The Child of a Runner.

Me: How was school?
11 yr old son: Good. We had Cross Country. I trained a guy.
Me: You did what?
11 yr old son: I was Jack’s personal trainer.
Me: Tell me more.
11 yr old son: Well, we had to do laps around the school. He went out way too fast and had to walk. I caught up to him and told him he had to pace himself and told him to run with me. So he did. We ran together. And we finished 2nd. John beat us but not by much.

Day 2
Me: How was school?
11 yr old son: Good. We had cross country again. This time I got a whole bunch of guys to run with me. I told them the key was to pace themselves. I was *this* close to beating my record yesterday but the teacher blew the whistle when I was 5 ft away from the end so we had to stop. I finished second again. John won again.
Me: You should have ditched the guys and sprinted. You could have been first.
11 yr old son: Whaa?? No way man. And leave my friends? That’s cheap.
Me: No, that’s competition.

Apparently the training that my kid did for his 5K race 18 months ago stuck. That’s cool. While I’m slightly disappointed that my progeny doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body right now, I think that in today’s environment where competition -> greed -> shareholder value is ripping apart our economy/the fabric of our society, his desire to help others instead of helping himself is a good thing. The fact that he wants to help others succeed at running? That’s AMAZING.


Kids and Running Part Deux: Races that include kids

Your little one has decided he wants to tag along on your runs.  You let her join you and watch as she sprints to the end of the street and announces the run is over. Eventually, he expresses an interest in running a race because you are running a race.  Where do you find a race that includes your offspring?  Here:

Walk+Roll Peel (Brampton, Ont.) – 1Km kids course.  Usually held in October.

Oasis ZooRun (Toronto, Ont.) – Cub Run is less than 1 km long.  Lots of fun.  Everyone gets a bib with the number 1 on it plus a tshirt and other assorted goodies in the race kit.  Free admission to the zoo for the day is included.  Usually held in October.

Where’s Franktown (Franktown, Ont.) – Family Run that is approx. 1 km long.  Kids receive a certificate for completing the race. Usually held in May.

Mudrun (Toronto, Ont.) – 1.5 km Kids Mud Run.  Part of me thinks this sounds awesome.  Bet the kids would love it!  Usually held in June.

Taylor Creek Park Fun Run
(Scarborough, Ont.) – 2 km Kids Run.  Usually held in July.

Longboat Toronto Island 10K and 1K Kids Fun Run (Toronto, Ont.) – 1 km Kids Run.  Usually held in September.

Whitby 10 Miler, Santa is Back in Town (Whitby, Ont.) – Each run has a 1 km kids race.  The 10 Miler is held in November; the Santa race is held in December.

Kids and Running

I had a wicked experience last spring. I trained my 10 yr old son to run a 5K and we ran a 5K race together. It was amazing.  Yes, there was griping. Yes there was whining. There was even crying. But enough about me… 🙂

Seriously, the big guy didn’t want to go out for every training session. He needed a little prodding on some days. After a week though (we ran 3 times per week), something really special happened. As soon as we walked out that door together for our warm up, his mouth opened and pretty much stayed that way during our entire session. The same kid who, when asked “What did you do today?” answered “Stuff” instantly had volumes to say to me. It was great. I learned more about Lego than I cared to. I also learned a lot more about my son and his sense of humour as well as his values and his thoughts about what he could accomplish.

I learned I can be a little too tough, without meaning to. That was the day the tears appeared. After the second or third session I asked my son’s permission to push him a little bit. He asked what I meant. I stated that it meant when he was tired and asked for a walk break, I would encourage him to keep going. The first time this happened, he thanked me afterwords. I was surprised. I didn’t think I had done much; all I really did was say “Let’s try to keep going; let’s aim for that fire hydrant”. We had many discussions about how powerful your brain is and how it has the ability to stop you from doing what your muscles are capable of doing. We came up with comical sayings to try to shut our brains down while our legs kept working. I never yelled. I did plead a few times. The first day he cried, it was because he had a stitch and it was bad. The second time he cried it was because he couldn’t believe he had run 5K. He was so overwhelmed (probably due in part to my maniacal jumping up and down with joy) that he just burst into tears. It brought back my memory of my first 10K. I did the same thing at that finish.

I’m reminded of this because I finally brought all the bits together to make a little memory piece for him. I found a shadow box in which to put his medal (if you’re 10 yrs old and your Mom is going to make you run a race, you better get a medal for it!), his bib, cardstock with his time printed on it and his finishing photo. I was also reminded of this time because he just ran with me this past weekend for the first time since last May. We ran 2K together and it flew by. He took charge of the session and laid out the warm up route as well as the running route. The original plan was for 1K but he was having an easy time and the conversation was flowing so he kept going with me.   He had such a good time he asked if he can run with me again this coming weekend.  I’m glad.  I’m glad for a lot of reasons.  One of them is that pre-pubescent moodiness has struck.  I’m hoping that this time spent running will help combat that.  Right now the only thing combating his vicious mood swings is a 250 ml dose of Reisling and that’s not a habit I’d like to adopt.  I’d much rather reconnect over a 30 minute run.

We’re planning on running the same 5K race this spring. Just before I dropped him at our street to keep going on my run he asked, “Mom, do you think I could run a 10K?”. You bet! You can do anything you try to do.

So, we’ll lay out a training plan and see how it goes.

If anyone is interested in our 5K plan, drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll dig it up and post it.

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