Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Family Fitness: 5K's and Kiddos

Last week, when Ben ran the 15K Freedom Run, the boys and I waited and cheered him in at the finish line. The boys' eyes lit up when they saw all the runners coming in and running over that finish line.  They could sense all the excitement in the air.  Nephi turned to me and said, "When I grow up, I am going to be a runner too."

That thought kind of stuck with me over the next day... and on Friday night, one of my running friends posted on Facebook that there was a 5K on Saturday morning, the Dash for Disabilities.  It suddenly hit me.  Why should the boys have to wait to be runners?  They didn't have to.  They have been hiking long distances and up mountains for years now.  Just last week they hiked 3.5 miles up to the top of the tallest mountain in this range up here:

And then hiked 3.5 back down.  They had a ton of fun!  So I thought, heck, if they can hike that they can do a 5K no problem!

So I decided to sign all three of us up... and just run it with Jake in the stroller.  Ben had work.

When I told the boys we were going to run a race their faces just lit right up!!  They had no idea that THEY could get to do something like mommy and daddy.

When we got there bright and early, the boys were totally thrilled to get to pin numbers on!

They were so cute doing little warm-ups and stretches!!

I tried to explain to them that they needed to pace themselves... but all they wanted to do was run!!!  When we all lined up at the starting line and they said GO we were off.  My boys shot off way ahead of me, and I was nervous that they would make some wrong turns.  There was a 1 mile run at the same time and even though we started together, we would soon part ways and I was nervous that they wouldn't follow the signs and go with the 1 milers.

Nephi started to slow a bit after 1/2 a mile and came to jog with me.  I tell you, a stroller loaded with a 26 lb baby, treats, toys, books, and several water bottles can really slow you down.  I was keeping it steady, but it was a bit rough going.  Sam was so far ahead it made me nervous... but he turned down the right way, YAY!

We just kept going.  Nephi slowed down a bit and would fall behind me, only to sprint a few minutes later and catch up, then repeat.  Jake was demanding treats along the way, and Nephi wanted water a few times... So, I knew I wouldn't be breaking any record times today.  But this wasn't for me.  This was for and about my boys!

We only had a mile left when Nephi started slowing down, I was going to walk with him a while but then I noticed up ahead that Sam was turning down the wrong street!!  I told Nephi he needed to either run with me, or go back and run with one of our friends that was just behind us because I needed to go get Sam.  I didn't even wait for him to answer and I took off.... I was just about to yell at Sam when he figured it out on his own... he turned and saw me and I pointed the other way.  He nodded and took off in the RIGHT direction this time.  I looked back at Nephi and he seemed okay, and I tried to keep Sam in my sights too.  It was a little stressful, but I didn't feel too worried.

We got about 1/4 mile from the finish line and Sam turned down the wrong path again... I yelled at him to come back.  He did, but he had lost some time and looked so sad about it.  I told him I would race him to the finish!!  I pointed and we could see it in the distance.  He got this renewed strength and started running as fast as he could.  I put on the speed... Jake was yelling from the stroller: "FAST GO!!!  FAST GO!!!!"  But I made sure I let Sam stay ahead of me.  He had tried so hard to be first in and those couple wrong turns put him behind.  I wanted him to feel like he was really special... like he was winner, because to me, he always was.

We crossed the finish line, with him a little ahead of me.
I had just enough time to snap this picture of Sam, then turn around to see Nephi coming in.  The look on his face is priceless:
They had done it!  It took me 30 years to run my first 5K... my boys are 6 and 7.  I could not be more proud of them!

I then overheard Sam say to Nephi: "I was the fastest one in the family today!  But Mommy said that everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner!!"

I felt like a really good mom that day.

My two great Army Wife friends who came to run with us!  We had a blast!
The boys loved it so much, we have already signed up for our next 5K!  This time, stroller boy is staying with grandma... hoping for a Personal Record!

Here's to the beginning of MANY fun races with my boys!!


PS Sam did it in 40 min... not bad for making two wrong turns and it being his first race.

CHALLENGE:  I am still challenging my readers to get out and get fit!  Sign up for a race this summer... even if you have to walk it, do it!  No one ever regrets doing a race, only passing them up.


Ariana said...

I loved reading this. It sounds so exciting, and I love that it's something the whole family really can do together.

Jordan said...

Great stuff! My almost-5-year-old wanted so badly to run with me in my 5k last week and I'm thinking I need to find a 1-miler we can try together.

The Mom said...

That is the sweetest story I have read in a long time! What an amazing mother you are to encourage your boys like that!

Meditec said...

That should be a great and fun activity for the whole family. Getting started early with running can be a great preparation for the kids too in whatever sports they might want to get into when they grow up. I don't remember kiddie marathons when I was younger and I probably would be running more now if we had it back in the days.