We’ve been talking a lot about summer activities around my house—due in no small part to (a) my kids hotly anticipating the end of the school year and (b) my working on the summer activities issue for the past few weeks. What do we want to do this summer? What plans do we want to make?
As the kids tossed about a variety of ideas, one of the ideas my daughter had was running. I’m a novice runner—ironically, I’ve been a novice runner for many, many years now—so I think this is a great idea. We can start working on this when school gets out!
So, on Saturday when it comes to decision time (who wants to run errands with mommy and go to the gym?), she pipes up and wants to come along. “Remember, mommy? I want to run!” Oh yeah, that. Well, I hadn’t thought about starting her out just then and I had planned to go for a quick run myself, but we could adjust for this. So she came along with me and we hit the track.
She did great; ran like a champ. Good form, good breathing, good pace. I prepared her in advance: we were going to do quarter-mile intervals on a 1.5-mile track. Seems like a daunting distance, but I knew that she could walk it if it got too much. Because sometimes, you just have to tough it out when you run, that’s lesson one of running, right?
So we get to that last quarter-mile stretch, a beautiful, straight shady length with a lovely breeze. It’s my favorite part of this particular track, and I encourage her to let it out. “Go as fast as you can.” I pointed out the marker that we were aiming for. “This is the last part of our run, so give it all you’ve got!”
But then it happened. I think it’s novice-runner-itis and I know it’s something that always plagues me when I get to that certain point in my run. She started to complain. “I’m hot … my legs itch … my shoe hurts … my back is sweaty … yada-yada-yada.” We slowed down just a little bit and I looked at her.
“There are a million reasons to stop right now. But just one reason to keep going. You’re almost there!”
“We’re not quitters, mom!” She smiled and dug deep and we finished that quarter-mile with a high-five. After water and stretches, she went to hang out in the youth center with a snack and I went out for the rest of my workout, determined to run 3 miles after I’d had this warmup with my daughter.
And when I reached about halfway through that second lap, it happened. And I started thinking. My legs itch … I’m hot … my shoe hurts …” but then I remembered the pep talk I gave Lauren, and the pep talk she gave me. “We’re not quitters, mom!” And I dug in and I finished my lap, and I shaved a few minutes off my regular time.
Sometimes it just takes a little reminder to keep us moving.
I wasn’t the only one thinking about running this weekend! Check out the Weekend Warrior blog with Sara for some 5K ideas that are family-friendly.