Asheville Girls on the Run 5K – Saturday
I had the pleasure of being a running buddy to Haylie, a new friend who’s in school here in Asheville. Her mom is the GOTR coach at her school, and due to some knee pain that neither ChiRunning nor I have been able to help (I am chagrined by this fact), I was the lucky girl who got to be Haylie’s running buddy!
The weather this morning turned out to be lovely, and we were blessed with no rain and nice, cool cloud cover. About 1,500 runners, including coaches, girls and buddies, were in attendance for the 7th annual Girls on the Run 5K in Asheville. It’s quite a program, providing an active after-school extra-curricular option for girls at all different schools in the area (and around the nation).
Haylie’s goals were to: a) jog the entire race and b) not get side cramps. I am absolutely thrilled to say that, together, we accomplished this amazing, incredible feat. It was Haylie’s first 5K!
At about mile 1, just after the first water stand, she turned her sweet face up to me and said, “This isn’t actually too bad!” I told her that I knew her mom would be extraordinarily proud and that I was proud of her, too. By the second water station at mile 2, we were both feeling a little bit warm, and sipped on some water before continuing on the race. The course was very hilly, so we worked on really pumping our arms on the uphills, and keeping our stride lengths very short. On the downhills, we really let it go and let gravity pull us along and get us down the hill. The last part of the race is one final uphill and then a full downhill to the finish line.
On the final downhill, Haylie wanted to finish with a burst, and we certainly did. Crossing the finish line with large smiles on our faces, we completed the 5k, injury-free and with joy.
Thank you, Haylie, for affording me the opportunity to be your running buddy. I am honored and will always treasure that experience.