Monday, May 14, 2012

Girls on the Run 5K

On Saturday my husband, brother-in-law, and I ran the Girls on the Run 5K in Mooresville.  I picked out this 5K a long time ago because I love the Girls on the Run organization and wanted to support them.  For those that don't know, Girls on the Run is an after-school program for pre-teen girls to help teach them about fitness and promote self esteem.  Volunteer coaches guide the girls through a 12-week training program leading up to their big 5K.  Almost every girl has a running buddy, either a friend or family member or another volunteer, who runs with them and motivates them through the 5K.

I expected there would be a lot of young girls running the race with their running buddies, but I also thought there would be many people like us - non-affiliated people running the race just for another 5K and to support the organization.  Well, I was wrong.  I think we were the ONLY people there who were not running buddies, coaches, or connected to at least one of the girls in some way.  I didn't let it make me feel awkward, but I think Pete and Kevin felt very out of place amongst all the 10-year-old girls!

The race was two laps around a 1.5-mile loop at Lowe's Corporate Headquarters.  I was surprised at how hilly it was!  I did a lot of speed work earlier in the week and I was feeling like this could be the 5K where I finally broke 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, right before the race started as we were standing at the start line I started to get a little hot flash.  I'm slightly claustrophobic and sometimes when I'm in big crowds or small spaces I'll get very hot and a little bit dizzy.  It was pretty minor but I wasn't able to shake it before I started running, so it affected my run a little bit.  I did the first mile in 10 minutes and finished the first lap before I had to stop and walk for a little bit.  I actually started getting really awful stomach cramps and had to take another couple of walk breaks, but when I was running it was at a 9:40 pace.

I finished at 32:53 which was disappointing sine I know I can go faster, but it's still much faster than I used to be able to go even without walk breaks, so I didn't give myself too much of a hard time.  Hubby finished at 27:09 and Kevin at 26:43, so they were pretty close!

The best part of the race was actually listening to dads who were running with their daughters try to motivate them.  "We can get water when we're done!"  "You're a swimmer, you can go faster than that!"  "Power up this hill, we'll walk at the finish line!"  It was a really great experience to be around all these young girls achieving their goals, but I'm not sure if we'll do this race again.  I think I might volunteer as a running buddy next year and participate in that way!

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