Noho XC 5K 5/22/07 - Sammy's First! - Run

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Northampton, Massachusetts
United States
Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club
72F / 22C
Total Time = 35m 36s
Overall Rank = 87/89
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Worked until 5:15, then ate a yogurt and hurried to get me and the boys down to the race by 6:00. I forgot that it starts at 6:30 all year until September, when it switches back to 6:00. I got eaten by bugs for about ten minutes longer than necessary.
Event warmup:

Ran around the gardens, stopped at the port-a-potty, stretched. Had wooden legs. Not a good sign.
  • 35m 36s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 11m 27s  min/mile

This was a big day for us. I had planned on doing one of these races each month but already missed April (not in good enough shape yet) and am about to do a series of Ballroom Dance classes that meet on Tuesdays so this was my last chance to do this for May OR June. Plus, Sammy is turning 8 pretty soon so this was his last chance to do a 5K as a seven year old.

I pause to look at that last sentence. Normal seven year olds don't run 5Ks. This is just beyond wonderful that he has some enthusiasm for this. I'm proud to bursting. But also doubtful that it would work out okay, as Sam's usual distance is just over half a mile. So I brought the crew: B. and I to run our own races and G. on his bike as a SAG wagon for when/if Sam went down. But G wasn't allowed to ride the bike alongside us, so we just stationed him at a point along the inner loop and hoped for the best, with me understanding that I might have to drop out.

The race started out well, with Sammy making the newbie mistake (ya think?) of starting out too fast. He kept up with B. for the first mile or so, then B. went ahead and I chased Sam, within earshot, for the next mile. (At one point we went by a water table and I yelled up to him to stop for a drink. I'm such a Mom.) At about the two mile mark Sammy petered out, having triumphantly passed his brother with resolve to not quit. Well, he started rethinking that idea. But we were at the farthest part of the outer loop and there was no way out but through, so I slowed down and walked with him a few times, and cajoled him, and at the huge hill at the 2.25 mark he caught up with me and grabbed my hand and I DRAGGED him up that. (Come to think of that, that's sort of a dream of mine: that my Mommy will swoop in and drag me up hills during races. How lucky is HE?)

Around that point a little girl, Emma, caught up with us and at the top of the hill I left Sammy and Emma to run together, since I'm pretty sure Emma knew the way. But I wasn't SURE SURE and we were at the back of the pack so I circled back to make sure Sammy saw a turn. About 1/3 of a mile from the end G. came along on his bike and I sent him back to escort Sammy in and I picked up the pace to try to salvage some of the race.

At the three mile mark I saw B. waiting to push me in and I spent some energy trying to send him back to find Sam & G. While arranging this parental pick-up, Emma the little kid came flying out of nowhere and the squirt passed me on the sprint. Dammit!

So I came in nearly last with a time averaging out to 11+ minute miles. My goal is to beat 10 minute miles. I need a little slapping upside the head to remember that I'm NOT just trying to beat 10 minute miles, I'm also trying to make this fun for Sammy.

So after my pitifully lame "sprint" I circled back and waited and waited and waited for B. and Sammy to arrive. They came along about 4 minutes later. Sammy was done in. He wanted to walk the finish. I cajoled him into breaking into a trot and crouched at the finish line with my arms open, just like when he was learning to walk. Come to Mummy, Sammy! And he did, and I picked him up and hugged him, and 50 people clapped to see the little kid finishing a race.

Was he happy? No! My little kid sulked the rest of the day because he had to walk some of it. He was only slightly relieved to hear that he didn't finish last, that the 77 year old guy who runs every race came in "sweep" as usual. In an odd turn of events, there is ANOTHER little prodigy runner, Emma's seven year old brother Philip, who has been running this race for a couple of years now. Philip handily won the "Under Twelve" category. This fact did not go unnoticed by Sam.

It wasn't until this morning, when I was telling his teacher at school what he did, that Sammy started to glow with pride. Now I wait to see if he has any interest in training for distance. The kid is forty pounds of lung and legs. He's a natural runner. I'm going to encourage this as far as he'll go.
What would you do differently?:

I can't say I would do ANYTHING differently.
Post race
Warm down:

Holding a catcher's squat.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

I adore this race.

Last updated: 2007-05-23 12:00 AM
00:35:36 | 03.11 miles | 11m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/89
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5