I neither PRed nor ran with my niece, but I did attempt both. But I will say that it was a fun day anyway, though of course I was kicking myself when I realized my time.
One thing about staying with my folks is that they sometimes forget I'm an adult. My brother and sister-in-law decided I should be at their house at 6:30 for an 8:00 race. That meant leaving for their house at 6:15. So my dad is knocking on the door at 5:30 asking me if I need to wake up, and I'm like, dad! I'm an adult! I can set an alarm! I could have slept 20 more minutes! Haha. He did the same thing on Sunday to go to the airport (waking me up half an hour before my alarm), but yeah, that was a bit more embarrassing because in the end, I should have listened to him since I ended up running a bit late!
So I got to my brother's house and they were getting organized. My youngest niece did not want to get dressed but eventually came around. We walked and ran together to the start, about a mile.
My brother and his family, complete with youngest niece in the stroller after much debate about what she'd wear:
We got registered, and basically just hung out waiting for the race to start. I went solo to warm up a little and it was lackluster.
While the temps were much cooler than I was used to, it was sunny and that was tough for me.
I lined up by my sister-in-law and niece but they knew I was going to do my own thing. Mile 1 was about 9 seconds too fast, mile 2 was 9 seconds too slow.
And then I was ready to be done. I tried holding on, but unfortunately, mile 3 lined up with mile 2. The course was hillier than I expected, but I have yet to actually check the data on my garmin. In reality, I don't think it was too bad. And since it was a loop course, everything we ran up, we got to come back down.
I tried to push hard for mile 4, but yikes, I was struggling. And then as we got close to the end, I realized the last .1 or .2 was running on the grass, slightly uphill.
I tried to hang on, but I was really fading. I could see the finish line clock and it was just ticking past my PR time, but I held out a bit of hope since I'd started a few seconds back. Imagine my crushing disappointment when I looked at my watch after finishing -- 6 seconds slower than I needed. Argh! Sooooo close!
So much for having a "beatable" 4 mile PR -- it may be beatable, but not in my current physical condition!!!
I grabbed and drank a water, then I doubled back on the course to see who was coming next behind me. It was my brother and nephew, running with my youngest niece in the stroller. So I u-turned and ran with them for a while. But when they got the grass, my brother asked my nephew if he was ready to really run, he told my niece to hold on, and they took off. I had no hope of keeping up, though I tried for a few seconds. Then I u-turned again to try to find my sister-in-law and niece, but I never found them (turned out they were just a few minutes behind my brother).
But it worked out in the end. My nephew was in awe of the fact that I'd already finished and came back to run with him. And my sister-in-law was so impressed by my finish time that she kept calling me "fast" and my niece was so excited.
Perhaps the best part was the community pool was right in the park where we finished. So beer for grandma and my brother, fruit for the rest of us, and then a dip in the pool. My nieces and nephew asked if I'd go in with them, and I figured why not, as long as the pool didn't care if people got in wearing sweaty running clothes. We checked and were given the go-ahead, so I took off my heart rate monitor, watch, shoes and socks, then went with the kids and jumped in. They were so excited an adult in clothes was in the pool. They thought it was hilarious. Tons of splashing and fun, and it kind of felt like an ice bath for me!
Yeah, water felt pretty cold. At one point my youngest niece's teeth were chattering and she was holding on to me. I kept trying to tell her we should get out and dry off with a towel and put on our dry race t-shirts, but she was having none of it. Freezing, but having fun.
The rest of the weekend was also so much fun. Will have to post about that later, have to get moving for work!