Every once in a while the Hubby is inspired to share his thoughts about running on a day when I am not so inspired an you all benefit from the Dad who also runs on empty!! Today is THAT day
As a father, one of the most exciting moments for me was when Danger started to run with us. After running two races with him, I can honestly say that it is better than I imagined it would be. He is so much more than just a running partner! This past Saturday he and I tried to accomplish two goals:
1: Set a new 5K PR
2: Place in the top 3 of his age group (HE CAME IN 4TH UNDER 10 ON THANKSGIVING)
Amongst the reindeer antlers and Santa hat’s we stood at the starting line of the “it’s a wonderful run” in Seneca Falls ,NY (the self proclaimed inspiration town for the movie “it’s a wonderful life” ) talking out our game plan and how we would attack this race together. We spoke about pace, how we would hug the corners so we didn’t run further than needed and what we would do if we got separated so we could meet at the finish line.
As the gun went of we bid farewell to Sarah or as Danger knows her, Mom, and took off working our way through the large crowd and attacking this race together. Because I am still recovering from a hamstring injury and still experiencing some knee issues, and because he had a time goal in mind the race felt more like a battle than it did a fun run.
As we ran through the Christmas lit streets of Seneca Falls, the pride I had for him was boiling over. I loved watching the reaction people had to this boy running alongside his dad and keeping pace. People around us helped to encourage him with words like “great job” and “you got this Buddy”. I loved the feeling of support that came from our fellow runners.
As we approached the last mile Danger was starting to struggle and we needed to slow our pace. I continued to push him and remind him that not every run we do will be comfortable and that sometimes we do the uncomfortable to overcome our fears and reach a new goal, like a PR. As we rounded the last 500 yards I noticed two boys a bit older than Danger and I asked if he thought he could finish before those boys. Before I could say anything else he pushed forward and passed the them. The look on their faces told me that it didn’t sit well with them and the boys returned fire. This is how the race ended, with the back and forth between Danger and me and those two boys, all the way to the finish line. The official time we finished was 28:29, a 2 min improvement over his first 5K. Though he did not finish in the top 3 in his age group, I was overwhelmed with pride. The age group was from 0-14 and most of the kids that placed in front of him were 13 and 14 year old, and were already running cross country in the junior highs. Danger just turned 9!
The next day as we were recovering from our race I found myself looking for just one more race this year to enjoy with Danger. I found a local 5K with a unique twist: it has a special division for fathers and sons with the best combined finishing times. This is a perfect opportunity for Danger and me to continue to grow this shared love for running AND help me to continue to recover.
Have you ever run a race with your kids? What advice would you give to running parents to inspire there kids to join in the fun?