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Worst 5K in the history of the world!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yesterday, I ran a 5K race that redefined definition of “hard run". When I left my house the temperature was - 1 °F. At race time the temperature had hit a balmy 10.7 ° F.

The cold wasn’t the worse part. The entire course was a sheet of glare ice! I kid you not! As we stood at the starting line the announcer cautioned, “Runners, take extreme care. You will not set a PR today”. A guy in front of me turned around and shouted to the group on runners, “Remember, rubber side down!”

I was standing next to my daughter, Katie. My son Ben was at the front of the pack. The field was small. Only 300 hardy souls were lined-up. The PA system blared, “Runners get ready!” Katie turned to me and said, “Dad, this NOT a good idea!” I shrugged. The PA system shouted “GO!” We all surged forward very slowly. OMG, the icy surface was rock hard! At about 200 meters there was a 90 turn. Three runners in front of me went down hard! Some other runners stopped to help the fallen. As a passed the group, I could see one lady was bleeding and hurt. I slowed way down. My daughter picked up speed and disappeared. I was thinking, “Bad idea Katie.” At the next corner another runner went down. I tip-toed around the corner, slid sideways and caught myself. I slowed down some more. I looked at my Garmin timer. When the race started, I had been moving at a 7:30 min/mile pace. I was now jogging at a 9:30 pace! I tried to pick up the pace. My back foot slipped out. I twisted sideways and nearly fell. I caught myself. Although I didn’t feel it at the time, I think this is the point where a sprained my right ankle.

Typical of a Colorado road race, the elevation change along the course was 350 feet. Not only were we running on an ice skating rink, we were running on a hilly ice skating rink! After what seemed like an eternity, the finish line came into view. I didn’t even try to kick. I just kept jogging along trying to keep the rubber side down. I crossed the finish line at an embarrassing slow 29:45. Katie and Ben were waiting for me. Both were wounded. Katie had fallen and hurt her hip. Ben had gone down and blown-out his shoulder. Kate had turned-in a 26:01. Ben was upset that he only ran a 23:56. We were all 4 to 6 minutes off our normal race pace. This was a bad race.

All the runners were pretty subdued after this race. We did manage to cheer-on the last runner. She raised her arms above her head as she crossed the finish line. Ben was uncharacteristically charitable. He turned to me and said, “She might be the last runner, but she beat thousands of people sitting on their butts at home!”

Amen!





Here is the race course near the finish line. By the end of the race there was a thin sheet of water over the ice, which made the course really slippery. You are looking at the best part of the course here. Note the pile of icy snow on the right. The race organizers tried in vain to plow this part of the course. You can barely make out some runners clawing their way up the slippery hill.





Here are Ben and Katie after the race. Their smiles belie the fact the both are injured. We did not stick around for the award ceremony and party. Katie was 1st in her age group. Ben was 5th and I was 8th.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRONGRANNIE 3/22/2010 2:08AM

    That sounds truly awful! I hope you have not done too much of an injury to your ankle and hope your kids have recovered. Nice placing tho'!

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HARRINGTON5 3/22/2010 12:46AM

    What a nice picture of your son and daughter! You, my friend are just amazing. I honestly cannot even imagine going out in weather like that. I think you deserve a medal for just being there. I am really a fair weather runner. If it rains, I'm ready to hang up my shoes! Great job.

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GAZELK 3/21/2010 9:15PM

    Sounds like a pretty good race to me. Despite the conditions, you turned in a pretty respectable time, I'd say. I love your determination.

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DELRIO1 3/21/2010 8:21PM

    Dude!!! You are a MANIAC!!!! There will be nicer days to run. That being said..you're an inspiration as far as motivation goes! Leave something for Spring, ok! And keep up the good work!

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MAIA2011 3/21/2010 6:49PM

    I'm sorry that everybody's injured but it is a great story! Here's hoping for nicer weather at the next one!

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DAVIDMU89 3/21/2010 4:59PM

    Ben hit the nail on the head!

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MOONANGEL23 3/21/2010 4:13PM

    Wow, I can't even imagine attempting to run with those conditions (I'm a South Florida weather wimp anyway). Congrats to you and your kids for finishing so well...I'm so sorry you all got hurt in the process.

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VALLOUGH 3/21/2010 2:55PM

    You know, I read your blog title and was expecting to read through it and leave an uplifting comment to help coax you out of a mini-depression caused by not meeting your goals or not finishing or whatever it was that made it so YOU had a bad race. But it seems like you did awesome and this certainly DOES sounds like the worst 5k ever! I groaned out loud when you already ticked off sub-zero temperatures, glaring ice, and dangerous falls and finally added mountainous terrain to the list of woes!

Well, at least you know you'll beat your time next race!

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JBLIPE 3/21/2010 1:14PM

    awesome story. that just shows your dedication. speedy recovery to all of you and better races ahead. -Brad
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USFBULL 3/21/2010 1:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMJMGR 3/21/2010 11:45AM

    Wow truely a tough group to finish a race in such hard conditions. I had to add you as a friend to stay inspired by a great father, husband and Runner! I would not have made that time on my best day, not yet anyway. I hope you all are healed up soon. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KOFFEENUT 3/21/2010 11:32AM

    The times you guys turned in aren't nearly as important as the fact you were out there, ready to participate, and together as a family. What a great example for your kids!

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BSTAKINGACTION 3/21/2010 10:44AM

    Congrats to all of you for showing up and crossing the finish line. Warriors...every one. Hope its nothing too serious for any of you.

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LKEITHO 3/21/2010 10:19AM

    Hope all of you are feeling better soon! I have to say, though, that your time would be a PR for me in good conditions! Congratulations!

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ELYMWX 3/21/2010 10:05AM

    All I can say is I hope you all three have a speedy recovery and get to do this again in the summer in better conditions!

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This is sad

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I went to Sports Authority yesterday to buy a soft knee brace. I am not sure I need a brace. Last time I ran I felt a little twinge in my left knee and couldn’t find my old brace. All the running stuff was on mega-sale. I bought a long sleeve tee shirt and a pair of running shorts. When I got home my wife exclaimed, “Don’t you have enough running stuff already?” She calmed down when I told her a lot of my old stuff doesn’t fit anymore. I bought a pair of medium sized shorts. A lot of my old shorts are XL or XXL.

When I was at the Sports Authority I walked out of the dressing room and saw a woman looking through the workout clothes. She was overweight, young and pretty. When she saw me she got this distressed look on her face. She was obviously self-conscious. She turned around and beat a hasty retreat. I could tell by her actions all the things she must endure. Friends and family telling her she has a pretty face and would be really attractive if she could drop a few pounds. She feels helpless and embarrassed. She had sneaked into the near deserted store to try on a few items, and boom; there I was to inadvertently ambush her.

I wanted to chase her down and tell her that she need not be embarrassed and that she was a good person. I would have liked to have her as a SparkFriend.

I didn’t chase her down. I didn’t want to embarrass her anymore than I already had. What she didn’t know is that I admired her. I knew she felt that I had judged her. I felt sad.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARRINGTON5 3/22/2010 12:49AM

    What a kind heart you have. Yes, the situation was sad, but your thoughts are beautiful.

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CGPHILL 3/17/2010 2:04PM

  Great post, even though I feel badly for that young woman. I think we have all been in similar situation(s) and, when it happened, wanted to beat a hasty retreat as well. I hope she finds success and happiness, and that we remember how we can help in these situations (we all need the help as well). Thanks for sharing

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FOOTBALLTRENT 3/17/2010 8:48AM

    Wow! What a story. Only if you could have had an opportunity to talk to her. Oh well, things happen for a reason. Maybe you 'Sparked' her and didn't even know it!

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KIERENKIEREN 3/17/2010 8:20AM

    My heart has just gone out to this girl that I don't even know. I hope she finds SparkPeople one day and continues with her aim of working out. Who knows, maybe she's already on here? We can only hope!



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EVILKLOWN 3/17/2010 8:17AM

    Man ... I felt terrible after reading this. I'm really a "mind my own business" type but it would have been all I could do not to chase after her and talk to her (just as you said.) In the end though, it's probably best to leave people alone.

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SAYEATER 3/17/2010 8:02AM

    Funny how we let our actions be dictated by others. I was probably that girl at one point, but now I could shop for workout clothes in front of a group of Chippendales and not care. It's about me now. It is nice of you to be so sensitive to others situations, I'm sure you're a great sparkfriend to many.

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Running Slowly on Purpose

Monday, March 15, 2010

Subject #1: Running Slowly on Purpose

On Saturday I went to the local high school track with my wife, Annette, and daughter, Katie. I wanted to do some base training.

www.trifuel.com/training/triathlon-t
raining/aerobic-base-training-going-sl
ower-to-get-faster


I am trying to increase my endurance. I wanted to run for 5 or 6 miles on the resilient track surface and relax a bit. I set a nice easy pace at 9:30 min/mile and just motored along.

Predictably, Katie took off like a rocket. She took off on a cross-country run. My wife followed Katie. Katie slowed down to run with her mom. My wife's nickname is "Putt-Putt". She had that nickname when I met her. "Putt-Putt" really fits her. She has one gear when she runs. It is a good gear. She can run all day, all night, and into next week without getting tired. We all call her pace the "Putt-Putt" gear. She can sprint when she feels like it. However, she always reverts back to the Putt-Putt gear.

Katie came back to the track and blew past me. She looked back and said, "Come on old-man, keep up!" I knew she was going to say that! After I got done with my 5 mile base run, Katie wanted me to run an 800M sprint with her. I declined. I did do a couple of 200M sprints and one 400 meter sprint with her. Katie clobbered me. I am proud of her.


Subject #2: World Champion Triathlete

I have a co-worker, Mike Dibens, who is married to perhaps the best female triathlete in the world, Julie Dibens.

www.xterraplanet.com/news/press_arti
cle.cfm?id=2570


www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleN
ew.asp?section=theuae&xfile=data/theua
e/2010/march/theuae_march366.xml


Mike sends e-mail with Julie's latest victories to everyone in the company. She is amazing. I met Julie at the office Christmas party. Julie is very cool.


Subject #3: Pre-Race Meal

The night before a race is carbo-loading time. Ok, carbo-loading is probably more psychological physiological than physical. Who knows? Anyway, vegetarian bean soup is standard fare the night before a race. I buy 10-bean soup from the Women's Bean Project.

www.womensbeanproject.com/index.html

These soup mixes are extremely high quality and signed by the woman that assembled the package. How cool is that?


Subject #4: Speed Training

I am on a roll. Here are some speed training routines guaranteed to make you run faster and jump higher. Except for the first few routines, most of these are pretty difficult. As a matter of fact, these routines were compiled by my children while competing in high school and college. Try 'em - you will hate them! Remember:

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger. “ Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche died when he was 55. What does that say?



SPEED WORK
(Note: Routines 1, 2 and 3 are not bad. Routines 4, 5 and 6 are wicked, mean and nasty!)

(1) FARTLEK (complete Workout - easy)
Jog 5 minutes
Run 1 minute at fast 5K pace
Repeat
Continuous movement for 30 minutes

(2) 400 METER REPEATS (complete workout – moderately difficult)
Five minute warm-up (easy jog or brisk walk– optional stretch)
Run 4 x 400 meter repeats at a fast 5K pace.
Jog for 400 meters between repeats
Cool down with 800 meters of jogging

(3) ACCELERATION STRIDES (performed after normal daily workout - increased difficulty)
Run 100 meters by starting at a slow jog and gradually increase speed to 100 percent effort.
Walk briskly for 100M meters between repeats
Repeat 4 times.
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute walk
Total Distance = 800M

(4) THIRTY-THIRTY-THIRTIES (performed after normal daily workout - high difficultly)
Jog for 30 meters, Stride 30 meters. Sprint 30 meters. (total of 90 meters)
Rest 30 seconds
Repeat 4 to 8 times.
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute walk

(5) FORTY-TENS (Performed after normal daily workout – extremely difficult)
Jog 40 seconds, Sprint 10 seconds
Repeat 10 to 14 times
Continuous Movement
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute walk

(6) DIAMONDS (complete workout – insanely difficult)
Five minute warm-up (easy jog or brisk walk– optional stretch)
Sprint 200M
Jog 200M
Sprint 400M
Jog 200M
Sprint 800M
Walk 400M
Jog 1,600M
Walk 400M
Sprint 800M
Jog 200M
Sprint 400M
Jog 200M
Sprint 200M
Jog 200M
Sprint 200M
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute slow jog

Total Distance = 6K


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LASOLLER 3/27/2010 7:22PM

    I really enjoyed your blog. Just this week, I read the trifuel article. I am toying with the idea of training with a HRM. Do you train with one? I also enjoyed your links about your tri friend. Very impressive. Which bean soup is your favorite?

I love that your family run together. Steve and I usually run the same events, but we train at different times of the day, I am a morning person and he is an afternoon runner.

I see you live in Colorado, have you done the BolderBoulder? Steve and I have ran it twice. We just make a vacation out of it.

Thank you for your supportive words in my tri adventure. Tomorrow we are attending swimming drill with the tri club.

Have a great weekend.

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HARRINGTON5 3/16/2010 10:16AM

    I just think it is the coolest thing that you and your family share the same interests. What a pleasure that must be. Your daughter sounds like a typical kid taunting her dad and your wife is just precious. I would love to have her skill and run all day at any speed. I make 15 bean soup all the time and I just love it. Thanks for sharing all the great information.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 3/15/2010 11:34PM

    good for you. If I tried your work out I would be scraping my lungs off the track.

I love that your wife's name is putt putt. I am with her, slow and steady!

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GAZELK 3/15/2010 9:28PM

    It's fun to run fast, but I can't do it for that long. I think I would die if I did the diamonds.

Also, not sure about the bean soup. Sounds delicious, but might not be the best food to have eaten the night before you'll be runnng in a pack of strangers. Do THEM a favor and go for something without beans :-)

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You thought that was fast? I thought it was fast. Well was it?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I like the movie "Maverick" with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. In the movie Brett Maverick is playing cards with the notorious John Wesley Hardin. Hardin goes for his gun. Maverick does a lightning fast draw and points his gun at Hardin's nose, Annabelle, played by Jodie Foster, leans over to Hardin and asks, "You thought that was fast? I thought it was fast. Well was it?"

I just love that line!

Eleven months ago I started running. I had lost some weight and thought I might be able to run without putting too much strain on my body. I joined the "C25K - Running for Beginners!" SparkTeam. I faithfully adhered to the C25K program. I was surprised how well the program worked. I started adding mileage. I was a runner again!

I ran a lot.

In May 2009 I did my first timed 5K. My time was 29:54! I ran 5K in under 30 minutes by 6 whole seconds! I was really happy! I decided to set a totally unreasonable goal of running a 5K in under 24 minutes. I lost some more weight and got faster. In July 2009 I posted a 26:42. I was jazzed. I was under 27 minutes by 18 seconds! A week later I hurt myself on an 8 mile run over uneven terrain. I was diagnosed with Iliotibial band syndrome. I spent 6 weeks in physical therapy. I struggled to get back up to speed.

Two weeks ago I traveled to Phoenix on business. I took my running stuff and my Garmin 305. I went for a run after I arrived and really pushed it. I ran 5K in 24:36! Holy smokes! I am so close to my goal.

I rested a day. I found a great place to run - a nice flat dirt road along a canal. As I dressed for my run I saw myself in the mirror. I had those runner veins lacing my legs. I also had six pack abs! I kind of looked, well, like a runner!

I walked and jogged a little down to the canal to warm-up. When I got to the canal I saw that endless stretch of dirt. I took a big breath. I gritted my teeth. I hit the start button on my timer and launched myself down the road. The sun was warm. I was moving well. I glanced at my timer. My pace was 7:29. I knew that was a good pace. I was running smoothly. At 2.6 miles my timer read 19:40. All I had to do was cover the last ˝ mile in under 4:20 to finish below 24 minutes. I did the math in my head - 8:40 min/mile pace. I thought, “I can do that. A half mile is not far.” All of a sudden I could feel myself slowing down. “Oh no!” I hit the wall! I noticed there were telephone poles on the side of the road. I just tried to pick-off telephone poles. I told myself, “Run fast to the next pole”. I was out of gas. I felt like giving up. But I could make it to the next pole and the pole after that. I glanced at my timer - 3.07 miles. I told myself, “Keep running.” My legs felt like lead. The distance display seemed to be frozen. I heard the voice in my head, “Keep running.“ I was hurting. The distance display said 3.09 miles. “Keep running! Almost there.” I passed 3.1 miles. Just a bit more. Finally the display showed 3.11 miles! I hit the timer stop button. I slowed to a walk. Sweat stung my eyes. I blinked twice and wiped my eyes. The timer showed 23:12! OMG! I ran the last ˝ mile in 3 minutes and 32 seconds!

“I thought it was fast. Well was it?" Maybe.

Is 21 minutes flat possible? I don't really know. It’s worth a try. Then I will be fast.


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAZELK 3/15/2010 9:31PM

    That seems really fast. Maybe you could have beaten your daughter in that 5K. You are Mr. Speed!

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DAVIDMU89 3/15/2010 8:55AM

    Very impressive.

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SARA_ANN12 3/15/2010 8:06AM

    Wowza! I just did my first 5k and was blown away by 34:04! I saw the results of this race and the fastest male was about 18:56, female was 19:00ish so I think 21 is doable. For someone like me though, I know that it would probably take me 6 months just to get down to the 30:00 mark! All in all though, I know if I kept at it- I could eventually (even if it did take a year!) get down more and more. So yes, I think it's totally doable if you have the desire to do so- it looks like you do :)

But kudos on 23:12--that's speedy!

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JADERUNNING 3/15/2010 7:38AM

    Wow! You are a machine! emoticon

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 3/15/2010 6:59AM

    Great job digging deep.
Right now my running is on hold till my asthma gets under control. I am limping on short walk runs.
But you did awesome.
Congrats!

You should check out Kayakid's spark page. he is inspiring just like you!
:) Jeanne

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SMARTIEBEE 3/15/2010 12:21AM

    Yep! I think that was fast! I ran 11.1 miles today at a 12:32 pace, and I thought THAT was fast. I guess it was for me - but holy cow - 23:12 is really fast!

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GSCOTTC 3/15/2010 12:09AM

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Take care

Scott

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KGPOSSIBLE 3/15/2010 12:08AM

    That is a great time! 24:00 is my next 5k goal. I've been doing 10k's and my best 5k is a little over 26 minutes but you know how hard it is to shave off a minute even if it doesn't sound like much.

I think fast is all relative....it depends on the crowd you hang with...lol!!!!!!!

Great blog!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

and emoticon!!

Kim

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ELYMWX 3/14/2010 11:56PM

    AWESOME!

Now you just need your kids to agree...

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HARRINGTON5 3/14/2010 11:55PM

    You are not fast,you are a blur! WOW, what a run. You are so dedicated. I don't know how you can dig deep and run like that when you are out there alone. I guess that is the difference between a true runner and someone that is just playing at it. You are awe inspiring and I'm motivated to get out and run in the morning. Thanks pal, you never cease to amaze me, Cynthia
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Oh, that is just peachy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I signed up for a 5K race on March 20th in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I made the mistake of telling my son Ben about this race. He exclaimed, “Dad, I have friends that running that St. Paddy’s day race! You and I can run together!”

Oh, that is just peachy!

Ben is an ex-collegian runner. He is fast. Not just recreational runner fast - he is elite runner fast! Nearly every time I run with him I end-up injured! He is 29. He can jog a 5K in under 18 minutes. He is really fast when he kicks it in high gear!

My daughter Katie called me, “Hey dad, Ben told me you are running a 5K on the 20th. I will be home on spring break and will run the race with you!”

Oh, that is just peachy!

Katie has blazing speed. Her room is full of medals and ribbons she won in high school track and cross country. She has a state championship patch on her letter jacket.

I can hear my kids now, “Come on old man - pick it up.” My reply, “Hey, this is as fast as I go!” I am not particularly slow. I run too hard when I race anyway. I don’t need my kids goading me into running way faster than I should. I am happy about this family togetherness stuff. I just can’t get over a vague feeling that my kids are running the race just to tease me!

Oh, that is just peachy!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KGPOSSIBLE 3/15/2010 12:12AM

    I love it!!!

Like I said in my comment on your other blog...being fast is all relative and it depends on the crowd you hang with.....after reading this blog I guess you better find a new crowd.... emoticon

Have a fun race!!

Kim

P.S. Don't get injured.....

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 3/14/2010 11:09AM

    This blog made me smile. My daughter is a beautiful runner. She and I can take 10 strides and she is 20 feet ahead of me. Born to run!
Just think of the memory of the day. The day you all ran it together, not just the day that they beat the old man to a pulp.
Enjoy and good luck.
Jeanne

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IRONGRANNIE 3/12/2010 11:45PM

    Next month I am running 2k with my 4yo granddaughter and she can run faster than me! She has to have an adult run with her because she is only 4. I hope I can keep up! Drat these speedy kids! Have fun with your kids!

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GAZELK 3/12/2010 9:07PM

    Sounds like your whole family has good running genes, so maybe you should kick into high gear during the race. Who knows, maybe there is a fast runner in you somewhere. I'm a slow runner, but have definitely gotten faster as I've lost weight. Now, I might even pass a few people during my run.

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DAVIDMU89 3/12/2010 10:50AM

    Dog,
I am running a 5k this weekend with 2 of my 14 year olds, I am going with the flow... if they want to push the pace .. i will let them go! Have fun, I know I will.

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ELYMWX 3/12/2010 9:12AM

    I guess they are too old to ground them for the day? Old age and treachery and all...

Good luck and enjoy the "race"!

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JOSOP2009 3/12/2010 9:02AM

    Go Slow, enjoy the race, yada yada yada. Bull!! I say it's time to remind those kids where the athleticism and good genes came from! For all us old guys, go Kick Some Butt!!!

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JADERUNNING 3/12/2010 8:43AM

    Wow!I am a slower runner and I know what you mean. My brother and I did a 1/2 marathon together and the whole while I was trying to keep up to the pace he was slowing down to. Good Luck and have fun!

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BSTAKINGACTION 3/12/2010 7:22AM

    HAAAAA! Come on, buddy....step up to that challenge...ooooorrrrr, you could just tell them you're training really hard to learn how to run SLOW. emoticon

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JACLIGHT 3/12/2010 7:16AM

    I would kill if I could run with my dad - they just want to spend time with you and do something together that y'all enjoy.

Don't take this for granted.

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1FAVOREDLADY 3/12/2010 7:08AM

    Wow, How impressive that you all are together in this. Don't worry about what they do. Tell them to go at there own pace and you will go at yours. The point is to accomplish and enjoy the race isn't it? Be gracious if they tease ya. Above all don't hurt yourself trying to impress anyone. Sorry I am so advising . It's the mothering in me. HAVE A TERRIFIC TIME !

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BDENOON 3/12/2010 6:46AM

    I don't think you will find that they are doing it to tease yo.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that this is there way of proving that they are proud of your accomplishments and believe in what it is you are doing.
I think you will find out that your kids are really proud of their dad and want to be near someone that has given them the drive to achieve.
Maybe, just maybe they think you are "just peachy"...
Enjoy the run!


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