Sunday, October 23, 2011

8k: Somerset Back to School Classic Race Recap

Last October, Ingrid and I ran in our Elementary School's annual community race. We had done it before but it was my first race in years and I was not at all prepared for it. But I like to think that it is part of the wonderful series of events that turned me into a runner. It was hard but fun and I knew it was something I'd keep coming back for.

Over the summer, when this year's date was announced, I immediately texted Ingrid and my brother Nathan about it. Nathan is a very good athlete and plays sports but he smokes and is not in the best endurance shape. But, by paying his way for the race, I convinced him to join me and to revel in the nostalgia of Somerset Elementary School. Having signed us up in July, I thought he might actually train for it and then have a great time on race day. Time got away from him and he didn't train but I'm pretty sure, overall, he still had a a great time.

We slept at my parents' house, a mere mile and a half away, and drove there together. It was so cold we could see our breath so we walked around a lot and hung out in the newly renovated (read: depressing) hallways until about 8:55. Then we lined up to start. I didn't really ask Nathan if he was nervous but he seemed good to go. I told him that our pace was up to him and I'd slow, walk, or sprint as much as he desired. For this reason, I was expecting to run an average 10 or 11 minute mile.

The first mile runs through the very hilly neighborhood and I think our big mistake was taking those hills too fast. We finished the first mile in a 9:14. Then we plopped out on Wisconsin Avenue and headed toward Friendship Heights. We stopped to walk and have a drink about a mile and a half in. He was obviously very pleased with me...

From there to mile four, we walked a lot. Nathan had a really bad cramp that kept coming back when he'd start to run. I just wanted him us to have fun so I was down to do whatever felt comfortable to him. At the mile four marker, we saw our childhood babysitter, Lolly, who was volunteering with her son, a current student at Somerset.

I told Nathan that we were going to run the last half mile and he responded "ok, let's start now". He is awesome for pushing himself.

We ran by the street we grew up on, Morgan Drive, so I sprinted ahead to run down the street and take a picture of our home. Then we met back up and ran to the end.

When we were about a quarter of a mile from the end, it had been 58 minutes. I told Nathan that we could push it and finish in under an hour.

 He pushed it to the point of near-vomit and then took a few walking steps.

He was fighting hard. He looks hardcore.

We saw my mom running towards us and cheering. She looked a little concerned for Nathan and kept yelling his name. Look- there is a smile on his face!

Josh was across the street from them, too busy snapping pictures to cheer, so I didn't even see him there. I ran ahead and turned around to watch Nathan cross the finish line. He did it!

We finished in just over an hour, averaging about a twelve minute mile which isn't bad considering we walked about two or two and a half of the five.

We stocked up on bagels and fruit and then headed out.

But not before checking out the vintage 5th grade pictures on the wall of the lobby. The class of 2001 was not hung but 1998, my year, was and it was classic.

Josh and I were in a hurry to get to our 11am frisbee game, which turned into an epic four games during which we ran and played really hard. All that and an uphill bike ride to a friend's house and I had a full day of sweating in the sun.

Nathan had a good sweat too and I am proud of him and thankful that he doesn't hate me too much for basically forcing him to join me. Next year I'm thinking I'll change it up and actually race the thing for the first time!

1 comment:

  1. I love doing hometown races! My favorite part is seeing old friends and neighbors. Tell your brother awesome job for pushing so hard at the end!