I came in ‘last’ but I was the winner

So I ran another 5K last weekend, the third in the Frosty 5K series. This one was at Freedom Park. But this wasn’t “just” another 5K – this was the first race that my brother, sister and I all ran together. And that made it amazing.

I should mention that my sister, Jenny, is 5 months pregnant. I should also mention that she is a sports goddess – a marathon runner, former softball and basketball player, high school coach (cross country, basketball, softball), and more. Yes, more.

I should mention that my brother, Kevin, only recently started running and this is his second race. I should also mention that he doesn’t talk much about the time he ran track in high school, but according to Jenny he was “dang fast.” And that’s quite an endorsement, coming from Jenny (see her credentials above.)

I won’t go through all the details of this 5K (or else you’ll say Why should I run, Melissa? I should just read your blog and you go on and on and on about it so much I must be burning all the calories with you. And that would be cool except I’m selfish and I like running partners so I want you to run. That and if it were true I could charge money to read this blog and call myself your “personal trainer.”)

So, in a nutshell: It was not raining this time but it was cold. And I mean cold. Colleen and Candace and Jeff came out to cheer us on which was awesome motivation, especially during the first loop when I knew they were going to see the order as follows: pregnant Jenny first, Kevin right on her heels but losing her by the moment, and me trailing a good bit behind, just hoping to keep his shirt in my eyesight.

See, last time we ran a race, I beat Kevin by 3 minutes. This time, he was determined to beat me. Which made me determined to beat him. We were both determined to beat Jenny, and we figured in her “condition” this was our only shot.

Except right after the first loop (the halfway point) I did finally catch up with Kevin and he was walking. And we could barely see Jenny off in the distance. I encouraged him to start running, and then I needed to walk for 10 seconds or so. I ran again, saw him walking again, encouraged him again. This went on until about 2.65 miles when Kevin announced that at 2.85 miles he was going to sprint to the end. I know his sprints and I know there’s no way I can keep up, so I started running, just hoping to gain enough to beat him anyway. I was ahead for a few minutes until he went flying by me as I knew he would. And he would beat me but I didn’t mind because I was proud. I knew Jenny had already crossed but I didn’t know when – and I also didn’t count on her coming back to get me, but she did. As soon as I saw her I started running faster, and she stayed right with me, running just faster than I was, encouraging me to go faster and faster and faster (and I had the energy to run around a little kid! Yay for beating the little kid!) until I was able to cross the finish line. Because that’s what siblings do – they encourage you and they carry you and they tell you you can run faster even when you don’t think you can and they are right.

And I came in last but I realized I did set a personal record – I beat my own best race time by 2 minutes!

So, the times were as follows:

Jenny: About 25 minutes (I am so proud of her. At 5 months pregnant!)
Kevin: 27:38 (He beat his own best race time by 5 minutes!)
Melissa: 27:50 (Yep, Kevin only beat me by 12 seconds. I’ll get you at the bunny run Kevin, you watch!)

Also, I won a door prize: A massage from Hand and Stone.

So to sum it up: A day of sibling bonding, knowing how good we are for each other and how we encourage each other. Setting a new personal record and winning a free massage.

So really, I came in last but I say, hands down, I was a winner.

Sorry the pictures are low-res – we all forgot the camera so Jeff’s Blackberry had to suffice.