Sunday, October 30, 2011

Women's Run 5K? Check!

My daughter has been watching her brother go out for races with me this year and said a few months ago that she wanted to do a 5K with me herself.

I've been hearing great things about the Toronto Women's Runs and thought the October run would be the perfect 5K for us to do together.

I've been a bit nervous about this - she's fit, but she's only 7-1/2. She found the Do Life 5K back in July long and tiring, which meant a lot of complaining on the way to the finish line. I've been reminding myself that it was a warm day, we did a lot of visiting & walking before we even got to the start and I think she was a bit tired when we started - and she's young.

But she's been emphatic that she wants to do a 5K with Mom. So I signed us up and we've been doing some training. Power walking with the dog, doing some slow running now and then, that sort of thing.

A fair bit of our preparation has been pep talks and setting expectations. It's a mirror to the kinds of things I told myself before my own first 5K -

"We're going to show up, walk as much as we need to, run when we want to, and eventually cross the finish line."

"Who cares how long it takes us - you're setting a personal record just by showing up at the start line."

And a few incentives:

"It's a women's only run - and they've got fire fighters at the water station! And chocolate at the finish line! And medals for everyone!"

She's been looking forward to it all fall.

The day before the run, she confessed that she was nervous but that she has been telling herself that if her brother can do 5K, so can she. OK, I'm impressed.

She really got into the routine of getting ready for a race - planning her race day breakfast (bowl of Vector with milk, sliced banana), going to packet pickup, deciding what to wear and making plans to hook up with Mom's friends for a finish line picture. She's seen the rest of us do this for our races and was very pleased to be going through the pre-race rituals herself. 

Morning of the race? She woke up early, happy and excited.

We met up with a few friends who were doing the 8K run -  

Sarah, Rachel, me, my daughter
...cheered them on as they started, then waited for our own gun to go off.

Bibs on and stopping for a quick picture before heading to the start corral
Did our stretching, watched the clock, and then we were off!

And she was AMAZING.

She did a slow and steady run for about the first 300 metres...then slowed down and said "I'm tired, how much further is it?" That had me kind of worried, but after that? No complaints from her.  

See her right hand? She had a pocket full of Smarties and popped one every 1/2K. That helped :-)

Visualization also helped. Before the run, we had talked about how the distance from our house to our dog park is 1K, so we used that to measure our progress. "1K - we made it to the dog park!" "2K - we made it home!"  "3K - we're back at the dog park" and so on.

Turnaround marker at 2.5K...firefighters and water at 3K...she's still smiling at 3.5K (above)...cracking jokes at 4K ("you've got my next Smartie - hand it over!")...

Aaaaand before we knew it - THERE'S THE FINISH LINE!


We both put on a burst of speed, flew past my cheering husband and son, and finished with a smile.

Got our medals and ran back to the finish line to cheer on Rachel and Sarah. Stopped for a group pic:

Finally getting to be in an after-race pic with the girls.
...then collected the goodie bags that the organizers were giving out. Bananas, almonds, water, bagels and Lara bars.  And chocolate!

So, so proud of my girl. She really earned that finisher's medal. She amazed me with how strong she is, but also with how disciplined and determined she can be. She had a great time at the race and is floating on air with pride for having done this. She also showed beautiful race etiquette on the course (just like her big brother) and it was a real pleasure to run with her.

She's in no hurry to do another race, but I'm sure she'll be back when she's a bit older. Like Rachel said to her - you'll find yourself getting addicted to these things!

OH!!! Our finish time! I really didn't know how long this would take her, and was hoping for about an hour.


She sure showed me.

We finished in 43:59.


As for the race itself? This was a very, very fun run and was an incredibly well-organized event on a beautiful course. I'll definitely be back in 2012!


  1. How fun!!! I'm glad the race went so well for you and your daughter! I love those womens races when they spoil you!

  2. I was initially against women's races, but I've totally changed my tune. What a great experience for you and your daughter!