Sep 15, 2007

a mile with my girls

i ran a mile with my girls today ...

a flyer came home from school a few weeks' ago announcing the 19th annual family fitness fun run. my oldest daughter and i had done this a few years back & after a small hiatus of not being able to do it due to ballet schedules, etc ... we were definitely in for this year. and after my youngest daughters' stellar performance in her physical best test at school in which she held her lead for the entire half mile & was the first girl, 3rd child overall to cross the finish line - i signed her up too.

i was there that day at school. realizing as i looked across the field that the girl in 1st place was my girl. the same girl that begs me to take her running but whines about how tired she is before we even make it to the end of the street.
i saw her little legs running. running. and her little curls flying behind her.
i saw her smile as she passed me & continued on for the second lap.
i was the stopwatch mom. i know how long she took.
or rather, how fast she went.
i saw her do it & now she has no more whiny excuses.
she blew her cover that day.

so we lay out our outfits last night & head to the race this morning. we do the requisite pre-race port a potty stops, check in & get our t-shirts ... and they run about a mile of excited circles around each other and their brother while we waited for the start.

they start the race as if they had been shot out of a cannon & i think that maybe i should impart some coachy words of wisdom about pacing, etc ...don't burn it all up right now. save some. its ok to start a little slow. then i think - they are kids. its a fun run. just let them be.

their running commentary, pun intended - was hysterical and priceless.
and sounded all too familiar:

1 minute into race, as soon as her afterburners petered out,
my youngest asks -
how long is a mile?

a quarter mile in -
i hate this race.

soon after that -
i hate running.
i don't want to be a runner girl.
maybe i'll be a biker girl.

at the turnaround point,
both of them say -
that's it? we're halfway done!?
downhill will be much easier.

because they've got some nice forward momentum going & i want them to hang on, just a bit longer i say to them that they'll get a medal at the end.
(sadly, and unbeknownst to me, this was not true)
a medal!? we better hurry!

and i say - see those cars in the parking lot up there?
that's the finish line. right past the trees. you're almost there.
keep going. you can do this!

and i watch my oldest daughter -who spent much of the race ahead of us,
start to pick people off, passing them one by one.
and they kick it in ... as fast as their little legs will carry them all the way to
daddy at the finish line & their big brother, who was reluctant to come & cheer them on, but is now happily ringing the cowbell for them.

and they are breathless.
and happy.
and smiling.

i think the bags of race swag containing water bottles, stickers, notepads, pens, hand sanitizer, chapstick & fridge magnets made up for the absence of a medal ...

i'm not sure their race tshirts will come off any time soon.
i don't blame them ... i've been known to wear a medal way longer than i should.

and i ask them in the car on the way home - what was your favorite part of the race?
(totally thinking my youngest would say the hand sanitizer
which had practically been emptied by now -
or the chapstick she was smearing all over her lips)

but she says: the running.
and my other daughter says: the running & the never stopping.

that is the best part girls.


Vickie said...

Wow! Sounds like a great day. You sound very proud. And they surprised you! They liked the running after all. Watch out where this takes them.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome! My nephew is almost 3 1/2 and I can't wait for him to be old enough for me to take him to fun runs. He's a pretty athletic little guy, too, so I'm sure it won't be long before he can totally outrun me, ha! (The athleticism must come from my brother-in-law's side of the family. It sure doesn't come from ours!)

Anonymous said...

oh suzanne. i loved reading this.

zanne said...

oh, so glad! i loved writing it. it was so much fun ... and their comments were so priceless & so on target - they had me laughing the whole time. i had to share ...

MiaStella said...

So cute...the day was perfect for a run!