"One day, when they're ready, maybe my girls will want to give running a try. Patiently, I will wait."
~ Tina Chantrey, from her story 'An Endless Thread'
I have these grand visions of running and hopefully racing with my kids when I'm in my 50s and, if my body allows, even beyond. But, while they are both athletic, Rosie a gymnast and Grace a soccer player, neither of them has much interest in running at this point. They will go on an occasional run with me here and there and both have done the token 5K.
Rosie at the Town Day 5K
But neither of them willingly goes out for a run on their own or wants to join me when I'm going despite the fact that I often ask. Whatever. They're still young-ish and the last thing I want to do is force it on them. I won't lie and say I'm not a little sad that I don't have at least one enthusiastic runner as I, myself, fell in love with running when I was in 5th grade. Though I do know this could easily change. Last week, the girls came down to the track with me so I could get a workout in. I had to bribe them with donuts. I am not ashamed. Rosie, my 13 year old, had no intention of running or doing anything active for that matter. She made this clear by walking down in her crocs and bringing her phone so she could listen to music. But, Grace, my 11 year old, actually put on running clothes and sneakers and mentioned that she might do a few laps with me. I was thrilled. Not that I showed it as that would not have been cool.
Grace, ready to run
I was doing 400 repeats and when I was about halfway through Grace got up and joined me for one of my recovery laps. We chatted a bit and she asked questions about the workout and then when I was ready to start my next interval she continued on at an easy jog. At one point, she did try and do one of my faster laps with me by cutting through the middle of the track and meeting me on the other side for the finish. As we caught our breath she said something to the effect of, Man, that was hard. To which I responded with, I know, right? But isn't it rewarding when it's over? Umm, No. Not really, she said. Okay, so we're not quite there yet with the whole 'runner's high' thing. While it was awesome that Grace jumped in and ran with me for a bit, I'm fully aware that this track session could very likely be one of the last times we run together for a while. I'm just basing this off the fact that the last time she ran with me was over a year ago.
Post-workout w/ Rosie & Grace
What's interesting, however, is that about a month ago a couple of my Oiselle teammates spent the night after the Reach the Beach relay and out of the blue Grace told them she was planning on doing a half marathon. With me. This summer. As you would imagine, all three of us were surprised by the statement, particularly me as we'd never discussed this. And while none of us said that she couldn't do it, we did suggest that she maybe start with a 5 miler or a 10K since, soccer aside, she basically hasn't been running, like, at all. At the time I thought that maybe things were actually changing. Maybe she really did want get into running. And maybe we could even get some consistent miles in together this summer. Naturally, I was excited. But, once again, I played it cool. Currently, her sister is at gymnastics camp and Grace and I are on Martha's Vineyard with my parents. The day after we arrived, I asked her if she wanted to go for a run with me in the morning. She told me she preferred to run in the afternoon. Okay, fair enough. The next day, in the afternoon mind you, I asked her if she wanted to run with me. She told me she wanted to eat a yogurt and wouldn't be able to run after that. Right. Okay. So, no running in the morning or after a yogurt. Check and check. I dropped the topic for a while but have continued to throw it out there sporadically hoping that she might bite. I'm not holding my breath. But, I have enjoyed hearing some of the many creative excuses that she has come up with in order to put off the run. The whole half marathon thing? Who knows. Maybe she was trying to impress my friends. Or maybe she realizes that running is cool and just saying she's going to do a half is enough for her. Or perhaps she really wants to do a half but has no intention of training for it, which will definitely be interesting. Either way, I'm still hoping things might shift and that one day she'll throw on her shoes and go with me. But, again, I'm not going to force it. And if it doesn't happen, that's fine, too. Her excuses, however, make me laugh so for that alone I'll keep asking.
NOT TODAY: A TOP 10 LIST of G'S EXCUSES NOT TO RUN
1. I prefer to run in the afternoon. This one you already heard.
2. I would rather sleep in. I got this one after asking again the following morning. Guess we don't like running in the morning OR the afternoon.
3. I think I'd rather eat this yogurt. You can safely substitute any type of food for the yogurt in this one.
4. I have summer homework to do. I mean, come on.
5. I'm going to wait for Johanna to call. Our friend on the Island who may or may not be calling or have any plans that involve Grace, for that matter. Still gotta wait, though.
6. I'm organizing my room. Ummm, she shares a room with me. And it's small.
7. I already showered. Classic.
8. I think I might take a nap. Hasn't happened since she was 4.
9. My nails are wet. This one was awesome as she hadn't even started painting them.
10. I'm going to the dump with Gran and then to the hardware store. Just....wow. For the record, I haven't asked since I got this one.
Listen to this:
Collide - The Givers