I'm sure you've had friends say, "I said I'd never be a runner but I decided to try out the couch to 5k program and now I'm running marathons!!!"
Well, that's not me.
I will never be a runner.
I have been converted to a 5k cheer'er on'er!
My friend Kirsten, who I hadn't seen in over ten years, recently came back home to Indiana to visit and run her first 5k. I've been following her training on her blog and have been super impressed by her accomplishments.
I've read other runner's blogs in the past and I remembered reading how much it helped them to have a cheering section at their races. So I decided that I wanted to go to cheer Kirsten, Katie and Kristi on at the 5k. (We all went to high school together).
I wanted to make some signs to take with me so I decided to enlist the help of Gracie. When you say "craft," Gracie comes running. I knew she would be excited to color on poster board and also realized she would want to come to the race with me after being invested in the signs. Win/Win.
I stopped at the craft store to pick up supplies before picking up the kids at day camp. Gracie saw the pink and yellow signs in the van and said, "oooohhh, what's that?!?" I let her in on my plan and she was ready to get to work.
Hmm, watch should I draw next?
The race was last Saturday. It was the Little Red Door's Unite 2 Fight Race Against Prostate Cancer and was held in downtown Indianapolis. The race started at 8 a.m. Gracie woke me up around 7 a.m. and asked if it was time to go to the race yet? She was a little excited.
We got dressed and put the signs and camera in the car. Could she take her doll? Sure?
That was the first of at least 100 questions on our 20 minute ride downtown and 10 minute walk to our cheering spot. That girl can ask some questions!
At one point Gracie said something that made me realize she thought we were going to see a car race. I guess I hadn't been very clear. I explained to her that we were going to watch people running. Then she was excited and said she hoped Kirsten won the race. I then had to explain to her that runners aren't trying to win these types a races, they just want to finish with a good time. Yeah, she didn't really understand.
On the drive up Gracie said a cloud out her window looked like Tinkerbell's Tree. I handed her my camera at a stop light to take a photo of it. I wish that pole hadn't been in the way.
Gracie's Tinkerbell Tree
Anyway, we made it to the finish line of the race and started walking backwards along the route. We found a good spot right before the runners turn the corner and see the finish line.
Gracie ready to cheer on the racers.
On our walk to find a good spot we had seen some really fast runners go by so I knew we would be sing Kristi soon. I had Gracie hold up the yellow sign with Kristi's name and we waited. Actually, it was Kristi who saw us first and waved at us. I grabbed my camera quickly and took a quick snap.
Yeah, that was fun!
As we waited for Kirsten and Katie we watched the other runners go by. Gracie was still holding the sign and I noticed that everyone was looking at her and smiling. I don't know if it's because she's so stinking cute or because they like the colorful sign (probably both) but a lot of the runners were cheering us on as they passed by.
Soon I found myself clapping for the runners and walkers as they went by. If it looked like someone was struggling I yelled out "you're almost there!"
I knew Kirsten was wearing a pink top and green shorts and told Gracie to keep an eye out for her. Knowing this I was able to see Kirsten coming from pretty far away. I started shouting "Go Kirsten" and told Gracie to wave the sign. Having not seen her in over 10 years and knowing how much this race meant to her made it a pretty emotional experience for me. Happy emotional. I took a couple of quick photos and she was on her way. I was happy to know she was about to see the finish line and have her boys ready to give her hugs.
Next up was Katie. I think she saw us first too. She ran over and I think we gave each other a hug. It was great to see her. I believe this was her first 5k. It was exciting to be a part of her experience.
Gracie and I packed up or signs and headed to the finish line to find our friends. We had some quick hugs with friends and family and then said we'd all see each other in a few hours. Kirsten's mom was hosting a birthday party at her place in honor of Kirsten.
Here are some photos from the party.
Happy birthday Kirsten. (I had two parties on Saturday and ate a total WW 68.5 pts. Proud to say I got all those points back from exercise this week!)
Katie, Gracie and Jacob
Jacob and Niklas
Duck Duck Goose - Jacob is too cool for this game!
Me and Kirsten
No Zumba on Wednesday. We went to dinner with my parents at a Mexican restaurant. I told my mom that we would help each other stay out of the chips and we did. I didn't even have to resort to putting up menu barriers so we didn't have to see the salsa. I was exhausted and went to bed at 8:30. I'm ready for Zumba tonight!