So I might have mentioned it before, but there were 24 of us staying at my sister's lake house. This included all my siblings and their spouses and offspring, and my mother, step-father, father (haha my mom and dad and step-dad all get along fine), my aunt and a few boyfriends (not mine). Of the 24 people there, 22 agreed to do this year's Friendly Frolic, which is a 2 mile race. Guess how many participated? FOUR!
We all stayed up late on Friday night talking and laughing hysterically. Most of us enjoyed a few cocktails and some of us had more than our fair share (not me). I did drink 4 beers, but it was over the course of the evening and I quit well before I went to bed.
It was clear, even the night before, that no one was up for the frolic. You see, most of my family members aren't really runners, but they had agreed to do it for the camaraderie. Everyone was going to do their own thing which included walk/run or walking entirely. It was supposed to be a family affair.
Instead, we woke up around 8:00 (the race started at 9:30) and everyone was giving various excuses about bagging the whole thing. I'll admit I was wishy washy. The only person who REALLY wanted to do it was my dad. It's not that I didn't want to do it. I just get so much anxiety over short races because I'm not very fast and I feel so much pressure. So, I wasn't exactly heart broken that everyone was bailing, but I felt incredibly guilty for bailing on myself.
Finally at 9:08 (I know because I looked at the clock) Genna (my niece) stood up and said, "fine I'll do it". My dad was already dressed. With two people ready to go, I knew I had to go too. Adam (my nephew) followed suit and just like that we were now back to doing the Frolic.
We got to the race and everyone started walking to the start line. I realized I hadn't brought my phone (my music). I wasn't even prepared. I felt so rushed. My dad looked at me and asked what the plan was. He no sooner got the words out of his mouth and the start horn sounded. I replied to him, "I guess we just run".
I had told George at some point I was going for a time of 17:00, but to be honest, the thought of running an 8:30 mile for two miles scared me. I didn't know if I could do it. 8:30 is fast for me. 8:30 after 4 beers and being in the sun all day the day before seemed even faster.
Nevertheless, we were off. Everyone took off FAST. Genna and Adam are 19 and 17 years old, respectively. You know, just 20 years my junior. No big deal. Genna is extremely athletic and competitive, but isn't a runner, whereas Adam has never played sports and likes video games better than exercise. Youth does have it's advantages folks. Genna quickly pulled ahead and stayed bout 50 yards ahead of me for quite awhile. Adam, my dad and myself were running along pretty much side by side. It wasn't until the half mile mark that I could tell Adam was struggling. We had been running a quick pace, at times as low as 7:40.
As Adam started to fade back my dad started to pull ahead, but he noticed his shoes (yes both) were untied. Luckily we had SAG on the course (George and Tim on their bikes) and he pulled over for my brother to tie his shoes.
I knew it wouldn't be long and my dad would catch up. I also knew my dad had more in him to go faster and figured he'd be passing me and moving ahead soon. I was right. I'm not sure at exactly what point he passed me, but he did and then overtook Genna as well.
Genna was still about 30 to 50 yards ahead of me at the turn around point. My goal was to keep her at that distance and not allow myself to fade. As we reached the turn around, I grabbed a bottle of water. It was hard to drink water from a bottle and run at the same time so I decided to dump it on myself instead. It was an extremely hot and humid morning even for this Texas girl.
Mile 1: 8:26
I don't know what it is about an out and back course, but I seem to feel so much better mentally on the way back. I was struggling to maintain pace, but I think my mind was thinking I'd fade more so than my body.
Genna really started to struggle the last quarter of a mile (at least that was my perception). She would stop and walk maybe 10 steps and I'd yell at her to keep going and she'd go again (I wonder if she even heard me). Every time she'd walk, I'd yell and her steps became less and less. The last time she walked she only walked for 2 steps. I know she didn't want her 38 year old Aunt passing her (even if her 69 PaPa already had).
I was pushing hard to do my best and I became really focused on just running and encouraging Genna for the last quarter mile that I had forgotten about checking on my time/pace. As I started to round the last corner I saw my sister and Nicholas standing there to cheer us on. I picked up a little and tried to give it my all.
I then turned into the last 20 feet to the finish line and saw the clock and it read 16:57. I remember thinking to myself. What? I really hadn't looked at my watch at all the last mile. I guess I was so focused on watching Genna that I had forgotten what I was doing. I crossed the finish line and stopped my garmin and it read 17:00.
Mile 2: 8:34
I really couldn't believe I had done it and without really dying. I was really proud of Genna because I know it's not easy to run at that pace if you're not used to running. She stuck with it despite it being hard and finished in 16:55. My dad, as per usual, rocked and finished in 16:41 (even with a shoe tie). He amazes me. I hope at 69 years old I'm half as active.
Perhaps the person I'm most proud of though was Adam. He stuck with us all running a pretty quick pace for almost half a mile. He did so while wearing "five finger shoes" and without and prior "athletic training". He wanted to run and he did it.
We all screamed and yelled his name as he approached the last few feet and you could tell on his face that he was so happy. He sped up as he passed us by, all smiles. Adam finished in 20:30 (that's a 10:15 pace). I'd like to say youth has something to do with it (and maybe it does) but determination most definitely played a role too.
As soon as the race was over, I was so glad I did it. I had fun, did well, and got it out of the way with no regrets. I know I would have felt terrible all day if I passed up the opportunity to run. Nicholas was registered to run and wound up not wanting to do it. I certainly wasn't going to make him, but I know he regretted it. He even asked my sister if he could run in his crocs (he had come with us to observe). She didn't think it would be a good idea (nor would I have) so she didn't let him go. The point is, I know I would have been full of regret, just like Nicholas. (I think he learned an important lesson that day.) Instead, I was all smiles competing with my 3 fellow frolickers.
Yep, no regrets here.
You can read about last year's Frolic here.
Have you ever NOT done a race and regretted it?