Monday, November 28, 2011

Lil Ansky's First 5k

 A few weeks ago I was deciding between 2 Turkey Trots, the Dick Meighan Memorial 5k in Upper Saddle River, NJ or the Rockland Road Runners 5 mile Turkey Trot in Congers, NY. I ran Dick Meighan in 2008 and 2009 and enjoyed the race both years. I ran in Congers last year primarily because it was my friend's first 5 mile road race and I wanted to be there to support him.

Lil Ansky (she's 10) popped in during a conversation I was having with Mrs. Ansky about which race to run and said "I'll run the 5k with you Abba." (Hebrew for Daddy). And with that, the decision was made. Lil Ansky would be running her first 5k on Thanksgiving. A big part of me was excited. I love running with Lil Ansky. We had a great time at the July 4th 2k and the Labor Day 1 mile. But part of me was also concerned, she really hasn't run much since school started. Between holidays, homework, and extracurriculars there is no time for running. Regardless, she was excited and I was excited for her.

Race day came and Lil Ansky was ready to run. The race shirt was a long sleeve tech and they had kid sized shirts available. She got a kick out of the antics of the local cross country teams. Many of whom dressed up in costumes and all of whom were chanting their school fight songs. We lined up towards the back and we were off! We started off running very easy and we chatted with other parents running with their children, many of whom were also running their first 5k. We walked when Lil Ansky needed to walk and when she was ready to run again, I picked out a landmark and said let's run to that landmark then we'd walk again. We always walked the uphills and ran the downhills. I kept encouraging her and telling her she was doing a great job. There was one last hill before the downhill finish. We stuck to the plan and walked up the hill then ran the rest of the way to the finish. A volunteer gave a medal to Lil Ansky which we later found was a piece of chocolate wrapped in gold foil. What a great idea!

Despite my constant words of encouragement, I think Lil Ansky felt like she let me down because it took her so long to finish. I told it didn't matter how long it took. What mattered was that she finished and that she had fun. When she answered yes to both of those I told her "mission accomplished!" A little later in the day before going to my parents for Thanksgiving dinner, she asked when the next race was (maybe this one). That's when I knew she had a good experience.
Post Race. Proud dad with his 5ker

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