On Thanksgiving Day, my niece (Gracie) and I ran our first 5K together called the Thoroughbred Classic in Lexington, KY. Actually, my training buddy (Bobbie), also ran with us! :) She's so supportive!
Gracie had been begging me for some time to run a race with me, but I told her we had to do so training before. I had to make her understand that you don't just go out and run a 5K...you have to prepare beforehand. She, like me, thought..."3 miles? That's not so bad!" Well, as we all know, 3 miles is further than you think it is when you aren't already a runner.
So, we began some training together. Gracie plays soccer and softball, so running is something she does on a regular basis, just not for long distances and not for endurance. So, we started out with 1.5 miles, then worked up to 2 miles, then onto 2.5 miles. We never actually completed the 3.1 until the day of the race.
And we're off! The race began! At about 3/4 of a mile, Gracie needed to stop because her chest was hurting from this awful, hacking cough she had been fighting. The great thing about Gracie? Yes, she needed to walk. Yes, she walked. But...she picks a spot to walk to and then she starts running again! She's fabulous! She walked again at about the halfway point and only one other time after that, so I was very proud of her! Especially with the cough she was fighting! :)
This is a picture of us at about the halfway point of the race. We are still smiling, so it can't be that bad! :) After we came around the back side of the barn on the grounds, Gracie said, "Where do you think Jenny and Michael are?" These are our cousins who were running the race as well. I told her they couldn't be that far in front of us and if we tried, we might could pass them, at least one of them. Well, Gracie is the most competitive 9 year old I know, so this was definitely some motivation. She picked up the pace and caught up with and passed Kelly, a friend of the family. And she also caught up with and passed our cousin Jenny! She was fabulous!
When the finish line was in sight, I let her know. This was when she really picked up the pace. Needless to say, she left Bobbie and I in her dust! Look at the picture! Yep! That's me, trying to keep up! She finished 6th place in her age group with a time of 37:12! That's a pretty awesome time for a 9 year old with tiny legs! Can you tell I'm proud!
Thanks for staying with us Bobbie!
Way to go Gracie!