March 26, 2012

San Diego Race for Autism 5k Race Recap

This weekend I ran the San Diego Race for Autism 5k with my son, D. It was his second 5k (his first was this past Thanskgiving Day, and we had an absolute blast doing it.

Let me back up to why I did this race in the first place. I don't usually do 5ks. There's nothing wrong with 5ks; in fact, when I first started running 12 years ago that was the only distance I did. But now, when I sign up for a running race, I prefer it to be a half marathon, my favorite racing distance. To me, it's not worth paying to do a 5k, especially since my usual weekday run is 3 miles, almost the 3.1 distance of a 5k. My race budget is tight, so I'd prefer to spend my money on half marathons (and triathons).

But I signed up for this race for two reasons. First, and most importantly, for my son. We had such a great time at the Turkey Trot in November that I wanted to do more 5ks with him. He's only 7, and he likes to run, so doing a 5k with him is pure joy for me. I want to build on his enthusiasm and hopefully raise a runner. The second reason is that I had several friends (four, to be exact) who, all separately (they don't know each other) told me they were inspired by my running and wished they could run too. To each of them I suggested doing a 5k and they all seemed excited about the idea. I chose this particular race because it was a few months away, giving people time to train from literally no running to a 5k distance, and also because the proceeds went to a great cause, autism research.

I tried to run with D over the past few months on weekends. We didn't train as much as I would have liked, but he did get up to two miles (doing a run/walk). During the November 5k he walked almost the entire second half, so I really wanted to get his endurance up. Meanwhile, two of my four friends never signed up for the race in the first place, and two did.

Race morning came way too early for me. I was on the planning committee of the silent auction and gala for my son's school the night before, and was physically exhausted from the long stressful week leading up to it, not to mention the fact that I didn't get home until after midnight. Nevertheless, I woke up D and we headed down to Balboa Park. Once there, I parked and we went to find my friends. One of my friend texted me that she hurt herself and wouldn't be joining us; that left one friend to meet. D and I got our t-shirts and bibs, and found my friend W, who watched D while I ran back to the car to put our shirts away (this race didn't have a gear check, unfortunately).

Don't mind how blurry this picture is; it was taken by my 7-year old
The race itself was great! There were lots of walkers to dodge, but once we got around the initial clog we were good to go. He wanted to hold hands for most of it, which was kind of annoying in terms of running, but of course I let him; I mean, for how many more races will my son want to hold my hand for 3.1 miles? Just like the last race, he took a lot of walk breaks, but not as many as before. The weather was perfect--overcast and cool--and everyone running was in such a good mood. It was also fun to see so many kids; I'm not used to kids on the racecourse, as children don't usually do half marathons.

We crossed the finish line with him shaving about 3 minutes off his 5k race time. I was so proud of him! I was also proud of my friend, W, who did his first ever 5k (and, in fact, his first race ever!) He finished about 6 minutes after us; we waited with his family, who had come to cheer him on, and got to see him cross his first finish line. I was so proud of him, too, for this amazing accomplishment!

I am already looking for more 5k races to do this year with D. Who day he might do a half marathon with me!

1 comment:

  1. So awesome that your son raced with you! My nephew has always talked about doing a race "with grandma and papa" (my mom and step dad...the ones responsible for getting ME into running!). And we just found out he got selected for the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July which my husband and i are also doing! I hope to be able to run with children of my own too!


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