Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day No Excuses 5k, 1/4 mile Fun Run

The race was on from the moment we left the house this morning, about 25 minutes later than we were supposed to, to drive to Sacramento for the Buzz Oates No Excuses 5k. The 5k was for me, but today was a big day for Sean and Ashton, as it was their first race! They were super excited about it, and practiced running around the "entire" playground at school, and checked in periodically (read: every 5 minutes), "Everyone gets a medal, right?" Kevin drove us to Sac, and we met up with Chris, Abby and Hannah, and Dave. Both Chris and Dave ran the 5k, and Dave even ran most of it with me. 3 out of 4 members is not a bad showing for Team Library Dork! :)

We made it to the race in just enough time to pick up our three bibs (the boys' and mine), find the rest of the group, pin on bibs, tie shoes and get to the start line. The boys are pictured above, before the race with their bibs on, and all excited- Ashton is all in red.

Now, just look at the above photo. Notice anything? Like how much taller my boys are than all of the other children? I went straight to the site and it didn't say anything about age limits for the different lengths, so I thought I'd sign them up for the shortest distance since it's their first race. Did I bother to check the actual even website? Probably not. Then I hear the announcer say that this is the quarter mile for the 5 and unders! Oops! By this time it was too late to pull them out and get it straightened out. So they ran.

And they won! Of course they did!

Ashton came in first,

with Sean right behind him. I was so proud of them, for running so hard, even if they could (should) have run the half mile. :) And the very best part: participation medals! Here are the three of us with our bibs on, just after their race (and before mine):

I did go talk to the race director afterward to make sure that the 3rd place boy will be mailed the plaque for first place, 'cause that's really not fair that he was competing with 6 year olds. And if you look, you can see him just behind Sean!

Next up, the 5k. The morning was beautiful, and just a bit cool- perfect sunny running conditions! Dave and I settled into our paces pretty quickly, and kept up a nice quickish clip. I was careful to assess how my back was feeling after the morning's long drive, and our faster pace, and decided it was okay to keep it up. The sun started to warm us up a bit, and by the time we finished, I was wishing I had my shorts on instead of capri-length running pants. But there was SO much oxygen, and I felt my lungs filling full with each breath, and I was able to keep my pace through to the finish, even though I was a little warm. I checked the results page (only the 5k was posted) and saw that I came in at 369 (what an awesome number!!!). I timed myself at 26:17, which was about a minute faster than I was expecting, after dragging through the Moms on the Run 5k I ran with Dave on Mother's Day a mere 2 weeks ago, with my slowest PR of 27 and change (I didn't register early, so I wasn't timed). I came in just ahead of Dave (this time!), but a full 10 minutes behind Chris. Yay Chris! He ran it in 16:32, and was pleased with his time. Chris was 4th overall, but only 32nd with the strange age-graded times they calculated (mine was 22:55! Whoo hoo! Now THAT would be an awesome PR to have!).

After the race, we all headed to the River City Brewing Co. for lunch. They have great food, and even better beer! I took a small sip of each of the samplers, and liked at least 3 of them- enough that I'd sit and drink a full glass of, if I were in the mood, and had some pizza to go with it.

Kevin got a liter of the Hefeweizen, which was my favorite- it had an almost lemony finish.

Then, we were off to the Sacramento Zoo! I got to impress everyone (or so I like to think) with all my trivial knowledge of random animals. We saw red pandas, various species of lemur (my favorite right after snow and spotted leopards!), giraffes, flamingos,

a snow leopard (of which I didn't get a picture of this time because he was mostly hiding in the foliage), and the tiger! Ashton LOVES tigers! I think he could have stood there watching the tiger all day long. "I wrote my animal report on tigers Mommy!" Me: "Yes, I know. We researched databases online last week about tigers, didn't we?" :)

And of course, we just HAD to take a break for the carousel! Sean chose the great Bald Eagle,

and I persuaded Ashton to climb up on the snow leopard:

I didn't think to take a picture of all of our group together, so here is a random shot of Dave yawning:

What a great day! I ran (with minimum protesting from my lower back), the boys got to run their first race, we tried out a new restaurant that I'll be sure to return to next time I go through Sac, and I got to take the boys to the zoo! And as an extra special bonus, I played leap-frog with a Lambourghini for about an hour on I-80 on the way home:


Turi said...

Looks like it was an awesome day. Sorry I couldn't fill out the Dork squad...

Gretchen said...

How awesome--nice job! Those boys are so adorable!!

RunnerDude said...

Oh man, what a great day! The kids look awesome at their first race!

slowrunner77 said...

great day, and the boys did great, even if they were ringers :) next time...Fairytaleland!!!

slowrunner77 said...

...even if Ashton was in a RED SOX JERSEY!~!~

Gretchen said...

Yeah, I was going to do some smack-talkin' about the Red Sox shirt too. But, you know, we'll save it for the post-season, okay? ;)

HiAltDawg said...

Hey, if you ain't cheatin'--you ain't tryin'. Dude & Sweet are my most favoritest runners ever (several notches above Rosie Perez).

And, I totally approve of Sweet rockin' the Boston John Smotlz's gear. Except they spelled John Smotlz R-E-D S-O-X.

SnowLeopard said...

Kevin has requested me to say that the Red Sox shirt was a gift from his Boston-faring brother, and that we (yes, apparently WE) are all die-hard Dodgers fans. (The red shirt just happened to match his red board shorts, ok? :)

slowrunner77 said...

most definitely NOT ok! You don't put your child (YOUR CHILD) in a Boston shirt just to match a stinkin' pair of shorts! Are you kidding me? And you call yourselves Dodger fans. You don't have to wear a gift unless that person is around, so that lame excuse is not valid either. Bad Amber...BAD!

Turi said...

I've always thought football rivalries were ridiculous anyway...