This whole weekend has been just gorgeous: sunny, mid-seventies. Unfortunately, I was indoors chained to this laptop for most of it. But this morning I ran the Miles for Smiles 5K, which goes through Cleveland Heights (one of the neighborhoods near the Clinic) and raises money for Operation Smile. I used to run road races a lot in college, but I haven't been doing much running since I started med school. So today I was in the back of the group, just jogging along. There was a man with his elementary school-aged son right in front of me. About half a mile into the race, the boy was worn out and started walking. His dad repeatedly kept trying to make him run and go faster, when it was clear that the boy wasn't in good enough shape to keep up that kind of pace. Finally, the dad gave up and just walked with the boy. I felt really bad watching this, because I didn't feel like I could really intervene or do anything to help, and also because now this boy will probably hate running and will never do it again as soon as he moves out of his father's home.
People put way too much pressure on kids, and on themselves too, during races. That's the downside of running sometimes--runners can be competitive to the point where it's hard to even enjoy the run for what it is. I'm as guilty of this as anyone. When I got to the two mile point, the volunteer standing there told me my time. My initial reaction was to think, "wow, I used to finish the whole 5K in less time than that, and here I'm only 2/3 of the way through!" But I reminded myself that the run was supposed to be FUN, not stressful, and I cruised in very comfortably at the end.
They had a raffle afterward, and I continued my usual streak of winning nothing. I must be the most unlucky person on earth when it comes to raffles. If there were 50 prizes and 51 tickets, I'd be that 51st ticketholder. :-P