Girls on the Run (Girls on Track!) 5K 2010
Wow. Where does the time go? I can’t believe that 1 year ago, I was writing about my first GOTR 5K experience, as a Running Buddy to my friend Haylie…
Well, yesterday I had the pleasure of running with Haylie again… but this time, Jacqui, her mother-extraordinaire, came running with us, too!
Jacqui has been battling with the same knee pain from last year, but with some good running focuses and positive energy, we all got through the race beautifully!
At Haylie’s school, her grade is now participating the Girls on Track program, which is the “big girls” version of Girls on the Run. I was so pleased to know that she’d continued with the program, and when they called to ask if I could come again this year to run with them, I signed up right away… It feels so good to be part of something bigger, something that is making a real difference in helping young women find out what they’re capable of and staying active.
One benefit of being a member of the Girls on Track program is that we all got to go to the front of the line to begin the race… Score #1! We didn’t have to wade through as many runners when the race started, and got to find our pace naturally without getting caught up in the crowd.
The course changed from last year, and I think it was hillier this year. At the approach of each uphill, I reminded us all of the benefit of really using our upper arms to get us up the hill, and to not even think about our legs. It was really helpful to all of us. Haylie totally got it when I said, “Pretend that you’re doing an upper-cut, almost punch your chin…” As soon as she did that, she swiftly moved up the hill.
On the downhill running sections, we really focused on maintaining good rnning posture, staying tall, and really relaxing…Letting the road take us along, not trying to fight it.
We practiced our Y’chi, or focusing our eyes on one spot ahead of us, like the stop-sign at the top of the hill, or the girl with the green streamers in her hair at the next turn… things that were bright, easy to watch and on the horizon.
We practiced breathing, too. When we got out of breath, I’d count to 5 and make sure that we all did an exhale for at least 5 seconds, to clear out the “old” air in our lungs.
The finish was downhill running (thank goodness!) and we all crossed the line, smiling, and thrilled to have finished together. We stayed together every step of the run and I am so proud of both of you! Haylie, you ran fast, girl! And Jacqui, your knee didn’t bother you… Score #2!
As Jacqui said later, “The glorious-ness of our run lingers like an after taste of chocolate.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Thank you for a great experience two years in a row, Haylie (Score #3)! You’re a special chick, and I look forward to running again with you next year.
- downhill running,