Saturday, October 23, 2010

Prattville Spinners Pumpkin Run 5K

Colby told me several weeks ago that he was interested in trying his hand at triathlons... so I asked him if he would like to run a 5K to see what running was all about... he was in for it so I signed both of us to run a local event here in Prattville.

I did some online investigation into training programs for kids at that distance and printed out a calendar for him to start training. So he does one run of about 3/4 mile after school the next day... good start... but doesn't keep up with the plan. He then decides a week later that he wants to go on a run with me as I am getting ready to head out after work... so I say "let's do it". He gets suited up and we strike out on our run... about a 1/2 into the uphill start he decides it is not what he really wants to do and asks to turn around... so I turn him around and he heads home. Now... other than soccer practice twice a week and a game on the weekend... he does not run again. I tell Sherri that I don't think he is ready and I give him the "run your own race" speech... complete with a walk/run strategy and remind him that the goal is to finish. Over course of the week preceding the run I reinforce those principles with him and feel comfortable that he gets it!

23 October 2010

Alarm goes off at 0600... I get up... get a cup of coffee and wake Colby at 0615... "time to get up buddy boy"... to which he wakes up, looks directly at the clock and says... "WHY?"... "race day" I tell him... "oh yeah".

So I proceed to get dressed while he does the same... we share a Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif Bar and a couple glasses of water and he powered down a bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran.

At 0705 we get in my truck and make our way downtown to Spinners Park to pick up our race packets and get ready for the run. It is a chilly 45 degrees but we get our stuff and head back to my truck to put together our race belts and keep warm. I take the opportunity to again reinforce the "run your own race" strategy as I know he has never run a race and his training was limited.

0730 we get out of my warm truck and begin some warm up stretching and running to get the blood flowing. We do a bunch of stretches he does at soccer... and see Sherri pull up. We head over to meet up with her and spend the next 10 minutes or so chatting with some of our neighbors and the guys from my seminar at Air War College that came out to run as well. "5K runners to the starting line".... so we hug and kiss Sherri and head over to the starting line. While we are there I take one last chance to remind him that the goal is to finish today... don't hurt yourself... walk if you have to... HAVE FUN!

BANG goes the gun right at 0800... and we are off! I look to my left and he is gone... a couple of hundred yards down course I see Sherri with the camera.. she snaps a photo of me and I see her looking over my shoulder for Colby... "He is already gone by" I tell her.. for the next mile I don't even see him out in front of me as we weave our way through downtown making lots of turns... then we make a left onto Maple Street paralleling Autuaga Creek which is a long straight road and I see him out there in front of me... I finally run him down at the end of Maple before the next turn... takes me 1.75 miles to catch him but he is running great so I encourage him to run his own race!

I look out in front of me and pick the lone guy that I can see as my target to catch... I continue my pursuit as we make our way to the final turn... a quick check of the watch... CRAP I am behind my Garmin Virtual Training Partner goal pace of 7:43 that I set as I was looking to run a 24 minute race.... oh well... I feel great!

I pick up the pace to finish strong and once I have the clock in sight I realize that I am way ahead of my intended finish of 24 minutes... HOLY CRAP... I look at my Virtual Partner... had them mixed up... I was ahead... and I cross the finish line at 21:54... a new Personal Record... needless to say I am STOKED!!!!

I cross the line... the guy I was chasing, who finished just ahead of me, turns around and says... "Nice race dude... I heard you coming... motivated me... thanks!" We head over to the water and I pick up a bottle of water and a banana.... then head over to the finish line to find Sherri... and she yells... "HERE HE COMES"... What? No way... can't be... sure enough... he was on the home stretch... HOLY CRAP.... he is trying to run down the kid in front of him... and crosses the finish line at 24:05... I COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE ANY MORE PROUD OF HIS EFFORT!!!

We run over and meet up with him to congratulate him on his first 5K... amazing race... simply awesome feeling to see one of your kids succeed like that... a feeling I won't soon forget! So we stand around cooling off having our water and bananas as he recounts his race to us.... says he heard someone sneeze behind him and immediately knew it was me... too funny! But no time to revel in his accomplishment as he has a 1030 soccer game in Tuscaloosa... so a quick hug and kiss and he and Sherri head off for T-town as it is a 90 mile drive.

I stand around stretching and talking with the guys from my seminar about everyone's race... a mix of folks that ran the 5K as well as the 8K... what a great day! I then head over to the area where the awards are going to handed out as I know in my gut that Colby will get something. And much to my surprise... I was 2nd overall in the Masters Division (40-49) and 1st in my Age Group (40-44)... and a new PR to boot! And Colby ended up getting 2nd in the 14 and Under Division... turns out the kid that finished just ahead of him was 14 and took 1st... nonetheless... A GREAT DAY FOR THE ASKINS BOYS!

Looks like two of us have been bitten by the competitive nature of road races... Colby starts his Duathlon training plan in January and we will compete together in Birmingham next March... cannot wait! Thanks again to Sherri for being the best routing gallery we could ever ask for... we love you!

Attitude trumps pain!