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My Favorite Run of the Year and Some Final 5K Thoughts….

My Favorite Run of the Year and Some Final 5K Thoughts….
My Favorite Run of the Year and Some Final 5K Thoughts….

Can 2013 be over halfway over?  Summer is flying by and my official 5K training season is coming to a close.  It was short and sweet.  In two days is the big race and I hope I’m ready.  I’ve put in the training.  Time to put it all out there on July 4th. I am not one who traditionally races on Independence Day.  In fact, I believe the last race I did on the 4th of July was the Dominoes Pizza Run 5K I did when I was around 7 (?) and on vacation at my grandparents house in Ohio.  Let’s hope this one is at least twice as fast as that one!  I’ve actually wanted to do the Fast Firecracker 5K in Little Rock the past few years but for various reasons (travel, pregnancy, babies, injury, etc.) it has never worked out until now. 


A few “Fast Facts” about Little Rock’s Fast Firecracker 5K:

  • The race will celebrate its 37th year in 2013. Runner’s World Magazine has called this course one of the fastest in the USA. 
  • The course records are held by Ruben Reina with 13:26 and Collette Murphy with 15:23. 
  • Running legends Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, and Joan Benoit Samuelson have each run the Firecracker several times.
I will not be sporting my usual hot pink racing shirt for this one….

I still have some 5K’s on the schedule for the fall (at least 4!) but they will all be during marathon training so it won’t be quite the same.  Following a 5K training plan these past 2 months has been different but I’ve really enjoyed it.  Generally I’ve been able to average around 50 miles per week which has been a nice break from marathon training miles.  The speed work has been challenging but fun.

And speaking of FUN….
 
Yesterday I ran 9 miles with daughter number 1 and 1 mile with daughter number 2.  Good stuff!!

A few months ago Abi (my oldest) and I were talking about traditions and I mentioned that I always like to run on my birthday.  Of course, I never run my age because I’m not at all into Ultras but somehow Abi made up her mind then that she would like to run nine miles on her 9th birthday.  This was right around the time she had just finished her first 10K so I guess she figured what is three more?  Who am I to argue with that kind of logic?  So yesterday, July 1st, she turned nine and the first present she opened was her first pair of “real” running shoes- Brooks Pure Flow 2’s! (Probably should have broken them in a little first but that’s another story…)

The Run
I decided not to leave from our house to the trail because it is a little trafficky and I wanted this run to be as safe as possible.  We parked at the trail and planned on heading out 4.5 miles and back.  I quickly discovered that Abi is not a huge fan of “out and back’s.”  I think she would much rather do a big loop.  She wasn’t crazy about the fact that we’d have to run “the same thing all over again.”  But I told her that this was the safest route away from a lot of traffic.  

I carried a water bottle and a pack of shot bloks.   We stopped every 1-2 miles for water and she ate a total of 3 shot bloks (spread out over 3 different stops).  At mile 2 she said she was really tired.  I told her we could turn around and go back but she didn’t want to quit.  She was determined to do 9.  I told her we were in no rush and could stop as many times as we needed to if she wanted to do it.  So we kept going.  

Mile 3

At mile 3.5 we started a little birthday memory game to help pass the time.  I had not planned on this but somehow the idea came to me while we were running and I was trying to distract her.  I thought it might take her mind off the running and it really worked.  Basically whatever mile we were on I talked about a memory I have of her at that age.  During mile 3 I described her birthday party when she was three and what we did that summer.  I told her about how she loved dress-up and all the dress-up shoes she wore and how she would sing and dance to the Sound of Music in our living room.  Good memories!  I did this for each mile.  If I forgot she would remind me!

Mile 3.5

At one point (mile 4) we stopped on the side of the road to trade socks.  Her socks were too thin and that combined with the new shoes was causing some discomfort so I gave her my thick Thorlo socks to wear and I put hers on my feet.  This made a huge difference and seemed to really help.  She was so happy once we finally made it to mile 4.5 and we could turn around and head back.

Halfway done!

At mile 4.5 I snapped the above picture of her and texted it to John.  I wanted to let him know we were halfway done and how it was going.  Once we turned around to head back the run went much smoother.  It also helped whenever we saw another runner.  (She would immediately pick up the pace a little.  So funny!)  On the way back we only stopped once around mile 7 at the Dollar General to refill our water bottle and use the restroom.  Once my watch beeped at mile 8 and she knew she just had one more mile to go she was ready to give it all she had.  After I talked about her eight year old memory I told her about what it meant to “hit the wall” in a marathon.  I guess I just wanted her to know that the end of a race is hard for a lot of people but if you pace/ fuel right it doesn’t have to be as difficult.  I think the 3 shot bloks she took helped her.  I wish I would have had some gatorade with me but she managed with the water. When she saw the end of the trail she picked up the pace and finished strong.

9 Miles = DONE!


Mile 1- 11:11
Mile 2- 11:32
Mile 3- 11:32
Mile 4- 11:57
Mile 5- 11:18
Mile 6- 11:39
Mile 7- 12:03
Mile 8- 11:52
Mile 9- 11:15

Total Time- 1:44:29 (Avg. 11:36 for 9 Miles)

So now I have a memory for “mile 9.”  Birthday run with my birthday girl- I will never forget this one!  It was by far my favorite run of the year! 

When we got home I found Anna dressed and ready to run.  Poor girl had wanted to run with us but I told her it was Abi’s special day so it was just going to be Abi and I going.  I told her if she wanted to run sometime I’d go with her.  Sure enough Anna was ready to make it happen. Nothing like some good old fashioned sibling rivalry!  So I ended up running one more mile around the block with Anna.  We stopped a few times.  We walked a little.  We held hands.  And we made it home.  
 

The girls

The boys
The Fam


Do you make it a point to run on your birthday?

Have you ever run with your kids?

Any 4th of July racers out there?


18 Comments

  1. I loved reading about this run, Tia! I am so amazed and impressed that she was able to run the entire distance and loved hearing that she sped up whenever she saw another runner. She must get that competitive streak from you! πŸ™‚

    I have run a few 10k’s with my (now 13 year-old son) and the first one was when he was around 7 or 8. There is something really special about running with your kids.

    I usually try to run on my birthday but no specific distance — just on my favorite trail for as long as I feel like it.

    Good luck with your 4th of July 5k!!

    1. Thanks! Yes, there is definitely something special about it. My dad introduced me to running and there are many times I remember being so young and running with him. 5 miles sounded SO FAR (maybe like 20 does now?) and it took forever. πŸ™‚

  2. Abi is truly a runner. She has that heart that keeps her going when she’s tired. And she picks up her pace around other runners.

    Love your outfit for your 4th of July race. Very patriotic.

    1. Thanks Char! I figure I might as well get with the theme! I had fun dressing in Christmas garb for the Christmas 5K. This should be fun too!

  3. Ok, maybe it’s my raging hormones talking, but this completely made me tear up. What a special memory for both of you! So sweet. And I love that she’s following in your footsteps (and is obviously so much like you, toughing it out for 9 miles, little peanut that she is!).
    Go break that course record at your 5k πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Gracie. Your comment made me want to go back and re-read it again. So I did. πŸ™‚ And it gets me a little teary-eyed too. Some runs can be emotional- like a hard fought marathon. This felt a little like that because I wanted it so bad for her. I wished I could make it easier for her. Every side stitch, every time she said her feet hurt. But I couldn’t. (Although the distracting did help!)

  4. I love that you ran with your daughter on her birthday, what a great memory! I’ve run a couple of times with my daughters, none of them love it a lot (I’m hoping someone will eventually). I am running a 10K on the 4th and I’m terrified because we are in a record heat wave and it will most likely be at least 80 degrees when we start, not the most fun, but I run this race every year, so I’m going for it!

  5. This is just one of the best things ever. What a perfect birthday memory for both of you! Love all the pictures of your sweet kiddos. Can’t wait to read all about you crushing that 5K….Good luck!

  6. I saw this on facebook and am so amazed- LOVE that she had this idea, and you two could do it together!! And best of luck tomorrow- I don’t know how you do 5ks in the heat, my legs don’t know how to go fast with heat/humidity. Excited for you!!

  7. Just read you 2 most recent posts. I got choked up in each one. So awesome, Tia! What makes it even cooler is that you are so humble. Such an awesome person you are!

    This is probably my favorite post of yours. What an example! So proud of her too! What an awesome achievement and what an awesome memory game to play. You inspire me to be a better runner, mom, and friend! Truly, I appreciate your influence in my life!!!

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