Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reindeer Romp Race Report

On Wednesday, the boys and I went on a "field trip" of sorts to a honey farm with some friends.  Then we all went to a pizza place before the lunch rush.  It was quiet, and there was an elderly gentleman a couple tables away from us.  I was eating, keeping A-Train from making an excessive mess, and Bean was getting up and sitting down and getting up and sitting down and getting up and sitting down.  Repeat.

The next thing I knew, I looked up and he had gotten right up to the table of the elderly gentleman...and was clearly pretending to be a dragon.  I was not able to stop him before roared at this 80-year-old man...

Bean is currently obsessed with dragons.  He is constantly roaring and flapping his armwings.  He has, a few times now, walked up to complete strangers and roared in their faces.  We went to a low-key show by a singer-songwriter duo a few weeks ago, and Bean at one point went around to every. single. person. in the audience and roared (quietly) in their face.  It was a fine crowd for that - and I had asked ahead of time whether children were welcome, and also asked whether dancing, jumping, etc was ok while they were playing.

I didn't think to ask about roaring...though thankfully, when he really all-out roared loudly, he went outside (it wasn't any quieter, because the door was open and well within earshot of the performers...but I thought it was rather thoughtful of him, in his own 3.5-year-old way...)

Anyway, at the end of the show the two-year-old who lives in the house hosting the show stripped off her clothes and a few kids were running around and wrestling.  So maybe we weren't as inappropriate as I initially felt!

But I digress.  Sort of.

Today I ran another 5K.  My runs have been slow and my legs have felt clunky since starting a new medication.  This was originally the race I had planned my training around - I was planning to set a personal record here, and have it finish off my running/racing season.  But after an unexpectedly awesome PR three weeks ago and then my legs feeling so off, I had decided I was just going to relax into this race.

The race had a late start time (1PM), and The Beast and I debated whether he should come and bring the kids, or whether I should just go alone.  But Bean really wanted to go to the race, so away we all went.  (I have to say here that my husband is an awesome freaking partner and dad.  I went to the grocery store and came home to find that he had packed a bag with lunch, snacks, and water - even diapers for A-Train.  He packed everything and I got to focus on preparing myself for my run!)

As we drove to the race (in a State Park) and during the hour we were there beforehand, Bean said a few times that he was going to run with me, and he was going to beat me.  We had some fun playing dragon games.  At one point he roared in someone's face again.  And, again, we had a conversation with him about not roaring in the faces of strangers.  Thankfully, these particular strangers were amused and roared back at him.

I went and lined up to start the race.  The Beast pointed me out, and Bean ran over and stood next to me saying he was going to run, "LET'S GO!"  We told him that he wasn't signed up, but he could run alongside (the race was on the road, but there was a good-sized lawn for spectators, and not a crazy huge group of racers - and I was on the outside edge, so he could run on the grass and I could run on the road beside him).

When they started, though, I took off and Bean didn't.  When I looked down at my Garmin, it was clocking a 5:40 mile and beeping incessantly that I was going faster than my goal setting (I love my Garmin...).  Oops.

I was planning a 9-minute mile or so...

I told myself to slow down.  But the people passing me looked like they weren't working very hard.  A lady with a gait that looked like one click above a speed walk passed me easily.  So I  I'll aim for 8:30 miles...

When I got to the turnaround, though, I was still under an 8-minute mile and I felt like I had lots of steam left.  So I started setting little goals for myself.

I checked in at 2 miles, and I was just over 15 minutes!  Still well under an 8-minute mile!!!!  That settled it - I was aiming for an overall average of 8 minutes a mile.  The end.

I came into the last couple hundred meters and there were the spectators.  I picked up my speed - I was going to sprint it in!  I also watched for my family, hoping Bean would be shouting and excited.  I couldn't miss him.

Bean came charging toward me, roaring.  He ran across the lawn, and just kept running (and yelling and roaring).  I slowed down and swerved and avoided mowing down my own kid.  Everyone started yelling at him: "Get her!  Catch her!"  I sprinted into the finish chute while yelling and cheering him on behind me.  He came into the chute and barreled into me as they were removing the tag from my race bib.

I ended up finishing in 24:00, with a dragon on my tail!

The Beast took the boys on a hike to a lake in the park while I waited for the awards (since I had done better than the last race, where I took second in my age group, I wanted to see if I had placed again!).  Door prizes took forever, and The Beast returned with the two boys.  Bean was wet from the knees down, after starting into the lake after a stick.  A-Train was muddy from the knees down from crawling through mud.  They had a great time!

Bean spotted the medals on the table - with their red, white, and blue striped ribbons.  He said he wanted one, and I we told him that they were for people who ran the race.  He realized that I might get one, and started begging me to give it to him if I got one.  I told him I wanted to keep it - that I had worked hard, and that he could run a race next time and maybe he'd get a medal.  (If not for the ridiculousness at the last race, he would have gotten a finisher's medal!)

All. out. tantrum.

There were tears, and screaming "I'M NEVER GOING TO RUN A RACE!"  Not in defiance, but in despair.  That's what he says if we tell him "later" or "another time."  He screams "I'M NEVER GOING TO [whatever we said he could do later]."  Clearly it feels that way to him!

I did end up taking third in my age group, and I brought home a medal.  Bean lost interest when he realized the ribbon was in a loop and couldn't be easily used as a flag...

It's funny - I thought that I would be the star of my race reports.  When I planned my 1-year-postpartum race and when I signed up for these two 5Ks, I guess I envisioned that they would be non-events for Bean (and certainly for A-Train).  I guess I thought he would be off doing his own thing, oblivious to the races.  ....apparently not.
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