5:15 am - I woke up and got things ready.
5:30 am - I woke up the boys and got them ready.
6:00 am - I woke up...oh, wait, I was awake. But I sure wasn't feeling awake. Still sleepy, but functioning. The boys and I made the 15-20 minute drive to St. Anthony for the race check-in.
6:20-6:55 - Pre-race jitters. Talk about family bonding time!
6:55 - Sam and I left in a race official's car to drive to the 10K start. I did NOT like leaving Oliver behind all by himself. Luckily I knew a few of the other 5K racers and asked them to keep an eye on Oliver. That was tough, though. Jeff was home with the girls still because he was in charge of the Boy Scouts' Holiday Flag putting-up (what do you call that anyway? It was a holiday so the Scouts were putting up flags for the neighborhood).
7:10 - The 10K started (a little late, but okay). Sam let me run behind him for a few minutes, then I caught up to him and told him to slow down. I started in on my mothering-coaching lectures then zipped it. I realized he's a big boy, this was his race, and I'd best leave him be. He told me to go on ahead. I knew he'd run better on his own, so I picked up my pace to race-pace. I'd strapped a phone on his arm so he could call if he needed anything (oh, yeah, I'm a protective mom). I ran behind a college kid and used him as my pacer.
7:30 - The 5K started. I looked at my watch, knew Oliver was just beginning, and hoped he was doing okay. My unsuspecting college-kid pacer started slowing at around mile 4. I told him to keep going because I needed him to pace me. He made a valiant effort and kept our 7:40 pace until somewhere into mile 5, then he lost steam. I felt bad running past him, but I think he was okay with it. He just wanted to finish.
7:58 - I finished the 10K with an average of 7:46 minutes/mile. Since I've been recovering from injury over the last month and have only run once in over two weeks, I was okay with that time. Still, I kept thinking I could've run faster. I came in first in my age group and third overall. Since there were like less than 10 women, it wasn't that big of an accomplishment. Still, it was a pretty race.
My parents and Don (my brother) were there at the finish to cheer me in. It was great to have that support. Jeff was still stuck at home. I turned around to run back on the course and find Oliver. I found him just a little ways away from the finish, looking so good.
8:03 - Oliver finished. I ran a little bit with him, then he told me he was okay (I got the point - Let me run, Mom!). He sprinted SO fast at the finish. Awesome time, kiddo. I left him with my parents and brother, then turned back on the race course again to go find Samuel. I found him two blocks from the finish, running strong. I ran in with him a block, then he told me he was okay, too (once again, Let me run, Mom!). I short-cutted over to the finish to cheer him in. He also sprinted in the last bit.
8:19 - Sam finished his first official 10K. He's run that distance before (he's run a half-marathon before!) but this was the first race. He was great.
Mom, Dad and Don left once they saw we were all in. It was wonderful to have them there. Right after they left, Jeff and the girls showed up with donuts and milk. They made it in time for the awards.
Oliver got a finisher's medal (I think he was the second kid to finish the 5K, maybe first - we'll know next week when results are posted) and Sam got a placing medal (for first in his age group in the 10K. He was the only kid, and he passed some of the adult 10K runners), and then I got a medal for placing. I'm just happy that the boys did it and had fun. I'd be just as proud of them even if they'd come in last, or if they couldn't finish but had tried. The point is, I'm proud of them for doing their best. And I was happy that I was on my feet again after such a long time not running.
So it was a good race. My leg hurt, but it wasn't as bad as I'd expected. I'm in new shoes that are supposed to help me (apparently I over-pronate pretty badly, which I never knew). They should help me run without getting injured so often. I hope!
We went home not to rest, but to get on with life. The boys had lawns to mow, Oliver had soccer practice, the girls and I picked the first picking of raspberries, Jeff weeded and tilled the garden, and then it was lunch time. After all that, the kids and I rested with some afternoon reading and games, then outside play and yard work, while Jeff went on a bike ride. We finished the day with the kids getting to watch a show while Jeff and I went on a date.
What a great day.