I LOVE running with my daughter. Okay, 99.99% of the time I LOVE running with my daughter. We have had some tough runs over the years where she was less than 100% convinced that running was the thing to do. This started way back when she was still in the jogging stroller. I still remember the day she was crying out in frustration about being hot. We had a bit to go to get back to the car and shade was nowhere in sight and the sun was coming at just the wrong angle so we couldn't block her darling face and body from the vicious sun. So I did what any loving running mom would do --- I poured some of my drinking water over her head. We still laugh about that day today...the day darling daughter was so hot and miserable that Mommy poured water on her head.
Today the challenges are different because she is fighting the battle many runners face. The battle of doubt -- I can't do it. I can't run a mile. I can't run up and down those hills. I can't go one more step! Through these runs I have learned something. My daughter needs the "tough coach" every now and then. The one who says, suck it up buttercup and go! Not the one that says, okay darling. Take a break. Let me know when you are ready to run. Of course, I let her know walk breaks are perfectly acceptable but when they are stretching out longer due to doubt....Coach Mommy steps up to the plate and she loves that she has her Mommy, a real running coach, to coach her. And yesterday she saw, hard work pays off!
A couple of months ago we started her training for upcoming races. We missed the Leprechaun Dash on March 17 for various reasons so that short sprint fell to the wayside but I had my eyes, and hers, focused on the 1 mile race she did yesterday and the Mother-Daughter 5K we are doing in May. We have even talked about cross training and how her horse back riding lessons are making her legs stronger and will help come race day. She pointed out running at recess is good training too! Yes it is darling daughter.
Due to where we live, a lot of her running with me is on tough terrain meaning pretty big hills. We have a neighborhood mile that we have done and it has some killer hills! Needless to say, it also has some mental challenges but she did it and I promised her, come race day, the mile there will be a breeze!
She was excited to get to the race start and we saw a couple of her friends there too. The race was a local run raising funds for schools so lots of kiddos! With where she was in her training I knew the mile was the race for her. Too early to do the 5K as I want her to go into the Mother-Daughter race happy and confident not burnt out. One of her friends joined us as her parents weren't running and I let them know, darling daughter loves the run/walk strategy. That was good and her friend has some cross country experience. I now knew my two buddies and once the horn blasted, off we went!
We started in the back of the pack behind the 5K runners but those girls were passing people steadily along the course. A few times I had to guide them to the course as their happy legs were going who knows where. This is another good reason to run with your kiddos! Following a course may be tougher for them than you think plus when we got to the final turn I had to take a moment and verify. Yes, I knew where to turn but there was no volunteer or sign confirming it and I am certain at least one or two milers may have continued to follow the 5K runners on their course instead of veering off.
Once we got closer to the finish line I told my buddies to put it into full gear and beat me to the finish. I stepped behind them and off those two girls went and let me tell you, they put in a good final push with me cheering behind them and tons of spectators cheering for them too. In this race, all finishers receive a medal so they proudly received their medals with big smiles.
After letting darling daughter indulge in getting some juice we returned to the finish line to cheer others on and watch dear hubby finish as he ran the 5K.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I can run with the kiddos!
Daily Bible Verse: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24