Respect the Run: Running the Little Lovies and random training musings

Little Lovies Run a Mile

This  morning in the  cold, wind and  not really snow but blowing snowflakes I slogged my tight legs and body through a 5K.   I don’t know why winter always has to pick my Saturday runs to remind me that it really is February in Indiana.  We are having an incredibly mild winter here, so I really shouldn’t complain.  I’ve had plenty of Monday and Wednesday runs in capris and a long sleeve shirt, practically unheard of for the season and certainly not the bitter cold and ice I ran in last winter.   It  just seems like every time the weekend Saturday morning run comes,  I wake up to something that feels more like February is supposed to. Mileage is climbing for Mini training. Last week was 4 on Monday and 5 on Wednesday, from here on out each week will bring a new longer Wednesday distance.  I’m grateful for the ability to run, I’m grateful for an injury free body so  far. But  man I am telling you this morning I was not grateful for the weather.   The local High School sponsors what they call a Tiger Trot every year.  It is a fund raiser for their cross country and track teams.  There is a 5K for the adults and families with kids that can run that far, and a 1 mile race for the kiddos.   It is no secret to MiniMe and The Destroyer that we are trying to turn them into runners, that we desire to make this running thing a family sport.  We started them on the Rookie Run last year, followed it up with the 2 mile Freedom Festival and this morning I subjected them to  something that is likely a little more like what “real” running will be for them.   A small race, with a few participants and support coming from basically the parents of the runners.

The 5K was probably smaller than 130 runners. I say this because I clocked a 34:03 according to the race results.  Pretty darn respectable considering my 5K PR is a 33:43 I  gained last year in the Mini training series when Babu set the first miles pace at something like 9:00. The Freedom Festival I  finished under 40 minutes and I don’t even know what I did the Turkey Trot in without looking it up on Runkeeper and I am in a hurry to get this post done and too lazy to go do that.  The point is I came in on the race results sheet listed as #103 …. out of #105.    Now Babu and the kids came to the finish line to cheer me on as I entered the track for the one lap to finish, and he swears there were at least 4-5 people behind me. And we saw more coming in as we headed out to the track with the kids.  I’m not too bummed about being listed as 103/105 because an 11:06 is not too darn shabby for me thank you very much. I have been sore and tight since Wednesday, just now coming down from the Girl Scout Cookie diet and it was seriously freezing and windy this morning.   To be honest I was grateful I wasn’t doing the  normal 45 minute Saturday run because I would have been required to put another mile on the 3.2 this morning and I really don’t know if I had it in me today.

How does this tie into the  Little Lovies?  Well for starters we didn’t train them for this race, at all. They were running cold, in the cold with only the assurance from  Babu and I that they had already run 2 miles with Dad, so this should be no sweat.   The course was a basic 4 times around the track and the top finisher was a girl about 12-13 who did it in 6, yes SIX MINUTES!!!!    Both MinieMe and The Destroyer had times during those 4 laps when they struggled. Both of them had times when they started to stop and walk.  I knew The Destroyer would probably not give up, but I had some doubts about MiniMe.  She  wants me to sign her up for Girls On  The Run, and I swear I’m going to get off my butt and do it soon.   Pacing is an issue for both of them and somewhere along the 2nd lap she was seriously losing steam.   Babu and I ran back and forth across the field to catch them on both sides of the track and when I got there for lap 2, she yelled to me. “Mom, I can’t do it!”  She was already holding her side and she needed to simply slow down her pace and breathe through it, but she also needed a boost of badass.   I’ve been there so many times it isn’t even funny. There are some  runs where I call on my mantras, or use a breath trick, or some other  mind trick to make my head get it in gear and let my body keep doing its thing.  Sometimes I’m not sure which part of me is convincing the other that we can keep doing this, but somehow I pull it out of myself and just do it.  So many things in life are a mind trick, a convince yourself, an attitude or confidence thing.  Running helps fine tune those inner mind skills and part of the reason I want to turn the Little Lovies into runners is so they learn how to engage those skills early.  Running  may be the one sport where trash talk is looked down on.  In Running it is expected that you support and cheer those around you.  At least in the back of the pack where I run, that’s how we roll.  So I shouted as loud as I could to her and she headed my way, “You Absolutely CAN do it, baby” You absolutely can. Slow down and find a pace, but don’t stop running.”  And I could see her little face screw up in resolve, I could see that stubborn streak make its way out in the form of keep going.  And darn if she didn’t come in near the back of the participants, but that little 9 year old still  clocked a 10 minute mile with zero training.  Her little brother found  the whole thing a little easier and finished around 9:15.   Both of them, even when struggling, can go faster than us right now.

After they were done, we both hugged them and told them how proud we were, but they were both grumpy and not happy about the cold or the run.  In fact  he was crying about how he hated running and there was nothing good about it.  I’ve been there after a run or 5, but I also have the benefit of knowing that training makes it easier.  If we keep them doing this, if we continue to set an example for them with our own runs, we maybe just maybe can accomplish that family of runners dream I have. After some hot chocolate and another ribbon/medal to add to their collection they were feeling pretty proud of themselves.   By the time we got home they were already talking about doing the Rookie Run again in May.   Don’t tell Babu but I just had an idea that maybe I will sign us up for the St. Patrick’s Day run as a family. After all the whole idea of turning them into runners started because it is hard to get babysitting at 6:30 in the morning so both Mom and Dad can run 5K’s.  If we run them as a family, no babysitting needed!

PS-  IPhone Runkeeper  access and OCD to the rescue! Turkey Trot was 36:20, that totally had to be from trying to keep up with Martini Curls b/c I was so out of shape in that race it was ridic.  So my worst 5K is still Freedom Festival at 39:06, that was heat and humidity for sure.



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