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We ran

Yesterday my older son and I ran the 5K we were training for in this post. It was excellent.

We ran the Carrera de los Muertos (Race of the Dead) in Chicago, to support the UNO charter school network. (I’d seen the race a few years ago while I was in Chicago on a work trip, and had always wanted to run it because of my love for Dia De los Muertos.)  The race has a very distinct Day of the Dead theme, with people running in costume and dressed as skeletons, and runs through a Mexican neighborhood in Chicago. There were Aztec dancers, ballet folklorico dancers, mariachis, family bands, and DJs along the route cheering us on.

It was a gorgeous day to run, nice and cold when we started (around 35 degrees F) and warming up a little by the time we finished. Vendors came to sell traditional Mexican foods before the race (nothing says “I’m about to run 3.1 miles” like a big bowl of menudo at 7:30 am) and the crowd was dancing and excited and ready to go.

The route was mostly flat, with wide streets, so it was easy to run, even past the walkers. People brought dogs (most in costume), and people who lived along the route came out to cheer us on. At the end of the race we celebrated with churros and hot chocolate.

It was the nicest 5K I’ve ever done. Even my son, who’s been complaining about running in the past few weeks, said he’d do it again. We started out running, and ran until we needed to walk, and then ran, and then walked, and the ran, and then walked, until we could see the finish line, and we ran to the end.

I am so grateful for this race. Yesterday was an excellent day. But even before that, all these weeks leading up to the race, I’ve had three 30-minute runs with my son every week. Three one-on-one times with nothing else going on, when he can tell me what he’s feeling and when we’re really in sync.

I’m not sure if either of us will keep running since the race is over, especially now that it’s getting colder. But I’m hoping we pick up again next year and can have this time together again. It was such a gift.

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