little runner girl

March 18, 2010 at 9:52 am 3 comments

i’ve never been one to push certain activities on my child. i cringe at beauty pageant moms. fear the soccer mom who sits sideline and screams obscenities at her kid’s coach. and pity the child who needs a pda to keep track of their extracurricular activity schedule. i always vowed that i would never try and live vicariously through my child and i would never push my hobbies on her. so last year when sab decided she wanted to run a 5k, i was ecstatic. with as much as i run i hoped that she might catch the bug but i also knew that in someway she resents the run for the time it sometimes takes from her. little does she understand that without it, i might not make for good company. 

we picked the shamrock 5k my running group puts on, ran a little to prepare but the only goal we set was for her to run the first mile. that she did, and then we alternated between a walk and a run for the rest of the race. she whined. she hurt. she complained. but she did it. and though i think she came out of it with a new found respect for the miles i put in, she opted to hang up her running shoes and “take a little break”. so i was completely surprised when a few months ago she announced she wanted to do the race again and this time she wanted to run the entire thing. 

one thing i am not, and will never let my daughter be, is a quitter. when i set a goal, i am hell bent to achieve it and i made it clear to sab that i would expect the same from her. i didn’t care about time. i didn’t care about speed. but if running it was what she wanted, then running it is what she would do. period. we would train. it would hurt. but, once committed, she would follow through. she agreed. to help make her feel more official, i asked eko to put together a training schedule for her. her own little plan that took her from walk/run alternating to a solid run. sometimes she took to the tread. sometimes we ran together outside. sometimes we counted a kid-fit class at the gym as run replacement. and sometimes we skipped exercise completely. by the week before the run we’d maxed out at a solid two-mile run at a 13 minute pace. not what the plan had hoped for, but what i knew could be enough if she set her mind to going that extra mile. 

waiting at the starting line this past sunday, i wrapped my arms around her to keep her warm. i couldn’t tell if her shivering was from the cool weather or from nervous energy i could tell she was feeling. she’s a very calm child. rational and analytical ~ gee i wonder where she gets that from ~ but i knew somewhere deep inside she was questioning whether or no she could do it. we started out and she found a steady pace hovering just over a 12 minute mile. faster than she had run while training which worried me a little but i decided to let her stay there and hope race day adrenaline could keep her going. 

but not a quarter-mile in to the race she cried out in pain. “the front of my leg hurts, mommy. in a place it’s never hurt before!” a slight limp had me worried for a moment that she’d actually pulled something but i prayed silently that it was just a cramp she could run through. i told myself i’d give it one minute before admitting we would need to stop. but she pushed through whatever it was and it subsided. we hit mile one and she was all smiles. a brief walk to take a drink and we settled right back into the rhythm. most of the time we talked. conversation i tried to steer away from the run to keep her mind off the pain and exhaustion i was sure her little body was going to endure. every so often she’d comment how good she felt and i’d counter with how amazing she was doing. and the race volunteers along the route ~ all members of our running group ~ brought extra encouragement and cheers as we’d pass by. 

but as we approached mile two, i could tell she was fading. every so often she’d slow her pace for what she deemed “a little recovery time” but then she’d pick it back up. it was mile two and a half that i thought i might lose her. the i-can-do-it positive attitude was gone and she was begging for the finish line. as i tried to help her focus, i saw a sight for sore eyes that i knew would help get her through. coach eko and the fast girl were coming back to run her in! as soon as she saw them she perked up. being an official group member and being treated like a “real runner” is something she thrives on. with three pacers by her side she stood a little taller and ran a little faster. her pace increased to an 11:30 and i had to reel her back in from going faster. 

one thing i can almost always do in a race is find my sprint. even when i feel like i have nothing left to give, there’s something about the sight of the finish line that gives me one last adrenaline rush. and there’s nothing that pushes me more than running neck and neck with someone that i know i can beat if i dig in and fly. throughout the race i’d told sab to “find her runner” at the end. the one that she would over take in that final stretch. as we approached the mile three marker the finish line came into sight. “see that car parked on the street mommy … that’s where i’m going to start my sprint.” with a full tenth of a mile left to go i wasn’t sure if her little legs could handle a full on sprint but my little runner girl reached that car, broke into full stride, blew by “her runner” and crossed the finish line with a 5k time of 37:11. 

sights set. sprint in motion.

so fast she flying off the ground!

coach eko, the fast girl and me hanging back to let her take it in alone

passing "her runner"

finishing strong!

Entry filed under: parenting, running. Tags: , , , , , , .

take me away the lost post

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sarah  |  March 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    way to go SAB!!!!

  • 2. bgirl875  |  March 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    This is cutest post ever. And I know you are very proud mom. Go SAB!!!

  • 3. fitandfortysomething  |  April 2, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    i love this!


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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39



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