It was just a year ago that Stella started expressing an interest in running with me more. For her first run we went out to Soderberg and ran up Towers to Stout where I had forgotten a hat along side the trail earlier that morning. She ran the entire mile back to the Soderberg lot without stopping that day, her first day out. Since then there are days she runs more and days she takes more walk breaks. I think I've done a good job not pushing too hard while trying to get her out at least 1-2 times a week. Last summer and fall she didn't go out a lot but this winter we have more, targeting the Sharin' O' The Green 5K as her first 5K.
|Stella knows fashion
I was unsure what to expect for a time. Most of our recent runs have had running portions of less than 1/4 mile before we break for a walk. A 35:00 2.1 mile run wasn't uncommon. I know she can run a mile without stopping though so who knows. She could have been around 37-38 minutes and could have finished at 50 minutes and neither would have surprised me.
She was unhappy about waking up at 7:15 Saturday morning and a little chilly, but excited, as race time neared. The 2800 person crowd made for a crazy start but we were far enough back that we ran slowly until the crowds thinned. I think this helped Stella's pacing a lot. We ran until 1/2 mile where I offered up a walk break. Nah, let's keep going. At 1.25 miles she took me up on the walk but we were running again by mile 1.5 and ran until a bit after the mile 2 sign. This walk break was shorter and soon we were running again. Stella was chatting the whole way and having a blast. We took one last short walk break at the 4K point (34:00, 51 seconds ahead of her 4K time last spring) and then headed out for the final half mile. As we got close Stella wanted to kick it in but I reigned her back, thinking she might blow up if she kicked too early as she had already run more than I expected. I should have let her go. When my watched beeped at 3 miles I told her to go and for a second I had trouble keeping up. She ran the entire last stretch at an average 8:07 pace. 40:28 for a finish time and she ran progressively faster all race long.
|About 1/2 mile in
Stella has fantastic theories and observations on all things in life. Her 2 observations from the race were A) she ran so fast at the end because her legs were numb and they were just flopping around and going fast was the only way to not fall down and B) she was amazed at how she improved as the race went on. B) doesn't seem too strange until I finally realized she wasn't amazed at running negative splits, she was amazed that her muscles were adapting and getting stronger during the race, thus the faster paces as the race went on.
|At the finish, I'm not sure who is prouder
I had a blast running with her and she did too. She was a little mad that she couldn't go run up Towers with me and Tonks later that afternoon. I think this race re-kindled her love of running so I hope to keep it going through the spring and summer.
|Tonks got her turn later that afternoon