Saturday, January 24, 2015

Running in Circles

This week, twice, I have had the pleasure of an exquisite experience: running laps with my oldest son.



The Boy and Little Bear are taking part in the Steel Kids Marathon, which is a Pittsburgh schools thing. Basically, they have to run 25 miles between January 1 and the Pittsburgh marathon in April. They run the last 1.2 miles the day of the marathon, and everybody makes a big fuss at the end. There are t-shots, prizes, and games and such. It's a wonderful, positive experience.

Last year was not the most positive experience. It was supposed to be a Mom and The Boy bonding thing, where they would go to the JCC to run or to the Saturday morning thing to run together, just the two of them. But, she then got hired on as a cantorial soloist for her temple, which meant that Saturday mornings were out. She would occasionally take him during the week, but it took a crash sequence of running at the end of March to catch him up enough to finish the entire marathon.

Plus, the day of the marathon, he had a complete and epic meltdown. He was screaming and crying all the way through to the end of the run. Combine that with bringing Little Bear along with, and it wasn't a great experience.

This year, we resolved for it to be different. Since multiple children are now in school, multiple children participated. We talked about how to run distances: take a medium speed and hold yourself back. That way, you can run for much, much longer than just setting off and running as fast as you can.

Thus, my wonderful moment: going for a nice run with my son. We just ran. We'd race each other for a bit, every once in a while. We'd talk a little bit, but we mostly just ran for the mile. It was very blissful for me.

I've tried to run with Little Bear, but he's tough. He's competitive. He wants to beat you. He'll run with me for short distances, then he remembers who he is and has to be ahead of me.

It's caused some issues when we all run. If I let the two start the mile at the same time, inevitably one breaks down crying by lap three, which means twelve laps of me pushing and prodding them to finish. Usually, that's Little Bear. The Boy is two years older than he is, which is a lot of development and muscle time.

Now, I send one of the kids to get about three quarters of a lap ahead before I send the other one. That way, they're both equally unhappy, when they're not the one ahead. Whatever.

They're at 9.91 miles right now. The odd number is because the indoor track at the JCC requires 15 laps per mile, which means some weird things if they decide to do 16 laps or something like that. They'll cross the ten mile barrier tomorrow, which will be celebrate by donuts.

It's nice to be able to run with my sons. I enjoy it.


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