Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tech Trek with Mom

My mom has been working on getting more fit. She has done great with the diet, but the exercise is the other half of the equation. She wanted to do a walking event with me (since right now she doesn't run) so our first step was to hit Performance Footwear and get her hooked up with some "real" shoes. She had been walking on her treadmill and having heal pain, and I told her it was because she needed real running shoes. We took her to Performance where they put her up on the treadmill and video taped her footstrike and had her try on different shoes. She loved a pair of Brooks Glycerines that came in purple, her favorite color. As long as she loved them, that's all that mattered. I knew she wouldn't want to walk in shoes if she didn't like them. I then told her she had to practice in the shoes on her training walks to get used to them. She's up to 30 min of treadmill walking each day.

Then I set out to find a race we could do. It had to be on a weekend that didn't conflict with one of the other billion races I'm registered for, and I wanted to find a good event. Luckily the Tech Trek was offered again this year, and I signed us up to walk the 2 mile course. It's a family friendly event, and you save more on entry fees if you register more family members, so I convinced my husband Zac to sign up to run the 10K while we walked. Nevermind he hasn't been running lately. This is $5 off an entry fee we're talking about here. I had done this event in the past, so I knew it would be a good one for my mom, and it was only 2 miles from my house because it started at Agua Caliente school. I also had the Fleet Feet trail run the following day, so I would have to do the walk anyways to not blow my chance at a PR on the trail run. No temptation to sign up for the Tech Trek 10K there.

Race day we got there early to get good parking and get our goodie bags. Since we were there so early we waited in the car and took stock of what was in our bags. The bags had cool things like flashlights, hats, tool kits, and Fitness Plus magazine which we read while we waited. It was then time for Zac to get ready. We strolled over to the start to watch him take off on the run, then hit the bathroom one more time before lining up for the 2 miler. I then answered all of my mom's first-timer questions: Would I stay with her? (Yes, of course). Would we be the only ones walking? (No). Would we be the last ones out there? (No).

About 30 or so people lined up for the 2 mile course, and the announcer yelled "Go!" and we were off. I let my mom set the pace, and of course I still wore my Garmin so I could announce the distance we had traveled and our pace with insane accuracy, weather she wanted to hear it or not. We had a simple square course to follow: west on Limberlost, south on Melpomene, east on Prince, north on Homestead. My mom was walking at a consistent pace of 17-18 min/mi, and I carried my camera to take pics along the way. We did catch up to groups of people and had to work on passing to get around them. I let her lead the way and let me know if she wanted to pass. We walked past houses with horses that watched as the groups of people went by. Once we reached Prince we merged into the 10K course, but I think by that time Zac had already passed through. The course was mostly flat with only a few slight inclines here and there.

Mom kept her head down most of the time because she was used to the treadmill and wanted to make sure she didn't trip on anything. Most of my pictures have a great view of the Nike swoosh on her hat. She didn't want to turn around to see who was behind us (I kept telling her there was a bunch and no way were we last). So instead I took pictures. At the end of Homestead St. we entered the back entrance to the school grounds. Since the 2 mile course was non-competitive, there was no official finish line. People just meandered onto the field. So we stayed on the path that went around the field, and I picked out a random painted line and said "That's the finish line!" so that I could get a picture. We finished in 36:40 and walked a total of 2.06 miles. About 15 minutes later we saw Zac cross the finish line for the 10K. He finished in a little over an hour, which is right where he expected.

We wandered over to the goodies and decided against the French toast made out of donuts. In my opinion, that ruined both the French toast and the donuts. Keep them separate, please. Instead we opted for fruit and water, then headed home. Mom had a great time, so hopefully she'll slowly increase the walking so that we can start to increase the distance. I'm already shopping around for a 5K for her as the next goal. ;)

Mom and I before the race:
Zac starting the 10K race:
Mom was excited and emphasising the arm swing at the beginning of the walk:

Still smiling about 1/2 way through the course:

Proof that I stayed with her:

Proof that she wasn't last and was in front of others:

Mom crossing Elaine's Improptu Official Finish Line:

Zac heading towards the finish line of the 10K:

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