Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ready, Y.E.L.L, Run!!!

Friday we left Cairo to begin the long trek up to Henry County at about 5:00pm.  We decided to just wait until Perry to stop for dinner, which was a good decision, because then we got to see husband's mother and sister.  We ate dinner at Chick-fil-a and it was actually mother-son night there, so that was pretty fitting.  Timothy asked me if I was sure I wanted Chick-fil-a for my birthday dinner and I told him it was either that or Taco Bell, and for most involved, Chick-fil-a is a much better choice.  He definitely agreed. :)  After eating, we continued the drive up to Henry County and got there at about 9:00pm.  My parents let me open up one of my presents that night.  They got me some pretty pillows I had been wanting for my bed and some cute new rainboots!  I had a pair of polka dot ones in college that I wore a lot and they eventually got a hole in them, which kind of negates the purpose of rain boots.  Can't wait until it rains and I have an excuse to wear these.  I'm actually tempted to just put them on and splash around on the top step of my pool.  Aren't they cute?!
We headed to bed about midnight, which was probably too late considering that we had to get up early for our run.  But oh well, talking to them was worth it. :)  We woke up the next morning at about 7:15am and got ready to head to my old high school for the Ready, Y.E.L.L., Run 5K.  We chose this race for several reasons.  1.  It was a cross country course, which is a little bit easier on the knees, and usually has prettier scenery.  2.  Because I went to high school there, we pretty much knew the terrain, and knew that it was going to be a flat area.  The race sponsor actually sent me a picture of the trail too, and I'm always more comfortable running when I know where I'm going to be headed.  3.  It was a fundraiser to raise money for the "Young Entrepreneurs Leading Luella" and having graduated from Luella and learned a lot through the clubs and organizations that I was involved in, this seemed like a a good fit. 
We met my sister and her family at the school and changed into our race shirts.  We wore these shirts in honor of Dimitri A. del Castillo who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 25, 2011.  Dmitri was only a year older than me and had been married to a fellow soldier, Katie, for just a few months when he was killed in action.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  My sister works with his mother-in-law, Patty, who let us borrow some shirts so that we would be able to honor his memory in even this small way.  My prayers go out to his family, as do my thanks to Dimitri and his wife for fighting for my freedom.  
 After changing, we waited around for a few minutes for the race to start.  We were glad to see that we would be running with about 35-40 other people.  That way the course wouldn't be too crowded.  The race began, and we set off!  It had been misting a little that morning, and after about 2 minutes it became apparent that by the end of the race, our shoes were going to be soaked and covered with mud.  I felt bad for my mom and sister because they had on new tennis shoes.  The path was mostly through grass for the first mile of the course.  Not too many hills, just a couple of holes and uneven areas here and there that could trip you up if you weren't paying attention.  Because of this, I spent most of the race looking down at the ground in front of me.  I think that might have actually helped though, because then I wasn't looking up at how far I had to run!  After about a mile, we entered the nature trail which was definitely the most enjoyable part of the race.  It was a path cut into some woods, and even had a pretty little bridge going over a creek.  We ran on this trail for about .75 miles.  I was still feeling pretty good at this point, so I made a huge display of jumping over a log on the trail.  At the end of this trail was a hill that was practically straight up so you had to get a running start.  But we easily conquered that like Spartans. :)  After this point, we went back on grass and stayed on it for the rest of the race.  At mile 2 there was a student standing there with a sign who was cheering us on with "you're halfway there!"  Now, I definitely appreciated his enthusiasm, but if 2 miles was only halfway to 3.2, I was about to start crying.  
The rest of the race was pretty uneventful, just filled with me trying to keep up with my mom and convincing myself not to stop running.  Oh, and my mom running beside me being really quiet.  For those of you have encountered my mom at my past basketball and volleyball games, or really just any sporting event at all, you know she is a pretty vocal supporter of her children.  I could pick her out in the crowd while I was playing because she was always yelling encouragement and cheering me on.  I definitely appreciated that, and tried to never take her support for granted, because I had several fellow teammates who would have loved for their parents to be there supporting them like mine was.  When we decided to do this race together, I just assumed that she'd want to talk a little during the run or at least just share some encouraging phrases to each other along the way like "you got this!" "run girl run" or "you better not walk".  But nope, just breathing.  We were so focused on controlling our breathing and finishing the race without walking that we were practically silent the whole time.  Well, she was.  I complained a few times.  
So anyways, the last long stretch was down a field, so me and my mom gave it one final push, and sprinted (probably just a "run" to some people, but at that point I felt like I was about to win the gold medal with my sprint).  There were students lined up at the finish line cheering us on, which was really sweet.  I finished in 36:12, and my mom was right behind me at 36:17.  I was a little bummed that I didn't beat my personal record (33:03), but I just had to tell myself that last time I had been training for a lot longer, so I couldn't be too hard on myself.
Soooo close!  
 So during the run we were so focused on putting one foot in front of the other, that I didn't realize we had lost track of Allie.  We all decided at the beginning to just go at our own pace, and me and mom's pace just worked, so we were running together.  Allie was right behind us on the first mile, and I guess I just assumed she was still right behind us when we entered the trail.  Well, no.  At the part where we entered the nature trail, there was a curve right before you got to the trail, and right after you got in the trail, there was another curve.  Well, because of that, Allie didn't see us go into the trail, and thought that she just needed to continue going straight.  Well she did that for a while, and then ended up going into the trail at the opposite end.  The steep hill that we had to climb up to get out of the trail?  Yeah, that's where she went into the trail.  She got about halfway down the nature trail, when she finally saw another runner, except that runner was coming towards her, and said "honey, you're going the wrong way."  Turns out my poor sister had run a half mile the wrong way, and then had to turn around and go back the way she came.  We didn't know this until we went back to find her after we finished.  We tried to cut through a field to head her off, but she was running at a pretty speedy pace and we ended up having to run again to catch up with her.  That's when she told us she had done an extra half mile, at least.  We felt so bad for her!  But she finished strong, at 48:00, which is great considering all the extra running she did.  I was so proud of all of us!  Here's us at the end of the race.  We were all sweaty and tired, and hungry, and our shoes felt like we had just taken a spin on the Log Ride at Six Flags.   
After the race:
For the other two races I have run, we went to Ihop afterwards for brunch, so I suggested we do that after this race too, and make it a tradition.  Here's what I got.  And yes, I ate almost the whole thing.  I think I deserved it!  
I'm so glad we all got to do this together as a family, and I think we all agreed that we will be doing another one again soon.  Some things I enjoyed about this race:  1. The student involvement, from signing people in, to cheering us on at the finish line was really nice to see, 2. The weather was great!  I was a little chilled at the beginning, but felt good throughout the race.  I didn't even sweat that much.  3. The race was not too crowded and the other runners were courteous and funny.  Several people asked us about our shirts, and it was nice being able to share Dimitri's story.  4. There were several Army recruiters at the race, and they donated a bunch of stuff for our goodie bags.  The shirts were awesome too!  I loved that they were maroon, not white like most race shirts.  My mom mentioned that I should get my fellow classmates to agree to run the race with me every year, as a tradition.  I think that's a wonderful idea to keep us in shape, and help support our alma mater.  So what do my fellow Luellans think?  Will ya'll join me next year?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that's my girls, all 3 of them! I will have to say (sorry Julie and Teresa)I think Allie was the winner since she ran so much farther!!!!! Nan