July 19, 2014

Escape to Belle Isle 5K race report: The kids' first 5K!

Last night, I told the kids they had to go to bed at 9:15 because we had to get up early for the race this morning. I told them to lay out their running clothes before bed, and as Eli was looking for a shirt, he said the sweetest thing: "I want to make a shirt that says, 'Runs for Cookies is my mom'."

I thought that was so cute! But it was 9:15, and there was no way we had time to make a shirt. So I told him that we'd do it for the next race. I was in bed by 9:30, knowing I was going to get up at 5:30 (and by "in bed", I mean scrolling Twitter on my phone). I started feeling bad about Eli wanting to make the shirt, so I got out of bed, and pulled all my fabric and sewing supplies out of my closet, determined to make Eli a shirt.

I used the shirt that he had laid out for the race, and then decided to cut out the letters and iron them on. It was tedious and I really wanted to go to bed, but an hour later, I had his shirt:

Not too bad for making it on the fly like that! (Several people have asked how I make shirts with lettering, so I'll do a tutorial within the next few days.) I put the shirt back with his shorts, and went to bed.

This morning, when I showed Eli his shirt, he was really surprised and excited--it was totally worth staying up to make it for him! I made the boys each a half of a bagel with peanut butter and chocolate chips for breakfast, to "carb up" ;) Then we went to pick up my mom, and drive to Detroit. I hate driving in Detroit, but somehow, we made it to Belle Isle (an inland State Park on an island in the Detroit River). We parked at the casino, and picked up our packets (shirts and bibs).

Eli wanted to go check out the Detroit River, and we had about an hour until the race started, so we just killed some time. Then we lined up for the start. I was really surprised at what a big race this was--the starting line was really crowded! All of the 5K'ers and 10K'ers lined up together for a common start.

My mom planned to stick with Eli, because he wanted to walk most of it, and I told Noah we could do a run/walk together. I set my Garmin for a one-minute run, one-minute walk repeat. While we were standing at the starting line, the girl in front of me recognized me from my blog! I always love it when a reader says hi--so thank you, Sarah :)

Noah said he was nervous, but I told him there was no reason to be. I was a little nervous that we'd get separated, because the crowd was pretty big. The race started, and there was a bottle neck as we all had to go through the blue starting line balloon. I just focused on Noah, and not losing him. The crowd spread out really quickly, so it wasn't bad once we crossed the starting line.

Eli took off like a bat out of hell (one of Mark's favorite phrases!), and I could see that my mom looked a little overwhelmed. They were ahead of us for couple of minutes, but I kept telling Noah to just run slowly. When the Garmin beeped at one minute, he wanted to run one more (I'm sure because of the excitement of the race), so we kept running at a slow pace. After that, we mostly did 1:1 intervals, and Noah really seemed to be struggling at around mile one. But I just tried to be encouraging any way that I could--including doing a "Jerry face" selfie:

Jerry makes that face in pretty much every photo that is taken of him, which is why we call it a "Jerry face".

The first water station wasn't until mile 1.75 ish, which, for a kid/beginner, seemed kind of far. Noah was really relieved when we got there, and he drank a cup of water. I told him he could dump one on his head, but he said no--so I did what any runner mom would do, and dumped mine on his head. Haha, he said it felt great! My mom and Eli weren't too far behind us, and they caught up to us a couple of times.

I've never done a run/walk method during a race, so I discovered something interesting today--you are always passing the same people, and then they pass you. When we started to run, we'd go past several people, then we'd stop to walk, and they'd run past us, and so on.

There was one more water station, and then we could see the finish line about a half-mile away. I told Noah I bet he could run the rest of the way if we went really slowly. We took a quick 30-second walk break, and then we ran the rest of the way toward the finish line.

When we rounded the last corner, and we could actually see the finish line, I told Noah, "Go Noah! Run hard!" because he loves to sprint short distances and leave me in the dust. He took off, and I actually got kind of emotional watching him cross the finish line. I was SO proud of him for pushing through and finishing strong. I gave him a big hug, and then we watched the corner for Eli and my mom. About five minutes later, we spotted them. (I love the Detroit skyline in the background)

Eli had a great race as well, and my mom said he did awesome! Noah was excited to have beaten his practice 5K time from a few weeks ago.

Noah's results
Eli's results

Eli was pretty much there for the food, so he naturally wanted to go get some snacks. They had Panera bagels, wafer cookies, potato chips, orange juice, oranges, bananas, McDonald's cookies, and an ice cream truck. The kids took one of everything (except the ice cream--crazy kids), but I just had a couple of oranges. My breakfast (a Banana Cranberry Oat Bar) was waiting for me in the car, so I ate that on the way home. I'm still going strong with no-ice-cream-July!

Overall, the race was really nice. The last time I was on Belle Isle was for the Detroit Marathon, when I was pretty much falling apart after mile 18. I didn't take the time to appreciate the park then, because I was focused on the marathon, but this time I really got to take everything in, and it's a really nice park! It's kind of amazing that there is such a nice park in Detroit. 

The kids had a GREAT first 5K, and for that, I'm relieved. I just wanted them to enjoy it so that they'd want to do more, and now they do :)


  1. What a fun first 5k!
    You've achieved so many things, Katie, but the best is the great example you are setting for Noah and Eli.

  2. So glad the boys finished their first 5K! Congratulations to them! And what a sweet mommy to get up and make Eli that shirt.

  3. A family that runs together, stays together! :D What an awesome way to spend some quality time with your boys. Tell them congratulations!

  4. So funny...Eli runs for cookies, too??!! Congrats to your boys for their accomplishments!

  5. Congratulations Eli and Noah!

  6. I love the shirt and am excited to read about how you made the letters.

  7. I actually got emotional about Noah's finish just reading it :) And I've only ever done one 5K, after training for it with the C25K program, and Noah beat my time by a few minutes ;) Great job!

  8. Yay for your boys! They look so happy and proud. Way to go! :)

  9. Congrats to Eli and Noah, awesome job! I also discovered that run/walk thing with passing and being passed by the same people. I tried to use it as motivation when Brandon and I got near the finish line... "don't let that kid in the red pass you again! Think you can beat him?" etc. Worked like a charm. ;)

  10. There are a lot of nice things about Detroit and it makes me laugh when surbanites down-talk Detroit as if nothing of beauty and worth exists there outside of Comerica Park.


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