I would never have gotten though last year’s marathon training schedule had it not been for my friend, Lynn. I didn’t even have to ask her to help; she volunteered. So when my brother-in-law, Scott told me he’d signed up for his first 5K, I decided to walk it with him as a way to pay forward the help I’d received. Actually, walking a 5K with a relative pales in comparison to all of the 100 degree days when Lynn remained by my side for 18, 19 and 20 miles, but it’s a start, right?
Scott has Type I diabetes (the kind that isn’t preventable). He also has a heart issue that he’s managing with medication. He wants to make some lifestyle changes in order to improve his health. I want my niece and nephew to enjoy his company for many, many years, so supporting him during the 5K was a no brainer. I advised hubs that he too would be supporting Scott as a 5K participant.
I should mention the 5K he chose was on the July 4…in hot and humid Nashville…right smack-dab in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave (the temperature had climbed to 109 a few days prior). I’ve been staying indoors and doing my running/walking on the treadmill. In other words, I’m not well-acclimated to the triple-digit temps.
Scott told me he hoped to finish the 3.1 miles in an hour or less. I think anyone’s goal for a first race should be simply to finish, but walking 3.1 miles in an hour was a good goal. I wore my Garmin pace watch and assured Scott he would hit his mark. Hubs decided to don a timing chip and run/walk. He set a goal to finish in under 32 minutes, promising to come back and walk us in.
I knew if Scott and I remained at an 18 minute per mile pace, he’d exceed his time goal. I noticed he took the hills at a faster pace and I encouraged him to slow down. After all, he needed to save some energy for the last half mile. I know he got tired of me asking if he felt ok. (There would be no cardiac event on my watch). He assured me he was fine.
With about a half mile left we spotted a very drenched hubs walking towards us. We later learned he’d exceeded his goal by finishing in 31:49. As Scott and I approached the finish line, we spotted Lynn and another running friend, Janet. They’d finished their own races but waited around to support Scott. Well, actually they were waiting for the awards ceremony because they are accustomed to winning their age divisions, but I digress. Lynn encouraged the race announcer to give Scott a very public shout-out. We finished in 56:25, three minutes and 45 seconds under goal. Go, Scott!
During the evening’s 4th of July family dooda, Scott thanked me several times for staying by his side during the race. There was no reason to thank me. Being there as he exceeded his goal was a complete pleasure. Now he’s got a Labor Day race in his sites. I’ll walk it with him and I predict we’ll finish in 52 minutes.
You heard it hear first.