Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cherry Blossom 5Cramp

Poor Caroline.  Her race this morning was plagued by a stubborn cramp.  It wasn't her best race, physically or time wise, but for the most part, we had fun.

The scenery was definitely beautiful. 

The 10 mile race started at 7:40; our 5k started at 8:40.  By the time we arrived to the National Mall area, we were able to see the leaders of the 10 miler up close and personal. 

They were flying!

Soon after, we walked to the 5k area and prepared ourselves for the 3.1 miles ahead.

Stylish warm up rituals ensued.

We made sure our shoes were tied,

and that our ears were warm and our hair was tied up in a fetching pony tail.

Then we  took our marks at the start line.

It all kind of goes downhill from there.  Almost immediately after we crossed the start line, Caroline complained of a cramp.  Usually, they subside pretty quickly and she's good to go for the rest of the race.  This cramp was stubborn, so we had to walk it out several times. 

It was kind of frustrating.  Especially for Caroline. 

We pushed through and ran when the cramp subsided.  However there came a time when we were approaching a very small incline and she asked to walk (which she never does...cramping aside) and I told her no.  I'm sure anyone around us would have thought I was a horrid mother, but the incline was slight and I knew she could do it.  As I told her, you have to distinguish between actual pain and discomfort.  Hills are uncomfortable, but they make you stronger.

Another time, she was whining because her mouth was dry.  The water station was near by and again, she wanted to walk, but I encouraged her to keep running.  I wasn't cracking the whip, but I didn't want her to sell herself short.

That's what I do.  I don't want her to be like me.

By the time we rounded the corner and saw the finish line, she sprinted ahead.  I asked her if I was going to beat her to the finish and she said 'NO!'  That's all the motivation she needed, because she beat me across the finish line.  She had so much gas left in her tank; if that cramp hadn't gotten the best of her, she would have smoked the race.

I'm still very proud of her.  Not every race can be great, but so long as our attitude is right, it can still be fun.

Best of all,  we saw Caroline's friend Bailey and her family along the course.  Bailey's dad ran the 10 mile race and after we were finished, we caught up with them and were able to ride the Metro home with them as well.  Then I took Bailey and Caroline for congratulatory pit stop at Dunkin Donuts.  I REALLY needed some coffee!

It may not have been the best race, but we still had fun.  I hope that I can continue to instill in Caroline a love for fitness.  Getting up early on a weekend morning, braving a cold, windy start and a painful cramp may not be considered much fun, but I'm so proud of her for taking it like a champ.

However, something tells me that the promise of a doughnut at the end has something to do with her attitude!

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