Since I started doing speedwork this summer - as part of my marathon training - I've been dying to run a 5K. I knew the speedwork was making me faster at longer distances, as evidenced by my training runs, and the longer-distance races I did this summer.
But I wanted to test those faster legs out at a 5K and see what they could do for that shorter distance. I thought I was going to have to wait until the Mews 5K on November 20th, but the weather this past Sunday looked like it was going to be nice, and I found a local 5K that I had never run before, and asked Scott if it would be ok with him if I were to squeeze in one more race in October. He was happy to watch the kids, so I headed over to Jamestown around lunchtime.
It was breezy and cool, but I knew once I started running I'd warm right up. I had no idea what the course was like, and I honestly was the least nervous I've ever been before a race. I had no plans other than to get out there and see how fast I could run. I had no clue what kind of time that would translate to.
My long-term goal is to break 21 minutes in a 5K, but I knew that was a bit of a stretch right now. I thought I might have a shot at sub-22, but I didn't have my heart set on anything. I just wanted to run FAST.
Lots of people were in costume, so there was plenty of people-watching to pass the time as we waited to start. I didn't see anyone I knew at the start, and was kind of surprised, since I almost always run into somebody familiar.
It was a small local race, so not a lot of fanfare, and soon enough we were off. The course started on one of the main streets in town, and then quickly headed off into back roads, where we wound around and up and down for a few miles before heading back into town for the finish.
In addition to not being very nervous about this race, I also didn't spend a lot of time looking at my Garmin. I glanced down a few times during the first mile, but after that, I really only looked down when I heard the mile markers beep.
That first beep came in at 6:55. I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep that up, but I didn't care. I wanted to see how long I could hold it for, and just how much I'd have to pay for it in the end.
The course wasn't super hilly, but it wasn't super flat, either. There were a few decent-sized hills that had me really working. I passed a few people on the hills, too, though. Ran mile 2 in 7:03. Not surprised that I was slowing down, and the second mile always feels the hardest, so I was kind of hurting here.
But of course, knowing there's only a mile left makes things a tad easier. I was definitely running out of steam, though. Finished mile 3 in 7:06. Still a good pace, but I was paying for that first sub-7 mile!
I had just enough left for one final kick to the finish, and my last .1 was run at a 6:30 pace.
But more importantly, as I crossed that finish, the clock read 21:57!!!!!!!!!!!!
A new PR by 23 seconds, a sub-22-minute 5K, and as I learned just a short while later, good enough for 1st place in my age group and 7th female overall. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As I waited around for the awards, I ran into the guy who heads up the local running club, who also happens to be the race director for the Gansett Marathon. I chatted with him for a while, and I couldn't help thinking that it's pretty cool that I personally know the race director!
My award was a shiny trophy, which Gabe and Dante thought was just about the coolest thing ever.
It was a fun race, and it was fun to place in my age group - my first age-group award as a 40-year-old! What was most fun was going into it with not many expectations. After all the stress and pressure of marathon training, it was so nice to go to a race without all that baggage. And it was nice to run a 21:57! Getting under 21 is going to take some hard work, but I know I can do it!
The final stats -
21:57 - 7:04 pace
New PR by 23 seconds
7th female overall
23 out of 165 overall
The next day was Halloween, and the boys were about ready to burst by the time dinner rolled around.
We had gone to a Halloween event at their school Friday night, and a Halloween party at the Y Saturday, so this would be the third go-round for their costumes - luckily none of the costumes were very complex - Gabe and Dante were both Harry Potter, and Carmine was a devil - so we were ready to go in no time.
Carmine wasn't terribly cooperative with wearing his ears and tail on Saturday, so he just ran around looking like a baby in a red bodysuit. But he did actually keep them on for a while Monday night - long enough for us to get a couple pictures, anyway.
Gabe and Dante are old pros at the trick-or-treating gig, but they did need a few reminders to say thank you after receiving their loot. Carmine didn't quite understand what was going on at first, and at the second house we went to, he tried to give them the piece of candy he had received at the first house.
But by the time we got to the third house, he was on board and knew exactly what to do. And by the time we got to the fourth house, he was running at full speed behind Gabe and Dante, and doing his best to push them out of the way so he could get to the door to get his candy.
It was hysterical watching all three of them sprinting from house to house.
We didn't stay out too long. Dante was complaining about being tired, and I knew Carmine's little legs were probably getting worn out - and we definitely didn't need to keep collecting candy - they already had enough to last weeks.
They enjoyed handing out candy to a few trick-or-treaters at our house after we got back, and they were each allowed to have two pieces of candy. I'm pretty sure they snuck a third or fourth when I wasn't looking, but it was Halloween, so I pretended not to notice the extra candy wrappers on the table.
And now the holiday season is officially underway. Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, then it's on to birthdays. The time is going to fly.
I've written so little about the big boys lately - mostly because I feel like, as they get a little older, I want to give them a little more privacy. Given the choice, they may not want their lives broadcast on the internet. I know not that many people read this blog, but it's out there, and 10 years from now, they may not appreciate that I was detailing their lives for anyone to stumble upon.
That being said, I don't want to exclude them entirely, because then they'd probably get mad at me for not writing about them : )
They're both doing great in school. Gabe's teachers and his principal have all told me that they've seen a lot of changes in him this year, and that he seems to have matured quite a bit.
He still has issues - his biggest one right now is forgetting to raise his hand before he says something. He's constantly being reminded not to speak out. Sometimes he'll raise his hand and yell out the answer at the same time : ) But if that's the worst problem we're dealing with right now, I'm a-ok with that. I'm really happy with the education he's getting, and the teachers he's had. They work so well with him, and he's excelling academically, and gets along great with his classmates. What's not to like about that?
Dante is all settled into Kindergarten, too. He loves to talk about what he does at school, which I adore, since Gabe hardly tells us anything. He has a lot of friends, and even kissed one little girl on the bus a few weeks ago. The cutest part is that he kissed her on the hand : ) His math and reading skills are coming along really nicely, and he's so close to being able to read by himself. I think by early next year he'll be able to read independently.
They spend a lot of time playing up in their room now. It's so nice that they have a big space where they can spread out their trains and cars and not worry about Carmine coming over and tearing things apart. I also finally got their study area set up in the small room that used to be the nursery, and that's now the space leading into their new bedroom.
They each have a big desk, and lots of organizers for their papers and markers and pencils and tape..... they love to sit up there and color. Gabe also does a lot of writing, and has written his own installments of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
I usually leave them alone when they're up there, but I occasionally peek in to see what they're up to, and one time I heard them having a very serious discussion about how zombies eat your brain and vampires suck your blood, but mummies don't do anything to you. I feel bad eavesdropping, but it's so fun to hear what they talk about.
Carmine is still obsessed with Mickey Mouse, and has also latched onto an old Curious George stuffed animal that Dante used to sleep with, so now we're dragging both of those everywhere we go. I don't even want to think about how filthy they're getting, especially when I see them laying on the floor at the gym daycare.
But if bringing his pals with him helps him feel better about going to the gym, I'm all for it! As of last week, he's no longer crying when I drop him off, and we're back into our regular routine. I know it could all change again at any moment, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!
Three more quick things about the big Ragu - he's talking up a storm, and it's so cute to really have conversations with him now! He's also incredibly fussy about his clothes. If his sleeves are hanging down too low over his hands, or especially if his pants are a little long and are dragging on the ground, he totally freaks out until you roll them up for him. He'll just stand there yelling 'fix pants! pants! fix pants!"
For some reason it really, really bothers him, so I'm now trying to remember to "fix pants" before they cause any problems. He also accidentally ripped a page in a book we were reading about a dump truck, and I was able to tape it, so it wasn't a big deal, but now every single time we read that book, he wants to turn immediately to that page and point to it and say "fix. Mommy fix. fix. Mommy fix." over and over and over again. Curious.
And finally, he's taken his possesiveness to a new level. When he has something and he wants to make sure everyone knows it's his, he grabs it and hides it behind his back while yelling "Mine!"
If he was our first child, this behavior might surprise me. But given that he has two older brothers with whom he's constantly competing for everything, it makes perfect sense.
Scott and I have said all along - he's going to be one tough little kid. And after seeing him elbow his way to the door on our trick-or-treating excursion this week, I think our prediction is coming true already.