As I sit in my pjs, coffee nearby, the mere thought of exercise causing my heart to race, I realize that I failed to provide a recap of that 5K I spent months weeks a few days training for this past spring. Recruiting my son to keep the pressure off my pace proved to be not the best strategy. All was fine till he heard about the prize money.
The morning started as planned. I awakened early, and had my first of three cups of coffee so I’d be good and alert. I also had a banana to ward off pesky leg cramps. Then I woke up my son, who grumbled about not being able to sleep in on a Saturday. I bribed him with promises of donuts afterward. He confessed that he was worried about completing the race; I assured him it was no more walking/jogging than he does in an afternoon chasing his sister around the house. He was suspicious, but got dressed.
My first mistake was listening to the weathermen. Their forecast? Unusually cold and windy. I dreaded being out and about downtown, where the Venturi effect might cause the wind to whip ferociously. Thus I piled on the long underwear under my sweatpants and turtleneck, and then my winter parka. I put my race shirt over my coat; I looked like the Michelin Man, but toasty-warm comfort trumps style.
My son opted for long underwear, sweatpants, sweatshirt, and his race shirt. We were ready for the cold.
When we arrived at the race, we found lots of folks in shorts and short sleeves, including my friend. That was weird.
Somehow my son found out about the cash prizes for first through third-place finishers. Now, I don’t know what planet he lives on sometimes, or why Mr. One Speed suddenly thought that he could compete with the serious racers—not even kids in his own age group, but the grown-up, do-this-for-the-money racers. No matter what I said, he swore he could run faster than all the rest, IF ONLY I’D LET HIM.
Of course I wouldn’t let him. There were thousands at this race, and I made him stay with me and my friend. Rotten mother that I am. And our pace was leisurely, in an I-dare-not-run-because-those-three-cups-of-coffee-were-assaulting-my-bladder-now-and-any-bouncing-would-not-end-well way. (My friend also had consumed coffee and was in the same sorry state. We were perfectly paired.)
My son bemoaned his fate. If ONLY his pathetic mom had let him run unimpeded, he’d have WON IT ALL and be $500 richer. Yeah, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.
Our time? Fifty-two minutes for a 5K. My husband shook his head in utter disbelief when I told him. “Did you walk part of it backwards?”
It was fun. I got to chat with my friend while taking in the somewhat scenic downtown. And yes, the morning’s temperature rose steadily, so my winter coat became my own personal sauna, providing me with an unexpected spa treatment, too.
My son, driven by the almighty dollar, says he’ll train for next year’s run. More power to him and his fantasy world. I think I’ll skip the race and just wait for him by the finish line, near the porta-potties.