Sunday, July 29, 2012
The Grindstone 100, a grueling 100 miler in the mountains of Virginia, with over 23,000 feet of elevation gain, takes place the first weekend of October this year. My ultra distance partner, and Team Baby Alex Foundation runner, friend and inspiration (he ran across the entire USA last year pushing his stuff in a baby jogger!) and I will have our toes on the starting line. Hopefully, before the 38 hour time limit has clicked past, we will be crossing the finish line. Training has begun in earnest. As always, we will be running for The Baby Alex Foundation, raising money for next year's grants. I've been reading Jeff's book, just published, called Running with God Across America, and I imagine Jeff will be running with prayers for the sick and in need too. His book has inspired me to push myself harder in training, to trust that my feet can take me a lot farther than I might have imagined and to be nicer to people I meet along the way.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Alex has been talking about his first triathlon, which took place last weekend, for three months. In Utah, he informed everyone he met that he was there with Mommy to train for his first triathlon. Back at home this summer, he continued to tell everyone that he was in training. When it finally arrived, I was concerned that the build up would lead to a let down. Fortunately, the race went well, he walked away from it without any injuries, and in the end, it was sort of just the start of another amazing summer day. Alex was in excellent company this weekend at his first TRI. This was our Team Baby Alex Foundation triathlon training camp, and we had three amazing kids training with us. All of the kids raced the triathlon and all finished. What brought tears to my eyes was watching the kids, who had just met, come together to cheer and support each other. It was incredible. Little Spencer, who finished before Alex, returned to run a second loop of the race to run by Alex's side. Justin, much older, also ran with Alex and cheered him on the whole way. The kids all ran through the finish area together and were full of hugs and high fives. I was proud of them all. When another team member asked Alex how he did in the race later that day, he said "I won." She said, "Really? You came in first?" And Alex said, "I won because I participated!" Yay, Team.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
When Alex and Izzy were old enough to handle running in the neighborhood, we started by going just one block at a time. Running in the neighborhood is one of the few times I crack a (metaphorical) whip, because it can be dangerous. I insisted on two things, and I recommend you do the same: 1) We run together, as a group, and not get spaced out; 2) We all stop, look and listen at every street or busy driveway. It took about a year of this kind of running to finally get my kids to stop, look and listen on their own. Although we still run together these days, I no longer have to remind them to stop, look and listen. I'm sure I sounded like a crazy woman at times when I was first teaching them running practices, and we probably woke up the neighborhood (since we run EARLY), but safety is always first. Teaching your kids to be safe on the sidewalk might save their life, as it did with Izzy. One day when she was two, she started chasing a ball toward the end of our driveway. As the ball rolled into the street, a car swerved around the corner going about 50mph. I don't think I even had time to yell to Izzy to stop, because it all happened so fast. But Izzy put on her brakes right on the edge of the driveway, to stop, look and listen. The car zoomed past. That year of teaching the kids safe running on the sidewalks gave me a few grey hairs and I lost my patience countless times. But, it was all worth it. If you take your kids to run in your neighborhood, set down the rules before you even head out the door. If you are starting from scratch, it will not be fun at first, But keep at it. And don't forget to wear your running shoes to keep up with them!
Friday, July 6, 2012
Summer has finally set in, and as in the past couple of years, it is hot!! My run yesterday in mid-90 degree heat brought our dog to a complete standstill. I had to run him home and then go back out to finish training. I love the heat, but most bodies are not made for it like mine. So, if you are taking your kids outside this summer to run, bring lots of water bottles, run during the cool times of day (morning and evening), take lots of breaks, go for a swim or bath afterward to cool down, and don't overdo it. Once our kids were ready to graduate from running inside, I took them to the local track. The track is great for kids because it is usually mostly enclosed by a fence (we often had to jump over the fence to get in if the gate was locked), which means that your kids can't wander off. They can run freely with YOU around the track or just run sprints back and forth on the football field counting the large numbers on the field. I have no idea if there are rules against these things but no one has ever given me a hard time about it. Can you really ask a Mommy with a 2 and 3 year old to leave the track? As we did in the kitchen, I made a game out of running. We counted laps and I gave away all kinds of "awards", like the Gold Star, which my kids have finally figured out doesn't exist in any physical form, but just means that they did a good job. The very best award of all is to go for an ice cream after your run, or buy containers of ice cream and cones for home and make special treats at home. If it's hot, spray your kids with the water hose when you get home. A run, playing in the water hose, then ice cream...that's a full summer morning and your kids will be ready for some quiet time afterward.