This was the first race I signed my kids up for. I signed both Patrick and Lily up for the 1K, and I signed up for the 10K with my friend Elaine. I loved that this race would circle all three major sites in Arlington - Texas Ranger's Stadium, Cowboy's Stadium, and Six Flags. Anyhow, so my whole family, including my father, hopped in the car early that morning and headed to Arlington. The kids and I got our race bibs on.
Just before the start of the kid's race, I hear the guy announce that it's time to line up for the 1 Mile fun run. Huh? 1 Mile? The website said 1K. (Yes, I checked later to confirm... it definitely said 1K.) I knew Patrick could handle a mile, since he's done it with me many times, but didn't know if Lily could. As they got ready to start, Lily looked scared by all the people, and I realized she was uncomfortable and wasn't big enough to be going that far on her own. So I hopped out there to go with her.
The kid race started at 8am, and it was already getting really hot. And we were off. Patrick took off like lightning, and I yelled at him to SLOW down or he'd burn out. Thankfully, he listened.
Lily and I took off very slowly, but kept it steady. I kept telling her that we could go as slow as she wanted, but we would not be stopping. Patrick kept pushing forward on his own like a seasoned race vet. Lily did pretty well, despite feeling tired. About 2/3 of the way into it, Lily hit her mini-wall. She wanted to stop. She was complaining of all the same things you hear when adults race - I'm cramping, my knees ache, etc. I kept telling her that it would be over soon, but that she had to keep going... no matter how slow. This is where one of my proudest moments occured... Lily kept pushing her tiny 5-year-old body along and started chanting to herself "You can do this, Lily. You've got this, Lily. Keep going, Lily. You CAN do this, Lily." Over and over, she chanted.
It wasn't long before we were off. At this point I was a 3-time half-marathoner, so I figured a 10K would be a piece of cake... WRONG. This run was sheer misery. No shade, no breeze, beaming sun, and not even close to enough water stops. It was hot on the asphalt and having two water stops was just not sufficient on that day. My stomach was cramping, I still needed a bathroom, I was thirsty. Everything was just wrong... and it never seemed to end. It was just one of those days where it didn't matter how you trained, it was just not the day for a race, and my body said no.
As I finally came towards the finish line with a ridiculously slow time, my kids run out onto the course to finish with me. Used to the bigger races, I tell them they can't do that, but my father assures me that many people had finished this race like that, so we ran through. That was the single highlight of my whole run.
To make the day even more interesting, while I was out suffering a slow and painful run, my family was interviewed by the local news. When I got my phone back, it was lit up with texts from friends who had seen it. Go figure!!!