Four years ago I ran in my first organized race since I graduated from high school when I participated in a sprint level triathlon. Since then I got in shape, got out of shape, lost 30 pounds, and have been in pretty decent shape since then. I’ve also managed to run in a half marathon, 2-200 mile relays, a number of 5Ks, 10Ks, a 20K, trail runs, road runs, you name it. After all of these races, my last two have been the most enjoyable for me.
My first half marathon was a year ago at the Lake Country Half Marathon in Oconomowoc. This year, a friend of mine told me that his son of 11 was going to run the 5K version of that same event and he was going to run it with him. I thought this was a great idea and immediately convinced Ethan it to do it with me. Throughout the summer he “trained” off and on, but never wavered from the course, he was going to run the race with me. Well, my buddy’s son ended up not running the race, but Ethan and I ran it. He didn’t train a whole lot, and when he did, he ran SLOW, so I figured we would finish the race in around 40 minutes. When we finally got to the race, though, he ran the whole thing and completed it in just over 30 minutes, that’s about a 9:40/mile pace. It was very gratifying to run a race with Ethan. It took me 34 years to discover the joys of staying in shape - I only hope that I can instill it in him early so he doesn’t have to go through that painful period of getting in shape once he’s well beyond it!
My most recent race was today when Jenny, Tim Z, Steve K, and I participated in the Warrior Dash. This race is one in a series of many “mud runs” that have been popping up over the last couple of years. It’s a 5K run in a farm field with a bunch of obstacles thrown in. Jenny and I ran it together and had a great time! A sign reading “Danger, Obstacle Ahead” would warn us of each impending contraption to slow our pace. Obstacles included climbing walls, cargo nets, barbed wire crawls, fires we had to jump over, and finally a 50 foot long mud pit that you had to swim through to evade the barbed wire hung over it. It was a very fun event, very well run, but what made it most fun was doing it with Jenny.
I’m pretty lucky to be able to enjoy this pastime with my family. I’m really looking forward to the day when we can corrupt Quinny into doing these crazy things. Maybe one day I can cross a finish line with my whole family beside me - that would be fun.