If you’ve been following recently, you will remember that my boyfriend, Manny, has recently taken up running. One day, he (to my surprise) mentioned that he’d like to have some medals hanging up in his office from some running races. I have a stack of running bibs that I have hanging along with medals as a kind of ‘shrine to running’ in our apartment. It’s always motivating to look back on what you’ve done to prove to yourself that you can do the same (or better) at the next race. I immediately capitalized on this interest and took him to buy his first pair of official running shoes at Fleet Feet. He walked away with a fresh pair of Mizunos and since then…(drum roll please) he’s been running regularly!
I always find it motivating to have a race or some type of fun run on the schedule, so I registered us both for the Bastille Day 5k. It’s a relatively small race on the day of France’s independence celebration. I’m a sucker for all things french (mostly wine, cheese, and bread) so I thought it would be fun for us. Manny and I met up in Lincoln Park and walked to get our bibs and shirts. It was a zoo when we arrived, but we had a minute to chat with a friend at the Muscle Milk tent and watch the 8k begin a few minutes before we headed to the start line ourselves. We both had tunes playin’ as we anxiously waited for the run to start. (I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of being impatient in the ‘corral’ before a race. After rushing to get to the start line, the last thing I want to do is wait around.)
The race began and we started running at a good pace. The usual shuffle and bob between other runners was pretty smooth and we were able to stay together for the most part. Manny really surprised me. We’ve jogged together a few times since he started running regularly and each time I think I’ve been impressed. He was holding a steady pace. The adrenaline of passing other runners was kicking in, I could tell. At Mile 1, we stopped to drink our water and chatted for a few minutes. I was happy to hear he wasn’t having any knee pain (the race was on a trail, rather than pavement, which definitely helped). Start up the tunes. And we’re off.
Mile 2 was a bit slower. We enjoyed the view and were happy to have a bit more space as the runners thinned out a bit. After passing water station #2, Manny got a small side stitch and we walked past the boat harbor. It was perfect weather for a run. Usually a July evening would be hot and sticky, but there was a breeze coming off the lake and we were happy to be running in shaded areas. At Mile 2.75, I asked Manny if we were going to race to the end. We decided against racing, but we did decide that we’d both do a surge towards the finish line.
And, to be honest, Manny was blazin’! I think I should bring him to my next speed workout and have him push me for some 400 meter strides because that man can RUN. At this point, his legs are ready to go but his lungs are still adjusting. For someone that has only been running somewhat regularly for about 2 months, he’s doing great. And I can’t wait to see what he does next. Our unofficial time was 32:33 with 3 short walking periods, which probably means that we ran a 9:00 average for the majority of the race.
We stayed at the ‘block party’ for a bit and enjoyed a beer (even thought it wasn’t free). We scarfed down some Swirlz cupcakes and headed home. What a perfect way to spend a summer evening! 🙂