Monday, April 14, 2008

Still running ...

It was another busy weekend here at the Dawson house.

For starters, after 6 months of being 40, I've finally discovered a benefit: when I run in races, I'm in the 40-44 or 40-49 category. A year ago at 39 I would have been running against women in their early 30s. Now I'm one of the young ones in my division :)

So on Saturday I had a great time running in Emma's Run, a local 5K race held in memory of Emma Simpkins that benefits children's charities. They were also holding a 10K event and for the last couple weeks I've been wrestling with whether to do the 5K (3.1 miles) or go for the longer 10K (6.2 miles). I've been running 3-6 miles about 3 times a week and started a new exercise class at the gym. Yet I still didn't feel I was in the zone to do the longer race ... even though my half marathon was only a short month ago.

The night before I let myself off the hook and decided the shorter distance would be better. And Saturday morning as I was running up, up, up Gavilan Peak Drive with the wind whipping me in the face and trying to rip off my baseball cap, I was so happy I made that decision. I kept my pace up between 8:30 and 9:30 the whole time. Halfway through, the course looped around and so we got to go downhill in the final stretch. But, still, I was feeling hot and slightly nauseous at moments and I wanted to stop, almost did. But something kept me going.

When I got home and looked up my results online, I saw I did it in 28:16. My last 5K in November was 29:29. And here's the shocking part. First, I have to say this was a smaller community race, so it was a relatively small group of about 220 runners. And I think all the good, fast runners either decided to stay home, run easy, or walk. But somehow in the 40-49 year-old women, I came in SECOND and was the 11th woman overall.

So that was exciting to see that flash up on my computer, but I know it was an anomaly. I know so many runners who run a lot faster than me. For instance, if my friend Tracey would have run instead of walking it with her family, she would have bumped me down to third place. So I enjoyed that little fluke and hope it carries me to the next race ... even if that may not be until the fall now that the warm weather is rearing its ugly head.

In memory of Emma Simpkins.

"I love you more than bunnies."

Meanwhile, participating in the run meant I had to miss Nicky's soccer game. Over the past week he hasn't been feeling the soccer love much. His coach has been putting him at goalie a lot and the past couple of games, quite a few balls have slipped by him. As a parent, it's the most nerve-wracking position to watch your child play. And big brother (and soccer star) Blake is always behind him shouting out commands disguised as "encouragement." Nicky finally said he doesn't want him back there any more.

So as we talked about going to soccer practice Wednesday night, Nicky had a big meltdown, saying his soccer days are over and he's not playing anymore. After a cooling-off period and some encouraging words from Brett and I ... and Blake, Brett managed to get him to his game on Saturday. As goalie, Nicky didn't let anyone score on him, and out in the field, he had his first goal of the season. And, of course, the only time I haven't been there and I missed it.

Blake had a great game, too. They demolished the other team 12-2 or something like that. Blake had 3 goals.


If any of you are planning an Arizona visit before it gets too hot, you better get here next week :) We had a hot weekend, today is supposed to be 96 and then we're supposed to "cool" to the 80s for a bit before it heats up again.

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