Friday, November 18, 2011

Geeked Up For Race Day

Jayson and Haylee with me after I finished
my first half marathon.
I am so excited about this weekend's half marathon.

This one feels soooooooooo different than the previous three I have ran so far. I was nervously excited for the my first half in Columbus, Ohio, but that's to be expected. I went into my second half a wee bit overconfident, sure of great success, but the heat and humidity of St. Louis kicked my butt. For my third, and most recent half marathon, I was optimistically confident I would do well and post a solid PR, having learned from my previous mistakes and trusting in my training.

But my excitement for this weekend's half marathon is on a whole other level.

I'm totally geeked up, psyched up, fired up and ready to go for the Secret City Half, and it has very little to do me and my potential performance.

So what, you ask, has me pumped up for this race? Well ... MY KIDS ARE RUNNING TOO!!!

Now, Jayson (11) and Haylee (8) are not running the 13.1 miles with me but rather the Secret City Half Marathon 4 Kids. In this race, the kids log 12 miles in 1-mile increments leading up to race day and then run the final 1.1 miles on the big day.

The Secret City Half is pulling out the stops too in order to give the kids the "race-day experience." Every child that registers gets their own race bib, race t-shirt, and best of all, THEIR VERY OWN FINISHER'S MEDAL.

How cool is that?!?!

And the best part - at least for me as a parent, it's 100 PERCENT FREE!

OK, really the best part is seeing my kids active and participating in my obsession sport of choice. I talked about all that before when Jayson first decided to run in the race, but having Haylee join the fray has really upped the ante. She is super gung-ho about running this race.

Late to the party, she didn't sign on until the first of October, but she wasted no time in racking up and completing her 12 miles so she can race on Sunday.

Now, I do not expect my kids to take to running like I have, and I'm not going to force running on them. If somewhere along down the line they decide they want to hit the pavement with their old man, WONDERFUL. If not, I understand. Running is not a lifestyle for everyone.

My hope and goal is to making being active fun and enjoyable so they won't hate and dread it like I did growing up.

It's no wonder people hate and dread running. The athletic society has turned it into a punishment. Do something wrong in practice, coach makes you run a lap. I remember vividly in high school our basketball team losing a game, and the next day's practice began with running laps. We ran for what seemed like forever. When we were finished, our coached told us we had just completed 53 laps and asked us why he made us run that many? We, of course, were clueless, but he was more than happy to explain because that is how many free throws our opponent MADE the night before.

Our coach then asked if we'd like to run until we hit the number of free throws they attempted, but we all said we were good.

In fact, at that point, I didn't care if I ever ran again. I had enough.

Events like that sapped the joy of running from me. Running is wonderful. I never feel more alive or free than when running. Running makes me feel I'm invincible.

That is what I want to pass on to my kids.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy it, Jay! There's nothing more fun than doing a race with your kids and seeing them enjoy the sport that we enjoy. Have a blast and take lots of pictures!