I ran my 12th and final race of 2012.
I set up my goal and I knocked it down.
First let’s start with the race details. I ran this race last year and my son ran the Penguin Waddle 1 mile race. The Guy and his mom (now my fiance and future mother-in-law) ran with us along with a group from our city.
Jake loved earning a medal and that spawned a whole new appreciation for running for him. He realized that if he ran, he got a reward and having medals was pretty awesome. Plus he’d get the chance to be like mama and The Guy, running races and wearing numbers.
For me, this began my goal setting for 2012. I decided to go big and run 12 races. Once I agreed to this plan and discussed it with The Guy, I knew I was in for a long and interesting year.
2012 didn’t disappoint.
We all trekked out to the Pomona Fairplex early in the morning, leaving the cloudy, damp morning behind us. I was kinda excited to run in chillier weather because for me, I run best when it’s not too hot.
My son and I got our packets and got redy to run with some stretching and fretting. My issue was my jacket. In December it was still too hot to wear it and all I had under was a sports bra and a light tank top. So, I broke my own rule and wore my racing tech shirt to run in.
The Guy promised me that he’d run with me and I was appreciative of that. I guess I run better with encouragement because I ended up running the 5k in 35:43 minutes. A great time!
Look at all the green!!
I like this course for its simplicity. You just run out and back, through the Fairplex and down the raceway. And they graced us with a little snow at the Start/Finish line.
I was thrilled with my time and especially my pace. I never walked once although I was a bit out of shape for not having run in quite some time. And running with The Guy giving my pointers and lots of encouragement helped a great deal.
And looking over last year’s race time, I stayed pretty steady and ran it in the same time (give or take 3 seconds).
Then the little guy got to run his Penguin Waddle 1 mile race. Last year he ran the first half down to the end and instead of turning back, decided to stop and play with the caution tap strung along the end indicating that the racers needed to turn back. The Guy had to run down to the end to find him and run back with him.
This time around he was ready to run and knew that when he got to the end he needed to turn around and head back, no matter how many people ran faster than he did. This was all about him doing his best.
It was a great day to race. The little man finished his 1 mile run and earned his new medal, a shiny little penguin. And I earned my snowflake medal, a different design from last year because no two snowflakes are alike.
This can be true for running races: no two races are run the same. I did this race last year, came in around the same time but felt that this year’s efforts were much better. I ran the whole race without walking and finished without feeling overly tired or overly exerted. I felt good, like a runner. A real runner.
Would I do this goal all over again? Yes, I would and I may someday. Would I do it the same? Yes and no. There are areas of my year that were great and some not so great. I tried different methods of training and found some to work better than others. But the one thing I had to learn was not to judge myself too harshly. With running, there are so many variables that can screw with your plans to train or can mess around with your race the day of.
A bad dream ruining your sleep. Having a cold. Bad allergy season. Not eating right the night before. Or eating right but nerves stalling your digestion and causing tummy troubles. Tough emotional times also take a toll on your heart and energy, keeping you from putting your best foot forward.
The end goal is just to get out there and cross the finish line running. Never walking. That ended up being my mantra. No matter how frustrated, sore, or tired I was, I would run across that finish line. From falls during a race to mis-marked courses leading to an early finish time, no matter the case, you cross the finish line running.
And I did this 12 different times. No matter what the course brought to me, I finished running.
2013 is quickly approaching and I can close out 2012 with a pleased sigh of relief. I did it! I finished what I set out to do. And now, I can focus on other things like wedding planning and training for a half marathon in July.
Thank you 2012. You’ve been a beast of a year. Between family issues and the depression that follows when your world shifts not for the better, to the stress and strain over leaving your heart in another country followed by the overwhelming joy when he returns to you, ending with the elation and disbelief that good things can happen to you and that you will find the love of your life, I’m happy to close up 2012 and put it behind.
Welcome, 2013. Let’s see where we end up together.