Monday, November 12, 2012
Little Diva's Girls on the Run 5K Race Report
This past weekend was Little Diva's big event ... her first 5K. She's been training for the Dane County Girls on the Run 5K (HERE) since early-September. She and her fellow team mates have been training together twice a week. They have been learning about peer pressure, body image and so much more - while nurturing their physical, emotional and spiritual health. Training for this 5K has given her a new outlet for all of her energy and I've seen some additional confidence in my girl - even though she already had a ton of it.
I've participated in this race every year prior and also coached it. So, I was well familiar with the event and what an exciting atmosphere it is - 550 little girls with their coachings, running buddies and families there to support them at the finish line.
Little Diva's team ran a practice 5K a few weeks earlier, which she ran with her dad. I was very excited to be running this rate with her - my favorite little girl and my favorite organization.
We arrived at the team signes and the girls got all made up with crazy makeup and bright spray painted hair. They also had awesome fleece hats that were handmade in the GOTR green/pink colors.
We darted through hundreds of runners - young and old - lots of tiny feet maneuvering through the crowds. It was pure awesome as we tackled the first big hill with many of her friends and some of mine as well. We ran the first mile or so holding hand and hand. She got to the first mile marker around 12 mins, after taking two walking breaks.
The next hill was just as large and we kept finding landmarks to keep us going - lightposts, mailboxes, signs, people in bright colors. I heard many other running buddies going through the same strategies with their young runner. At one point, she commented about how much easier this was at the practice race - because the course was flat. Half way through, she got hot and gave me her fleece hat and rolled up her sleeves. I was carrying my handheld water bottled and she sipped on it during most of our walking breaks. We skipped the water station because of it.
I was familiar with the course and kept giving her updates about the next hill, twist or turn. With a half mile to go - I told her this was it. She kept getting excited and picking up speed. I told her to slow down, pace herself, and finish with a smile on her face.
And that's what we did ....
We saw the 3rd mile marker and with .1 to go and one bend in the road ... she picked up pace incredibly and left me in the dust. She lifted her legs high, took long strides, and smiled her way to the finish line.
I'm so proud of Little Diva. She tried something new, met some new friends, discovered a new outlet and saw the process through to the end. She ran her race in 36:30. An unbelievable accomlishment for anyone - especially an eight-year-old. She has even offered to run a Mommy and Me running group with me this spring.