs, family crisis and emergencies, some minor personal health problems and injuries, and more missed training runs than completed ones, I could have given up. Well, I could have given up, if I was a different person, if I didn’t love finishing races so much, and if I didn’t care what my kids saw of my exercise endeavors.
So what did I do? I did do a few triathlons this season, a number of small 5k and 10k races, and I also finished 1 half marathon (only 6 minutes slower than my personal record, which, after the summer I described, is quite a feat in itself!). I was fortunate to participate in some of the largest races in Maine this season. I got into the Polar Bear Triathlon, Tri for the Cure, and Beach to Beacon – all races that I did, and LOVED! I also did the Black Bear Attack – um, yeah… that was quite an adventure! Never before have I cried DURING a race! Leaping down off the backside of the 10 foot climbing wall made me cry like a baby! Great race though, and a must do again. sure that I thought about it. After a spring and summer that was wrought with missed runs, family crisis and emergencies, some minor personal health problems and injuries, and more missed training runs than completed ones, I could have given up. Well, I could have given up, if I was a different person, if I didn’t love finishing races so much, and if I didn’t care what my kids saw of my exercise endeavors.
Let’s fast forward to the most important and best part of my race season…. The part I did do. TODAY (Sunday, November 20, 2011). My 10 year old daughter, Tamika, walked/ran the final race of my season today! Yippee!!! A little background, she walked a 5k benefit race with my in May, she didn’t complain too badly during that walk, but she didn’t enjoy herself either. Well, all summer, she watched me trying: trying to get my runs in, trying to get to races, and trying to stay motivated. She also started walking on the treadmill. At first, reluctantly, and slowly, but now, easily and, believe it or not, happily! A few weeks ago, I went to a run to celebrate World Run Day that my trainer put together at City Forest, and Tamika asked if she could come. Since I am not one to say no to a child asking to be outside exercising, I said she could. She walked the outer loop (3.85 miles for those who do not know), without 1 complaint! She ran out of the woods back into the parking lot to meet the others who met us, and she was glowing. She has continued her walks on the treadmill, and today when I asked her to do her treadmill time, she said, “mom, aren’t you going to a race today? Can I come and do it with you?” Once again, since I am no way going to say no to this request, she came along. Since this was my last race of the season, I was planning to push myself, and knew that I wasn’t going to stay with her. After much pre-teaching (I was a nervous wreck to let her go it alone), the gun went off, and we started out. She waved goodbye, told me good luck, and off we both went. I pushed. She was smiling when we met on the out and back course, and gave me a high five. My coach (who is the BEST by the way!) and friend ran back after we all finished to run in with her. She ran the last half mile or so, finished in 52 minutes (11 min faster than in May over the same distance), and she was so happy. We were talking after the race, and she told me, “I am so proud of myself. Doing that makes me feel so good inside.” We kept talking, and by the end of the conversation, she was saying, “Well, Mom, when I keep practicing, pretty soon, I will be able to keep up with you when you are running. Actually, Mom, if I keep practicing, maybe I’ll look back, and say, ‘Hey Mom, catch up!’” Yup. The truth. Soon, she will be lapping me. But you know what, that is what I get for the best thing that I didn’t do this race season: Give up.
Jaime, such a moving story and what a great example you are for your kids! Good for you for sticking with it. I know that you've got many great things ahead of you and it sounds like Tamika will be right there beside you!
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