Today was my first race of the season, the Eureka Hearthouse 4-mile run. Since I was going to start the day with a sporting event I figured that we should end it with one as well. Today also happened to be opening day for Peoria's minor league baseball team, so we decided to take in a ball game as well. First things first, my race.
Not only was I running in the race today, but I also was volunteering with the set-up and food as well. After the run there is a hot dog cookout complete with potato salad, chips and cookies for the runners and their families. The men's group at our church was handling the food prep so I decided to pitch in. I was on site around 6:30 this morning lending a helping hand, which mainly consisted of moving heavy things and chopping fruit. Not a bad deal.
(And we chop and we chop and we chop. Chopin!)
Eventually my parents, Robin and the kids showed up. I got the time wrong by a half an hour so everyone had more time to enjoy the lovely weather. Did I mention it was in the mid 40's with 12-15 mile/hr cold winds? Needless to say my cheering section was not thrilled by the extra time in the elements. The set-up crew did not mind as they set Robin to work on some more fruit cutting. Robin was also instrumental in my pre-race finishing touches. The race was set to start at 9:30 and after spending 3 hrs in the cold I was more than ready to get going, and boy did I.
(Will I still have this big smile at the end?)
(All business at the finish.)
My goal for the race was to improve upon last years finish and get another medal. Last year I finished with a time of 27:56. Good enough for 26th overall and 3rd in my age group. This year I ran the 4 miles in 26:48, 17th overall and 4th in my age group. I know, I trimmed over a minute off my time and fell a spot in my age group. What gives! Fact is, my age group is loaded and it is pretty tough to place. I still got a medal and am thrilled with my time improvement.
(To answer the earlier question...YES!)
(The spoils of victory.)
Two hours later the Robinson crew was off to the ole ballpark. I had been promising the kids for a while that I would take them to opening day. Both Robin and I were having second thoughts as the wind had not died down and the temp had only reached the low 60's. The idea of getting windblown for 3 more hours was not too exciting. Lucky for us Robin found a spot on the grass in left field that was shielded from the wind, but still in the sun. It actually got a bit on the hot side.
We watched an exciting game complete with a homerun, several double plays, a couple runners caught stealing and 13 runs. The good guys came out on top 7-6. The kids also got some time in out at the play ground. All in all a great afternoon at the game. On a side note for my local readers, if you have never been to a game at O'Brien Field I highly recommend taking one in. We have been to at least one game every year since it opened and love it. It is a very safe, fan friendly ballpark.
To finish the day off my parents treated us to dinner at T.G.I. Fridays. Good meal with great company. The perfect way to end a near perfect day.