had no idea what she was in for. But she was ready for it.
She watches me lace up my purple running shoes (I really believe in feeling pretty as much as possible), put on my running shorts (with my running tights most of the year), throw on a T-shirt (again, most of the year also my icebreaker and running jacket) and head out the door. She is worried when I tell her I'm going for a long run 'I'll miss you momma! I wish I could run with you!' and relieved when I'll be back before quiet time is over or before she is asleep.
But she doesn't run much. She is a mad hiker. She is becoming a mad biker. She has got some climbing skillzzz that I did not teach her. But as much as she says she would like to run with me, she doesn't last very long.
Until July 4, 2014.
The first annual Challenge for Charities 1 mile Mad Dash Kids Run.
She was excited about it from the beginning. Actually, it was more about the running shoes. But still. She was excited.
As the day drew near I could see the nervousness set it. She was not sure what she had signed up for but she didn't back down…she was going to get a Tshirt in her race packet!
We started the morning with some stretching and hydrating. We got dressed. We pinned her number on (714!!! I love my number momma!) We walked four blocks to the starting line. I carried her…there was going to be a lot of walking later and I wanted to save her legs. We talked about how the man would shoot a gun in the air and that would be our signal to go. We got in line. 50 kids under 9 and half as many parents. Cameras flashing everywhere, the parents staying behind reminding their kids to watch for the adults on the track who would tell them where to go and to follow the orange arrows spray painted on the ground. Sis was nervous. She was looking around and her body was tense. She was not letting go of my hand even though she had very sternly told me several weeks earlier that under no circumstance would she be holding my hand and she would be running in front of me. But she was ready. As soon as the gun went off we were off navigating around the kids who had been tripped accidentally by other kids and the one kid who was accidentally tripped by a parent. She moved fast and pretty quickly said she was getting tired but pressed on anyway. We slowed down a bit and then when she said she was ready we sped up. We passed a few people-all the parents saying the same things: 'We are pacing ourselves. Go slow now and then speed up' 'It's fine if you need to slow down' 'It's fine if you need to walk' 'You can do this!'.
Before we reached the halfway mark Sis realized that it was fun to pass people. She looked up at me and said 'Momma I want to pass that girl in braids!' who was 30 ft in front of us. She let go of my hand and sprinted up passed her and then slowed down and grabbed my hand again 'I passed her momma!!!' So then I realized that competition is what is going to drive this girl to finish the race…so we found another girl to pass and passed her. Then she sped up and passed us so we sped up and passed her. And found a boy to pass. She kept running! She got tired and we slowed down a bit. But then we reached the bridge! The final stretch! She kicked it into high gear running so fast that daddy barely got a picture of her. There were so many people cheering and some she even knew! And then we crossed the finish line and she was on top of the world. She got the watermelon they set out for the post-race refuel. Everyone was giving her high 5's and saying 'great job!' She smiled big and said 'thanks!' She said 'hi!' to everyone we passed. She was proud of herself and so were we.
She ran the whole mile. In about 13 minutes-maybe less. We don't have the official time yet but that's not what matters anyway. She's learning how good it feels to work really hard to accomplish something…