Sunday, May 22, 2011

Memories with Katie: Running.

A couple of months ago, my sister Katie (aka Sweet Girl) asked me if I wanted to run the Fifth Third Riverbank Run with her on May 14.  Considering the fact that running a 5k in under 30 minutes is a goal of mine for the year, I gladly agreed to run it with her. 

Now, I am definitely not a "runner".  I have never gotten to a place where running has been enjoyable or anywhere close to pleasant.  In fact, I've set a lot of running related goals but because I dislike running so much, I usually quit before I get to a place where running is comfortable.  With my baby sister counting on me to perform, though, I knew I had to get serious about training, and I did!  It was an interesting realization that I am a highly others-motivated person and not very self-motivated.  Something I've known deep down, but until I trained for this race, I hadn't quite understood it.  There are pros and cons related to that, but that's another blog post entirely.

Katie and I decided to make a big weekend out of the race.  We found a hotel to stay at Friday night in downtown Grand Rapids so we wouldn't have to worry about driving/parking/and most importantly, waking up crazy early in the morning.  We started our night by registering for the race, then we went to the hotel to get a little dressed up for dinner, and left to meet Mom at Olive Garden.  We had a delicious dinner and so much fun during the course of the meal.  When we were finished, we decided to make a quick stop at Target where Katie and I got some matching race day attire (thanks Mom!).  We also tried on a bunch of different clothes and laughed at each other quite a bit.  Well, I suppose I should clarify: Mom and Katie laughed at me. I see more potential in some clearance items than they do.  ANYWAY.

Before the race!

Everything went really well with the race!  Unfortunately, it was raining, but by the time our race started it was more of a sprinkle.  We set off at the 10 minute mile pace and got started with thousands of other racers.  Katie and I both felt quite good during the first mile, pretty good during the second mile, and I think Katie still felt pretty good during the third mile but I was strrruggling.  I think it was the rain plus a couple of small hills (I only ever run on flat roads haha) that got me.  We ended up with a chip time of 31:43 which isn't below the 30 minute goal we had set,  but we both felt great about it in the end!  

Immediately after the race.  I think my face expresses how I was feeling the last mile better than my words ever could.
Mom and Josh made the trip out to watch which meant the world to both of us.  As we neared the finish line we spotted them right away, due to a bright yellow duck umbrella that has floated around our family for a few years.  After we noticed the duck umbrella, we saw that Mom had even made a sign for us.  Having our own personal cheering section was a great feeling!

I'm also happy to share that I have continued running since the race, and have finally gotten to a point where running is even kind of enjoyable! I've learned that I need to run for me, and not for anyone else, and to listen to my body closely as I'm running.  When I desperately feel like walking, I walk.  When I know I'm being a baby and can push myself harder, I push harder.  Learning to run for myself and my own expectations has really transformed my running experiences.  Also, celebrating every little achievement was a big deal for me and I really appreciated sharing each milestone ("I ran a 10 minute mile!") with Katie and Josh.  I am still planning on breaking my under '30 minutes goal' at some point this summer!  This first race was such a great experience though, and I loved making such a fun memory with my baby sister.  Several times throughout the race I made sure to mentally relish in the moment.  It was a sweet memory with my Sweet Girl.


  1. What a great way to spend some time with your sister! Great job on your race!

  2. 1. I am proud of you!
    2. How funny that w/o planning it, both of us who have always hated running started around the same time.
    3. Let's go running around Slayton Lake this summer! I say Slayton because it's pretty and quite covered so it won't be as hot. Then we can jump in the water when we are finished!

  3. Great job leslie and katie.
    Gramms love reading your blogs,love your camera pictures