Saturday morning, we dressed the kids warmly for a family race at the local high school. It was Carleigh’s 3rd 5K race and Parker’s first. With all the running Carleigh does at run club, I wasn’t worried about her finishing it, but we were definitely worried about Parker, since he’s only recently turned 4. So we brought the stroller as back up.
There was so much excitement in the air. The race raised money for the school district’s P.E. departments and so it was very concentrated with elementary aged children. There was a 1 mile and a 5K and over 4,000 participants this year! Over double last year’s number! Registration actually capped over a week ago.
My kids had that nervous excited race anxiety and as we got started, they of course started too fast for their little legs. I slowed them down but about a mile in, Parker needed a stroller break. Carleigh was still gung-ho at this point but at about the 1.5 mile point she began regretting signing up for the 5K and Parker was back to jogging. I reminded her that we run 2 miles twice a week at run club, (but to her credit we don’t run as fast a clip as we were running in the race) and Dustin gave her a little pep talk, too. We slowed and she kept at it.
Parker spent the rest of the race in and out of the stroller and Carleigh needed some walk breaks, and stressed a little because in her prior 5Ks she didn’t have to walk. I told her not to worry, that one of the fundamental running greats champions running and walking (referring to Jeff Galloway). That made her feel a little better even though she had no idea who I was talking about, but if Mommy says so …
I didn’t use my watch so I think our time was around 45 minutes or maybe even slower. Not anything to write home about but not all races are about your time and just like for me, I try to teach my children something about each experience. This one in particular was about not believing in themselves. Now Parker didn’t finish the whole race and in fairness, he’s not ready for a 5k. But just like in school, when she has to work herself out of “the pit” when she’s got to work through something, Carleigh had to dig deep from 1.5 miles on and push past the voice in her head saying “I can’t.” And she did. With a little help from her family!
I love helping her gain confidence through running! What hobbies do you do together as a family??