I signed up for the 2nd time to be a Running Buddy for our local GOTR program.
Girls on the Run Capital Region is a 10-week after-school program for girls in grades 3-8 that uses running and physical activities to teach life skills and help girls develop a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.
Here’s what it involved for me:
The Running Buddy provides encouragement and support to their buddy throughout the course of the season by sharing weekly notes of encouragement. These notes can be emailed or delivered to their buddy’s Head Coach.
The Running Buddy acts as a personal cheerleader for their buddy by attending the practice 5k and the end of season 5k.
The Running Buddy completes the 5k with their buddy and expresses support and enthusiasm for her accomplishment!
Last year, I didn’t particularly enjoy my experience. I met my girl for the first time at the practice 5k. At that race, she took off with a friend and the coach like a “bat out of hell.” I caught up with her to chat and found out that she was a runner and she had already completed the program before. That meant that she already had run a 5k and besides that, she was super FAST. (She obviously didn’t need my weekly motivational messages.) The same thing happened at the real 5K. She just took off with her friend & coach even though she was supposed to be running with me. So I ran by myself and eventually passed her as she tired (and got her photo as she finished the race after me.)
Nevertheless, I decided to give the program a second shot.
This year, I volunteered at Eagle, another elementary school near my home. I was paired up with Jayme who was 10 years old and in 5th grade. I met her once at an Orientation meeting (this was a new idea) and then again at the Practice 5K last Tuesday. She is super sweet. We had a great time chatting and running ALL 12 laps together.
As a result, I was very excited to be part of her first 5K race and help her along the way.
The Final 5K was held on May 8th in Central Park, Schenectady. This was the Mother’s Day 5K that I have run in past years.
I signed up for a 15k race the day before because I knew that I would be running this race just for fun and as a running buddy along side Jayme. It wouldn’t matter if my legs were tired from those 9.3 hilly miles.
The weather was not as nice as the previous day. In fact, I woke up to POURING rain. UGH!!!
I had to arrive early to meet up with 80 or so GOTR participants, their coaches & running buddies for a group photo.
By the time, I got there, it was still raining but not hard. I was immediately informed that Jayme was not coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WTH? What bugged me the most is that I texted her mom photos so she would have my phone number. And she didn’t contact me. With this weather and the fact that I ran a 15k race the day before, I might have stayed home. Or at least run another 5k. There were several that were closer to my house.
So I sulked by the fireplaces trying to stay warm and keep my cool.
One of the other running buddies heard about my situation and then asked me if I would pace her daughter. Her daughter was in junior high and was running her second 5k.
I guess this would have to do. However, I wasn’t planning on a real race. So I told her yes but that I wasn’t in shape to run fast.
She was fine with that. (Of course, in chatting with her, I learned that she ran her 1st one in 29:xx and wasn’t trying…uh oh!)
Finally it was time to line up in the rain for our group photo.
Then we headed out to start the race.
The course was pretty varied – around the pond, through the woods, around the lake, etc. I have run it many times before.
I started with my new running buddy. It was difficult to go fast at first because of all the kids in front of us. They didn’t realize that slower runners and walkers start in the back.
Eventually we got moving and of course, my buddy wanted to run fast. I could not and I kept telling her to go on ahead. This kept happening until the first water stop around mile 1. Then she seemed to tire so I could keep up with her.
Mile 2 was through the woods. I was very careful of the roots and uneven turf. But at some point, I lost my running buddy. I wasn’t sure if I was ahead or she was ahead of me. Somehow I thought I may be ahead so I waited for her at the 2nd water stop. I didn’t see her so I continued on.
Then for mile 3, we ran back into the park. The rain had stopped but the wind picked up and it started to get very cold.
Finally I saw the finish line and sped up so I didn’t cross over 30 minutes. There was no chip timing. They just collected your bib and gave your a flower.
I waited and then I saw my buddy cross. She said that she had lost her earbud and doubled back to find it.
I waited some more watching all the young kids finish their first 5k. They were so excited and happy. This is what what running is all about.
But I was freezing and eventually went inside to get warm and eat.
There was an awesome food display. In addition to cookies, bagels, bars, pastries, bananas, chocolate milk, etc.
I didn’t want to eat too much since I was planning to go to my MIL’s for lunch at 3 pm.
I put on my winter coat and gloves (brrr) and waited around by the fire for the awards. Surprisingly, I came in third and actually won something this time.
That made me feel a little better about my weekend racing.
My only goal for this race was to help Jayme finish her first 5k race.
mile 1 – 9:26
mile 2- 9:49
mile 3 – 9:21
.14 – 8:24
Garmin time – 29:32
Official time – 29:53
So things didn’t work out as planned – GOTR and the weather. I love the GOTR program. I think it is great for young girls.
Below are some photos posted on the Times Union website.
I will definitely support GOTR in some way but I doubt that I will become a running buddy again.
After I grabbed my plant, I rushed home to get ready to go out for Mother’s Day.
My sister-in-law and her hubby drove up from Florida and we had dinner at my mother-in-law’s. My stepson & his girlfriend and my brother-in-law (not pictured) also came. My other stepson had to work (he is pictured with my mil above.) We all had a nice time together.
Since it is Thursday, I’m also linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.
So in addition to last weekend’s race, this is what I am thinking about:
Upcoming Races –
Yes, today after work. I’m not a fan of evening races but this one is for a great cause. There will be many lawyers there than I know as well as STEM volunteers. I was in charge of getting a team together but it didn’t go so well. Everyone at work said yes until it was time to commit.
This is a new race and is organized by the mother of one of the STEM runners who died of an overdose after completing her first 5k. This is her story – https://www.gofundme.com/Summer5k4addiction There will be many other runners and volunteers from the program. I am honored to support this cause and to have known and run with Summer.
Upcoming Vacation –
12th trip to Naples, Florida but tennis vacation #20 for me!!! (We started traveling together in 2002 and only 2 of us haven’t missed one.)
I leave on May 18 and return on May 25 (4 days before my next half marathon). Can’t wait!!
Fitting it all in –
When you live in the Northeast, you just live for summer. Winter here sucks (unless you ski.)
It’s a time for running, boating, hiking, picniking and all kinds of outdoor activities.
You know where I’m going with this.
I want to do it all. Help??
Happy Running! How was your weekend? Any races or runs? Any races coming up? What are you thinking about today? How you fit in your running when things get hectic? Please share.