Sunday my son and I ran the Autumn Leaves 5 mile run. This was a big deal for him, as it was his first 5 mile race! As promised I ran with him the entire length of the race and it was a blast! It was a little hard waking up early the day after Halloween, but we did it. I tried to convince him to eat some oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, but he wanted a Power bar instead.
We arrived at the Farmpark around 8:15. When we arrived Jeanette Spada soon introduced herself, a cool chick who is training for her first half! Hopefully we'll run more races with her! Mark Anson then came up, hydration pack in tow. He let me test it out during the race, since I was questioning whether or not I would like one. (I have been procrastinating on this issue for quite some time now). Mark uses a 2 liter REI hydration pack, and it was AWESOME! I couldn't believe it! I went out that day and bought one for myself. While it wasn't an REI (I didn't want to wait for an online order to be shipped, my patience got to me) it works well. It's a Camelbak 1.5 liter for women. I still like Mark's pack better, but this one is pretty good, too. I thought for sure I would hate the pack, water sloshing around, etc., etc. but this was not the case. Thanks Mark!
At the starting line:
We took our place and listened to the instructions. (Ready, set, horn blows). Radames was ready! All of a sudden, there goes the horn! "Hey, I didn't hear them say ready set" My son said. Truth is, I didn't hear it either, but I just told him "Well I guess we're ready now!" And we were off.
On the course:
When we reached the first mile my son was pretty surprised, saying he thought we had been running only a couple of minutes. I told him that was great, and how good he was doing. It was probably because of all the talking! I swear he talked more during the race than he did all week long at home. He had volunteered at the Farmpark's Haunted Hayrides the entire month of October, and took pleasure in pointing out many things. "This is where this happened, this is where I did this, this is where I met, etc., etc."
The most fun part of the race, in my opinion, was running through part of the corn maze. It was slippery, muddy and exciting! My son liked seeing Michael Myers on the course. Before we knew it the race was over and he completed his first "official" 5 mile run! He ran it in 54 minutes and 53 seconds. I'm so proud! He proudly sported his Autumn Leaves race shirt all day.
Today - My 25 mile long run:
A new trail system and my first hydration pack. Both were awesome. There were so many trails to choose from, it was like a great big playground to me! I am seriously kicking myself for not getting here sooner. My hydration pack did me well, and other than my water it had enough space for my keys, cell, power bar, and energy shot ( tried AMP for the first time today). Since I had so far to run I did not worry about how long the trails were and did lots of exploring. I enjoyed so many trails, each with their own unique personality. It soon became my favorite running spot. At the halfway point I stopped at a waterfall for a quick munch on my Power Bar. An older man came up behind me and said "So you're a runner, huh?" We talked for awhile, and truthfully I could have stayed all day and listened to his stories. He used to be a runner - but ran into knee issues and had to stop. He ran 7 marathons, qualified for Boston but never went and was even training for the Olympics at one point! During training, duty called. World War II. All these stories, but the story that gave him the biggest smile and heartiest laugh was the story of how he ran a marathon with his son. With a grin on his face he said he had beat his son by a whole 25 minutes! It's unfortunate that this man had knee problems - you could tell he really loved to run. Kudos to him for still getting to the park though! I had a smile on my face for the rest of my run, thinking how lucky I was to have heard his great stories.