Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Bash Color Dash 5k- May 5, 2013
Picture May in North Carolina. What do you see? The sun shining, birds chirping, nice warm weather? Wipe that picture out of your head. I live in the south and we haven't seen 70 degree weather in weeks. We've also had a decent amount of rain. Spring has been pretty miserable and the time of year I'm usually starting to turn on my air conditioning, my heat is still busy pumping instead. As this past Sunday's race approached, so did the threat of rain. A lot of rain. Cold rain. This was just a little local fun run, so normally I would have just skipped it. But this time, I couldn't, this race was special. It was my 8 year old son's first race. He has been begging to race with me and we promised he could do one of the kids' races at Disney when we went as a family for PHM next year. He wanted to do the Color Run with me last fall but I didn't think he was ready for a 5k. So this seemed like a good time, a smaller race and just perfect for him. We started his weekend off right with packet pickup on Saturday. This was a little rite of passage for him. I made him tell them his name and collect his bib and shirt. He was quite excited. Sunday morning brought doom and gloom. And cold. The race wasn't until 4 pm and up until Saturday, they said it would just be windy and cold, with rain starting late afternoon. I had hopes that it would hold off until after the race but no such luck. It started raining by 11 am, and it didn't stop. A few hours before race time the situation looked a bit like this... Normally, this would have gone down in the books as my worst race ever. I have never raced in conditions like this before, I purposely avoided this kind of weather. Being cold and wet was miserable, and the race itself was poorly organized. But I consider this one of my best races ever, for many reasons. First, it was my first race with my son. This was very special to me, because it was something we could share together. I want my kids to grow up to be active, and I'm thrilled to have shared an activity I love with my child. I hope it inspires him to keep going and to keep running. It was also great to have the "us" time. Having 3 kids, it's hard to have individual time with him. Having 2 younger, much more demanding little girls, my son often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to one on one attention. He is a very good kid, does well in school, behaves as well as an 8 year old boy can, so often I don't hover above him like I have to with my girls. He is not as demanding of my attention, so sadly he doesn't get as much. That's why I refused to give up on this race, because it was for us, and I wasn't going to bail on the opportunity unless I really had to. Second, this race made my mama pride meter shoot through the roof. I was hoping for a 40-45 minute finish with minimal complaining. I got so much more than that. He never once complained about being cold or wet. He never once complained about being tired. He communicated with me about what he needed to do, when he could run and when he needed to walk. He dug deep at the end and finished strong. I couldn't have been prouder of my boy during his first race. Lastly, I'm very excited that he got a warm welcome to my runner family. Runners, whether they know you or not, are one big happy family. We wave and high five when we pass each other. We encourage each other, we give advice. I love my running friends and family. Having that random stranger there for my son was awesome. The man who encouraged him during the race and took him and pushed him in the end recognized our family's bond and brought my son into our fold. I'm glad that my son got to see how kind and encouraging our community is.