My nephew and I participated in the Red-Nosed RUN Deer this weekend. It was freakin’ cold, as expected, and I wore three layers for my run. I think Max had on two layers. At any rate, we averaged about a 12:00 pace for an estimated total time of about 37:15. That time, however, includes the time it took for us to reach the starting line; our chip time will be less than that, I believe. There was quite a crowd! Lots of antlers and Santa caps. Max and I just had on our race t-shirts and sleigh bells.

On my suggestion prior to the race, Max had stated that his goal was to beat his last 5K time. That would have been the Run Like Hell in October. Max’s chip time in that race was 36:51, so, depending on how much time it took us to cross the starting line, he may have actually achieved his goal! He came pretty close, though, and I think he’s doing great, considering that he’s not actually training. He exercises in school, but it’s not really structured for learning to run longer distances. So the only “training” he gets is in these races, and, frankly, no one would improve if they only trained once per month.

I’m afraid I might have set the bar too high by suggesting that he could have aimed for an average 10:30 pace for the race. He had managed about a 10:35 pace for the first two miles of the Turkey Trot in November – but, admittedly, that was entirely downhill. I hope he’s not disappointed at all for his showing in this race. For a novice (and I consider myself barely out of novice stage) there’s still a huge difference between 2 miles and 3.1 miles.

I think, with just some regular training, Max could be easily beating me (his still-chubby, short, over-40 uncle).

I’m proud of him for going out and trying, and for setting goals, even if he’s not achieving them right away.

So… our next race is the First Run, starting just after midnight on New Year’s Day… I will help Max be a little better prepared for this one. And, no matter what, it will be our fastest race of 2006.