A few weeks back this post came up in my FB feed about a mile fun/run walk for kids and adults in our area. I asked Lee about it - and got an, if you want to Chicky - and 2.5 seconds later I signed the whole fam up. Probably not one of my more well thought out ideas but great things CAN come from rash decisions, right?
We had talked it up with the girls about walking and running and doing your best and if you cross the finish line you got a medal. E can be very motivated by rewards so I was pretty sure she'd be fine. R - well I never really know what's going on in that 3-yr-old mind of hers but I am fairly certain she understood alittle. E asked me about the medals I have for finishing some .5 marathons that are on display in our laundry room coat rack. She was pumped.
So we got the packet pick up and....
Me - If you cross the finish line you'll get one of those
Guy @ registration - Actually only the age group winners will get medals
Me - ....
Best to get my story straight BEFORE I go promising hardware to my kids who were some of the youngest in the 6 and under age group.
With our numbers and packets and race shirts in hand we headed home (for E's birthday party which was that afternoon and thank goodness soccer had been canceled that morning due to wet fields otherwise we would have been the family of headless chickens)
E was super bummed about the prospect of not getting a medal. I told her if she ran really fast she still might get one. She asked if me and Papa were going to get one - which was just comical because I was going to push M in the stroller and Papa, well, I was just hoping he'd finish within the 16 minute time limit. We thought E had messed up the ties for her timing chip and we decided letting them hold on to the race bags with the one-time only use ties and safety pins was a really horrible idea.
I'm going to a digress for a moment and say that I think that doing family activities is necessary. When those activities can incorporate something bigger than just doing something together (case in point - healthy activity) then even better. There were a bunch of kids running in this race but the number of parental participants was not as numerous as I'd thought it would be. And I think it is probably because some parents are afraid to put themselves out there and not be the first one the cross the finish line. There were some really fast runners in this race but then there were some brave parents - ehem Papa - who went out there and did what they told their kids to do - Do the best you can. Most parents aren't in the best shape of their lives but our kids don't care - they just want to see us cross that finish line whether it is at 5 minutes or 15 minutes.
Enough of that. Back to the race:
You should be able to figure out whose number is whose
The line up:
The Dashing Deacon (his name for himself not mine) - When I signed up he was very supportive of doing this race/run as a family. He is not in the best physical shape but completing a mile in 16 minutes did not seem like a concern for him. But it was for me...
Me - I probably could have used a shirt that read - Pregnant and Participating. I don't run when I'm pregnant so pushing M in the stroller was a fantastic excuse to walk.
E - She was super excited about the idea of a medal but her motivation went out the door at packet pick up.
R - I was pretty sure when I signed her up she would just stand there and not do anything and it would have been a wasted $20.
Obligatory Family Pic for the non-existent scrapbook
The format of the races was the men went first then the women (because chivalry is still alive and well) then the boys and last the girls. The adults had a 16 minute time limit and the kids had a 20 minute time limit. We all got in place for the men's race to see Papa off...
M only walked in the street a few times which was a bit scary so I held her until the runners passed so she would not get trampled. So the race began and the runners were off and then we didn't see Papa. Mind you, there are less than 100 guys running/walking so I thought he would be in the back jogging but then I didn't see him and I halfway thought he didn't start.
R played in the dirt which is pretty standard for her during physical activity - she likes collecting rocks on the soccer field.
E kept asking where Papa was and when he was going to finish. We were waiting at the finish line and I kept telling her that Papa was going to be like the turtle - slow but sure and he would finish. Well sure enough he was rounding the corner at a time I wasn't expecting - as in the 11 mile minute range??? Definitely surprised me and himself by his performance.
Then E HAD to use the potty - of course - right when Papa finished so we hustled to the bathrooms before the women's race.
M and I lined up in the back as instructed and I had no intention of running at all but the race started and even the people in the back were running so I caved to peer pressure and M and I jogged for a good portion of the mile. I would TOTALLY have brought the jogger had I known I would be jogging. M enjoyed her spot. She got a little sunburnt and roasted but it was fun. I think I finished around the 14:30 minute mark so jogging was necessary just to make the time constraints.
Then we had a bit a time to kill before the girls race while the boys race was going on
So what do we do, go to the bathroom of course! I get their timing chips on their shoes and we head to the starting line.
I told E she was allowed to run as fast as she wanted and there were volunteers in yellow shirts and policemen out on the run who could help her if she needed anything and I would be in the back with R if she needed me. Papa would be at the finish line to meet her there.
R making nice with the policeman who carried up the caboose of the racers - that would have been her.
So the race started and E was off and R did EXACTLY as I predicted just stood there. Her lip started to quiver and the crowd starting descending on the road so they could watch the runners go down and she looked at me and I looked at her and she grabbed my pinky as tight as she could and we starting running.
I couldn't believe it. R started willing running.
We were going at a good 3-yr-old pace and then we made it to the .25 mile marker. Running in the road with the police car right behind us kind of freaked her out so we headed to the sidewalk and we just walked along. I started talking to the policeman who said he had a 3 yr old at home who would probably get too distracted to participate and right at that moment we walked passed a church with a playground and R lingered at the fence to check it out.
The volunteers cheered for R as we walked down the route. I think around the .5 mile marker she sat down and asked to be carried - which wasn't going to happen. She was mad we were not with the other people who were walking so I told her we could still catch up to them. She held my hand and we kept walking.
Then she sat down again and I told her there were cookies at the end of the race which motivated her a little bit. Eye on the prize, baby. So now I had something to lure her to the end with. We continued walking and I was pretty sure we were well behind the 20 minute pace but at that point I was just hoping she'd finish. Around the .75 mile marker there was a lady ringing a huge church bell which R didn't seem terribly interested in. The sidewalk and road construction filled our conversation as well as this infamous cookie - chocolate or M&M... Then we were so very close and there was a pack of volunteers who were trying to convince her to start running but they clearly didn't know R. I thought she was going to sit down again.
We rounded the last turn for the last .05 miles of the race which was lined with people who started cheering as soon as they saw R. Literally everyone was waiting on her to finish - because the awards ceremony was next. The crowd was so loud and cheering her on and I was about to go into this insane hormonal pregnancy moment - and the tears filled my eyes and everyone was cheering and R was ACTUALLY about to finish this race I thought she'd never complete and thank goodness for my sunglasses. I caught myself and walked well in front and to the side of R so she could have her moment of finishing the race. The loud cheering crowds could not coax her to start jogging but she smiled so big once she walked across that finish line and promptly demanded her cookie.
Papa was right there with M to see her finish at about 19:30 - within the allotted time.
Me - Where's E?
Papa - I thought she was with you
Me - Ummmm... no!
Papa - ....
Me - Did she finish?
Papa - We have to find her
We turn around and there she was sitting under a tree with her unopened water
Me - You were supposed to be there for her
Papa - I wonder how long she's been there
Guy Papa has been talking to - Oh she's been sitting there for a few minutes
Me - I guess we'll have to see the results to find out when she finished
Me - How was the race?
E - Good. I didn't see Papa
Me - So what did you do when you finished?
E - Oh I just went and talked to Martha (a girl from her preschool) and then I waited for you
Me - Oh. Did you run really fast in your race?
E - Yes, but then I got tired and I walked a little and I talked to this mama who was in a yellow shirt and she helped me and she was a 'good apple'
Me - Great!
(Berenstain Bear book reference, anyone?)
We went to the snack table only to find out that the all of the cookies were gone and it didn't even dawn on me during the race that EVERYONE else probably would have raided the cookies.
Well played there mom.
R was content with a bag of peanuts and her water and she was still beside herself, her face was beaming with pride.
We raced back to the van and loaded up and headed to the birthday party we were late for. I carried R the whole way.
E - What's a buddy?
Me - Someone who is your friend who helps you get through stuff
R - You my buddy
Me - Yep I was your buddy
While in the van racing to our next action packed activity:
Me - I cannot believe you finished as fast as you did
Papa - Yeah well you know Chicky
Me - I'm proud of you. You finished first out of the family
Papa - Just call me the Dashing Deacon
Me - Hmmm... no. So does this motivate you to maybe go jogging once or twice a week?
Papa - Oh heck no!
Come to find out E was the family winner. She finished just under 11 minutes - which shocked Lee and I both. She finished 6th in her age group and was the first 4 yr old to finish (there was one 5 yr old who finished right before her and technically E is much closer to 5 than 4).
We were expecting E to finish around 13-14 minute mark so Papa probably was not at the finish line in time and thank the Lord nothing happened to her in the 10 minutes she was 'lost' but not lost.
Still makes me smile when I look at the girls results and see R's name at the very bottom with a time that is almost 5 minutes behind the previous finisher.
We'll hopefully be making this a family tradition : )