This past Saturday, my niece (who happens to my god-daughter), Kate, ran her first 5k.
And I got to be there.
It was my birthday present to her for her 16th birthday.
I know – I made the poor kid run a 5k for her birthday? What kind of godmother am I?
Well, in my defense, she started it. Back when she came to watch me run the Mankato Marathon, she put out into the universe that she wanted to run a 5K and I took it and ran.
We were suppose to run one back in December, which ended up being the race that wasn’t. Stupid weather.
So we decided to celebrate her sweet 16 by getting our sweat on while running the Valentine’s Day TC 5k.
Kate came down the night before so I could feed her pasta with pesto, salad, and a brownie. The girl must be properly fueled. I made her go to bed early. This is mainly due the fact that I’m out like a light by 9 p.m. on most Friday nights.
On Saturday morning, we were gifted some warm weather. Warm is relative in MN. It was 25 degrees at the race start. Considering that the highs for the preceding week were between 0-5, 25 was a dang heat wave!
The race was a classic 5k around Lake Harriet and organized well by the folks at Twin Cities in Motion. They handed out great gear – long sleeve tech tee’s (with a women’s fit!), socks and a hat. Score. They also had signs you could pin on your back to signify your status – Single, Taken or It’s Complicated. I believe there was a meet and greet after the race if you wanted to connect with someone you met on the course. How fun is that?
Like most of the 5k’s around this lake, the start was pretty congested. We weren’t looking to set speed records so this all worked out fine. Slow and steady.
Kate’s goal? Run the whole thing. I was under strict instructions to not let her stop. I was also trying to keep a steady pace so she didn’t start to fast as her wise Aunt is known to do.
Kate was great! We chatted until she couldn’t talk. Then I just talked. Best part? She had to listen. I took the opportunity to share all sorts of wisdom and life lessons. I only received a few eye-rolls.
We also checked out this wedding party that was running. The bride and groom were leading the crew and they were literally getting married later that evening. How cute are their shirts?
There were a few moments where she wanted to stop, but instead we slowed down a little and just kept on trucking. Then she beat me in the sprint to the finish. The little rascal. She finished well under what she had been training at. According to my Garmin, we finished in 38 minutes. She was thrilled and therefore, so was I.
I cannot tell you how proud I am of her. I wish I had the forethought when I was 16 to be proactive about being in shape. She wants to continue to run, do a couple more 5ks, a 10k or two and maybe some day, a half marathon. I cannot wait to run more with her.
Oh, did I mention she was going to go to 2 formal dances that evening? How many kids run a 5k and then go to a formal dance? Seriously. She’s pretty awesome.
Okay, I must stop gushing. It’s just so much fun seeing someone get excited about a sport that I’m passionate about.
Thanks Kate. You inspire me.
Who’s inspiring you lately?