Monday, April 8, 2013

Girls on the Run Nashville Practice 5K

With the Percy Priest Elementary School Girls on the Run team at Shelby Park

One new thing I decided to get involved with this year is Girls on the Run. My role is "running buddy," which means I run a practice 5K and a 5K race with an elementary-school-aged girl who has been training with a few of her classmates and coaches.

Today was our practice 5K, so I met everyone for the first time, including my runner Kaya. We practiced on  what will be the race course at Shelby Park, and it was (sparsely) marked with pink arrows. Evidently pink is the color for this crew!

Kaya and I started at the front, and she said she didn't need to be the first to finish because she had basketball practice after this. We still stayed second, within sight of the first girl. When a third girl was getting close enough that we could hear her talking to her buddy, I asked Kaya what she wanted to do (because at that point, we were walking): Did she want to stay ahead of this girl, let her catch us, or what. She said she just wanted to finish the run. And finish we did, still in second place.

Our overall time was around 31:15, and we walked two or three times. Shelby Park is beautiful, and we enjoyed the trail, the pond, the fishermen, the duck houses, and the statues. I hope she enjoyed the run (and made it through bball practice OK!). Her mom said Kaya hoped her teammates made their lay-ups, because if they didn't they'd have to run.

The temps were in the mid to high 70s, one of the warmest days for these girls to run. Most knew their previous best times (I think all but 1 of the 15 had done at least one 5K), and their times today were around 2 minutes slower than that. Most of us ran with water bottles as well, just in case, but there was a water stop at the halfway point also.

I LOVED this. Kaya is a great runner and seemed to enjoy it, even though bball is her favorite sport and the sport the family knows best, according to her mom. I tried to let her set the pace, staying beside her but encouraging her to step in behind me when we hit some headwind.

Now I can't wait for the actual race on May 4 to see how well she and all the other girls do!

The picture is from the GotR Facebook page.

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