Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Week Until My Daughter's First Ever 5K - With Me!

In exactly one week, my darling daughter plans to toe the start line of her first 5K event - with me!  I am over-the-top excited, and a little bit confused.  I mean, didn't she just learn to walk last week or something?  Where has the time gone?

Maudlin reminiscences and heartfelt mommy moment aside, I am pretty darn geeked that I can share something that I love - running - with my soon-to-be 7-year-old.  I have dreams of guiding her gently through the miles, urging her not to start out too fast, cheering her on when things get tough, and then victoriously running across the finish line - hands held high over our heads together - we did it!

Okay, so that is where I wake up from my daydream.  In all reality, I see this scenario unfolding in one of two ways:
Way 1: The gun goes off and the race starts.  It'll be packed, so I'll have to keep a close eye on her in the first few minutes, but as soon as she sees a hole, off she sprints with me trying desperately to hang on to her pace, only to have her stop to walk suddenly the first time she realizes she is out of breath.  I see the race continuing as a series of rabid sprint sessions interspersed with frequent walk breaks - Galloway-style. 
So, that is the Good Way.
Way 2: We start out running adequately (sprinting or not) and we continue to run until somewhere along the route when she suddenly realizes what she has gotten herself into.  The rest of the event will be a miserable complain fest as I beg, plead, and cajole her to keep going at a walk so we can finish the race and get to the apple pie.  
(Seriously, there is pie at the end.  I know, I know,.... enough to keep me motivated, but a 7-year-old?)

Okay, so this is all tongue-in-cheek, but witness the following....
Exhibit A:  E. does not want to practice for this run.  Whenever the idea comes up, it is batted down like a good idea gone bad.
Exhibit B:  At our summer fun run series last week, E. - who had the choice to run the quarter-mile or half-mile distance - chose the quarter-mile, even though once she turns 7 she'll have to go to the half-mile anyway and even though she knows she has the 5K on her calendar.
Exhibit C:  E. was very excited to run a 2-Miler this past winter, and run it she did.  However, it took her over 40 minutes and there was apparently a lot of misery along the way.
In her defense, for whatever reason, E. still remains very excited about this event.  I am just hoping that the excitement of the idea is enough to propel her three miles down the road.

Finishing up a half-mile event in April.
So, more than anything, I am really excited and curious to see how this all unfolds. Whether it is good, bad, or ugly, the event will no doubt offer something for us both to learn, and the best part is that we'll get to spend some time together - something that we surprisingly have little opportunity to do.

In my heart, I hope that this isn't really just a way for her to find time to spend with me.  What a sad state of affairs if a 7-year-old feels she has to run a 5K to have some alone time with mom.  Either that, or she thinks she'll get a bunch of sports beans and Gatorade out of the deal - which she will, no doubt.  Well, that and apple pie.

If you have kids, have you gotten them into running?  Do they love it? Hate it?  Could care less?


  1. so glad to be able to be there too! Grandma A will most likely be doing a lot of walk/jog/walk -

    looking forward to this with all of you!

    1. Yay! We're happy to have you there, too! It's such a fun event. Can't wait to see how it goes!

  2. After we volunteered for Girls on the Run, my daughter really wants to do it next year. I think it's the hair ribbons and tutus, but I have to admit that sometimes I am motivated by similar things (i.e. new racing clothes and shoes!).

    1. Anything that gets them active, right? :) I think Girls on the Run is an awesome organization. We just got a local chapter here, and I can't wait until E. is old enough to get involved. Hopefully she'll still be as enthused about running by then.

  3. My daughter has talked about running with me, and we've run together a couple times, but we have yet to run a race together. I'm hoping to change that soon!

    1. Strike while the iron is hot! At least that was our philosophy. E. ran her first one-mile event in November and then declared she was ready for two miles. We didn't hesitate and almost immediately signed up for a two-miler in January. That didn't go the best, but I figure if they WANT to do it then you have to just jump on it. I didn't want her to change her mind. ;) Anyway, apparently her less than enthusiastic run in January didn't turn her completely off of running, because she still likes the idea of it. I can't wait to see what happens!

  4. Best of luck to your daughter on her first 5K!

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