It’s official; spring has finally come to Northeast Ohio!!! Warmer weather means runs move from the treadmill to the road, and I couldn’t be happier. The break in the weather also means the kiddles have started training for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5K, which is held the day before the marathon on Saturday, May 16. All four of them will lace up their shoes and take to the streets of Cleveland, so that means it’s training time!
Our first outdoor training run was on April 1. We are fortunate enough to live right around the corner from a local park that has a paved .4 mile track around it, which is perfect for runs with the kids. As much as I would love them to run around the neighborhood with me, four kids + no sidewalks = not a fabulous idea. We got to the park, stretched, and started off. I told them the goal was to run at least two laps without walking. After that, they could decide to run more with me or play on the playground. We weren’t even a quarter of the way around the track when my darling Annie started complaining that her side hurt and her legs hurt. Keep in mind she is a very athletic kid and nothing would make be believe she was feeling any pain at this time, especially with the pace we were keeping. She also proceeded to tell me she changed her mind and didn’t want to run this race. What did I do? I made her keep going and told her she was going to run that race. I’m not trying to sound like a horrible parent and definitely don’t want to use physical activity as a punishment, but I am teaching her a lesson. That lesson is when you sign up for something and make a commitment, you finish it. She wanted to run the race before, and I hesitated signing her up because I was worried she wasn’t serious. After telling me multiple times she wanted to run, I bit the bullet and registered her. She will be at that starting line in May.
Despite the whining, the two laps went well, especially for the other kids who made it seem easy. Cole, Lexi, and Annie decided to take a breather, but Cael told he wanted to keep running with me. Truth be told, he is my little running buddy and has no problem keeping up with me. Cael and I completed another lap, and while we were coming around the last turn, we saw Annie take off on her own. This made me very proud. We yelled words of encouragement, and she kept going…and going…and going. When it was said and done, that little girl who complained about two laps completed enough to run 2.4 miles! 2.4 freaking miles! For a kid who has never run a 5K (unlike her siblings), I was floored. The best part is she did most of it on her own in her fiercely independent style, earning her the Hustle Award for the day. Afterward, we were talking about it, and she said she was looking forward to the next run. What started off negatively ended on a positive note for her.
Cael definitely snagged the Rockstar Award. That little guy hung in there for 4 miles! Keep in mind he has never run that far, AND he hasn’t run any significant distance since last August when he ran his first 5K. To top it off, he is fast. When we were running with everyone else, we were keeping pace in the 10:00-11:00 minute range, but once it was just him and me, we were easily in the 9:00-9:30 minute range. Then he sped up and was cruising in the 8:30-8:45s! I already ran 4 miles on the treadmill that morning, and I honestly had trouble keeping up with him! I told him that he and I will do a race together this spring or summer where it is just him and me because I am curious to see just how fast my little dude can fly.
And what about Lexi and Cole? They both completed their 2 laps, which made me happy. Poor Cole needed a bathroom break and spent most of the time in there (hey, we’ve all been there, right?), and Lex joined in for another lap after taking a small break. All in all, it was a successful training day! Great job, kiddles, and I’m looking forward to more runs with you!