Summer is flying by and marathon training is in full swing! We made it back home from our recent family vacation and I did absolutely no blogging so I’m a couple days behind on posting this. I know I have a 5k to report but first I wanted to recap my favorite run of the year- a special birthday run! I like to document all of Abi’s birthday runs so that someday we can go back through and read about them.
Every year my oldest daughter and I run her age in miles on her birthday. We started this tradition when she was 9 so this year marked our 4th birthday run. It’s the first time we were not home and I must say the change in scenery and weather was very nice! July 1st tends to be pretty warm in Arkansas so the cooler morning temps in Ohio made it much more doable.
Abi runs a couple 10ks every year but most of her training right now consists of 1-3 mile runs around our neighborhood a couple days a week and about two races a month. (She runs in the Arkansas Grand Prix series with me.) Her longest run in the two months leading up to her birthday was a 5 mile run she did the week before our trip. She will be running on the junior high cross country team this fall so I know she’ll be training more. I really don’t want to push a lot of mileage on her right now but as these birthday runs get longer it will become necessary to have a few long runs under her belt.
Our route was a simple out and back along the B & O rail trail. We planned to keep it easy pace and stop for water as needed. If we saw something cool along the trail we would stop for a picture. It was all very laid back which was what she wanted. We had no pace or time goal. In fact, she was very clear that she did not want me to tell her our pace unless she asked.
The first mile flew by and initially I thought this would be our easiest year yet. During the second mile her legs started to itch. It’s been a while but I remember having itchy legs while running. It seemed to happen early on in my training when I was just starting back after time off. We stopped a couple times and I gave her the option to stop and we could turnaround. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy and she wanted to finish. I told her to try to go 15 minutes without itching and it would get better. It was very challenging but she made it and it did get better.
Miles 2-5 were hard. The trail was gorgeous but we ran through quite a few spider webs and during mile 5 a couple bees swarmed around her head for almost a half mile and I kept swatting them away. It scared us and we were both very relieved when they finally left her alone.
We stopped at each mile marker for a drink of water. At mile 6 I texted my husband to let him know we were halfway done. (He was planning to meet us at the finish.)
One we turned around at mile 6 and started heading back things got remarkably better and Abi started to pick up the pace. I think knowing she was more than half way done really helped.
Right before the last mile Abi asked me what her pace was. At the time it was just over a 10 minute pace. She decided to kick it in the last mile. Apparently she had been saving up because that mile was by far her fastest! We also saw my husband who snapped a few pictures and cheered for her which pushed her even more.
Splits: 11:35, 10:32, 10:20, 9:57, 9:58, 9:35, 9:37, 9:47, 9:36, 9:39, 10:01, 8:38. (Avg. pace 9:56)
As hard as it was for her during the run I think she mostly remembers the feeling of accomplishment after the run. I can definitely relate to this! I’m so proud of her for pushing herself to complete a goal. I know it was hard. She really wants to do a half marathon next year for her 13th birthday. I told her if we do a half she will probably need to do a little more training than she did for the 12 this year!