Courthouse Classic 5K – 2013

Every year we head to the lake for Father’s Day and also participate in the Courthouse Classic in LaGrange, IN.  The race is always the day before Father’s Day, on a Saturday and benefits the Lakeland Cross Country teams.  Good race.  Good cause.  Good family fun.


One of the sponsors for this race, if you don’t remember from last year’s report, is a local grocery store so our goodie bag always contains groceries and usable items.  Then they specifically pack Aby’s for a “kid” and give her school supplies, candy and activity books.

My SWAG bag, Aby’s SWAG bag & the cool tee for the 2013 race.

Courthouse Classic 2013_me-swag Courthouse Classic 2013_aby-swag Courthouse Classic 2013_aby-shirt

This race is cheap too, which is especially nice if you are taking the entire family.  The 5K run/walk pre-registration cost was $14 and the 1 mile fun run (kids only) was $9.  Win!! 

This was Aby’s third year running this event.  I like running the same event annually because it’s about the only way to compare your fitness or lack there of over time.  And while I am getting slower, Aby is getting faster without even training, which is super exciting.

Aby’s Courthouse Classic 5K history in time & photos:  2011 (age 9) – 33:19,  2012 – 30:37 &  2013 – 25:09

Aby & Me_Courthouse Classic_2011  Courthouse Classic Aby2_2012   Courthouse Classic 2013_me-aby

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t all hip on returning to run this year and registered only after Aby begged.  I didn’t run last year (the 2012 race) because of a torn tendon (which happened on June 2, 2012).  I’m okay now but still not running fast and I’ve been having a hamstring “issue” that seems to dislike any sort of uphill/incline or long/open stride.  In short, I honestly can’t run fast, even when I try.   In fact, it’s been so long since I’ve ran fast that I wish I could just erase those “fast” times out of my brain to eliminate my constant disappointment.  I’m trying to focus on the fact that 1) I can run and 2) running makes me happy.  Does running faster make me happier?  Yes.  But only a little.   I just want to run and I want to be able to do it with Aby while she still wants to actually do it with me.  So I registered for this race even though I knew it would be a disaster I wouldn’t be fast and I wouldn’t be able to perform up to my own expectations. 

To complicate the situation, I’m TRI training and Friday is my long bike day.  And while I felt good on the 55 mile bike ride Friday ….

Team Tough Chik_2013 kit_6-14-13

My legs were “slightly” fatigued when I hit the start line on SAT morning.  Oh well, it’s not always about me and we were here to get Aby off her ass running and ready to start training for Cross Country season.  And thankfully my friend Adella came along so that I had a shoulder to cry on friend in misery. 

We all three stand on the start line together, somewhat near the front.  The gun goes off.  Aby takes off.  We follow.  My little girl has one mission in life, to beat her momma at any and all foot races.  Good news, I just need to stay close and she runs.  If I get close enough to pass then she surges to get further ahead of me.  It’s a game of cat & mouse.  We play it for about a mile.  We hit the mile mark, which has a volunteer reading splits:  7:45.  I think at this point I may have laughed.  I was pushing it, not dogging it, pushing it and starting to fade.  I, of course, think back to split times from “years gone by” when they started with a 6 instead of a 7 but that’s been a while now so I push it out of my head.  I keep pushing and keep fading.  My legs feel like bricks.  My quads burn.  My hamstrings ….. well you don’t really want to know what they were saying.  Good bye, Aby.  Good bye, Adella.  Good bye, Noble County Runner, Jim! 

Although, I didn’t remember this course being so hilly (a few small inclines in reality!) from years previous, I did remember the finish to be downhill.  By the time I reach this downhill, Aby and Adella were waiting for me and probably wondering if I DNF’d.  I finished my slowest Courthouse Classic 5K to date:  25:51.  Hmmmm, I should probably be disappointed but I’m going to revel in the fact that Aby didn’t steal the car and leave me did well, that Adella hung tight with her to try to push her when I couldn’t and that I ran and finished another race that last year I couldn’t even have walked.  So it’s a win in my book and I’ll keep chasing down my little girl.  I doubt I’ll catch her but I’ll keep trying if for no other reason than to make her surge ahead and run faster, even if for just a minute.   Goooooo, Aby!! 

When results came in, Aby won her age group.  Adella took 3rd in “our” age group and I finished in the 4th spot.  In unprecedented fashion, the race officials gave out a 4th place award for age groups this year.  I’ve ran a lot of races and never seen age groups go 4 deep.  Thank you!!  It was nice to be able to take a pic with the girls and us all have some “bling” to show for our run.  Me, Aby & Adella below.

Courthouse Classic 2013_me-aby-adella-trophies

“Run”way Fashion:  Team Tough Chik run singlets (this is what tough looks like) and RunningSkirts snow leopard skirts.

Yep, I’ll be back for the 2014 Courthouse Classic.  Come try to beat me.  I might be faster.  I might be slower.  Who knows what another year will bring, but I’ll be there.  It’s a tradition for us. 

** Run the Courthouse Classic ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **


Aby is 10 years old.   She is very young 5th grader and she has the mentality of a kid.  I’m a firm believer that she is at a very sensitive age and she needs guidance and structure but there isn’t much need to kill her in the workout realm.  Running should be fun for her and if she doesn’t enjoy it then we encourage her to try band, choir, dance, martial arts, etc. whatever she would like to do to keep moving.  Active children are GOOD, it’s tough on us but it really does keep them out of trouble. 

Aby started asking to run races when she was really young, probably 4 or 5.  I said, “No”.  I kept telling her she couldn’t run a race until she could pronounce it.  At the time, she called 5Ks a “K-5”.  Once she was 6, I let her do a few kid races, like the Mini Muddy Buddy.


When she was 7 & 8, we were dealing with pregnancy & new baby fun with Mr. Michael. 

Aby&Michael_first mtg Aby&Michael_jogger

When she was 9, I finally relented and let her start racing.  Her race debut was the Ringing In Spring 5K in Valpo in April 2011 where she took her age group for the win.  She didn’t stop racing, or placing, all summer.  Ringing in Spring, Devil Dash 5K in Peotone, PTO 5K in New Lenox, Mokena Summertime Stride,  Courthouse Classic in LaGrange, IN, Fort4Fitness 4 miler in Ft Wayne, IN.  She ran these all herself, not with me.  I ran my race, which some say is “mean” but my theory is that if she was old enough to want to do it, then she was old enough to push herself to the finish. And she did.  Each and every time.

Aby & Me_RingingInSpring_2011


Aby & Me_Devil Dash 2011

 NL PTO 5K Aby&I_Mokena Summertime Strides 5K Aby & Me_Courthouse Classic_2011

89041-1770-021f Apparently, the timing was right, she was having fun and we soon got notice that 5th graders could join the middle school kids for Cross Country.  Wow, that was new; it wasn’t like that when I was a kid.  So after a great summer of road racing, Aby turned 10 and moved into school sponsored running.  Things changed.  She was having fun during the summer, I would encourage her and cheer for her and it was very low key.  The crowds were big at our local 5Ks so she always performed well in the pack and did well in her age group.  Now she was competing with kids much older and stronger.  She struggled but kept her head up and kept running.  Although her school program was very underdeveloped, there were several young girls on the team who bonded and fought thru together.  I was always around but since I was “mom”, Aby didn’t think I knew anything.  If I tried to help, or give advice, she would roll her eyes, so I settled for the supportive “mom” roll and let her do her thing.Aby_CC_2011

Then track season rolled around and the “fun” left with all the young distance runners who quit the track team.  The middle school track system doesn’t allow much for distance runners anyhow, just the 1600 meters, which is a mile and basically it’s a full out sprint now.  Super scary!  Our little country school had two “distance” runners.  One girl who went to state in Cross Country (yep, she is fast) and Aby.  Gulp.  It was a rough season, Aby put herself out there each and every time and got pulverized on the track.  She doesn’t know how to sprint a mile. There wasn’t much coaching direction and parental intervention was a “No-No”.  Aby was running but not competing, not focused, just running laps and she wasn’t having much “fun”.  😦

Aby_first track meet 2012_4-2-12

Although, she had a nice sprint to the finish in the last 100 meters, the race was over way before then.  Hubby & I knew she was not even close to reaching her potential but she was frustrated so we continued to be supportive, encouraging parents.  I told her that I would help her during the summer if she wanted but she didn’t care.  Her best 1600 (mile) on the track was a 7:16.  That’s a good mile time for anyone but not competitive with the girls on the track.

Last night I did my first triathlon brick.  I biked 10 miles, then put on my running shoes and quickly ran to the end of our road & back.  It was a whopping 1.4 mile run.  Stellar, I know.  When I hit the drive on my return, Aby wanted to be dropped a mile from the house to run a timed mile.  So hubby dropped us off.  My goal was to get her under 7 minutes but I didn’t tell her that.  She ran hard, but not uncomfortable, I could tell she was running harder than I had seen her run all track season.  I was watching our pace.  She was fading.  I was encouraging her to stay with me.  To push.  To just hang on.  To focus.  I also gave her tips to focus on her arms and her feet would follow, to run with her abs and not her legs.  I slowed the pace to reel her in closer so she wouldn’t give up.  I hit the mile at 7:05.  She was a few steps behind, probably a 7:07!  Not under 7 but damn good!  Go Aby! 

How many times do you thing we will have to do this during the summer?  How long before she is the rabbit encouraging me to stay with her?  How does a 10 year old run so fast?  It’s going to be another exciting road racing season for us!  Stay tuned and if you have any tips for this Mom-Coach-Rabbit, please let me know!  Aby said I was hard on her, too hard, but that it was good and fun.  🙂

Cheers ** VERY Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz