The Jim Dunn 5 miler race was this evening. I had sort of been “training” for it, running 3 miles here and there, but taking it easy, coming off a knee injury from bootcamp. I walked 5 miles this morning, in defense of not running the race later today. My hubby came home from work, ate his rice, put on his good running shoes, and headed out the door. I declined his invitation to go, and totally regretted it once he left for the race.
My eight-year-old son, Vance, wasn’t happy that I had backed out. My knee was feeling less than 100%, and running the race would more than likely put me out of running yet another time. So I told him we would go down and do the two-mile race. It was 6:25 and the race started at 7. We hurried and threw some running clothes on, put Sloane’s stroller in the back of the SUV and headed to the race like bats out of hell. Within 20 minutes we were parked, registered, and had found my husband.
They told the runners to line up in the front and the walkers in the back. So we headed to the back of the pack. We stood there for a moment then Vance turned to me and said,”we are WALKING?” I thought he would be okay with that. He’s the kid that isn’t really into sports, especially running. He had a look in his eyes I had never seen before. He was the one that got us out the door, and down to the race. It was his gig, I was just there to support him. I told him we would run with the runner’s as far as he could go. I figured he wouldn’t last long, or at least I hoped considering I was pushing 45 pounds, and it was a hilly race.
The announce said, “On your mark.” Then Vance turned to me and said, “I’m gonna go find dad.” Before I could protest it, he was lost in the crowd and the race had started. Once the runners thinned out on the first straight stretch I could see Vance up ahead, he was flying! I was laughing inside, I had never seen this side of him before. I had to run as fast as I could pushing Sloane, Davey didn’t know Vance was running, let alone trying to catch him, and a huge intersection was approaching. I kept my eye on him for as long as I could, but couldn’t keep up.
My daughter was cheering me on, “Giddy up Mommy.” As much pain as I should’ve been in, I felt none. I was so focused on trying to find my son that the run wasn’t even an issue. Finally after about 2.5 miles, I found Vance out of steam. He said he “spent all of his energy and had none left.” I was so into the race that I didn’t want to stop so I urged him on. He made it to an offical, where I left him, and told her to let him go with his dad when he came through.
Sloane and I pushed through the next mile of terrain. It had rained buckets for three solid hours before the race, and was still raining lightly during the run. Sloane wasn’t going to let me stop, though. I even tried to stay on the hardcap and she insisted I off-road with her. We were slipping and sliding all over the place, in the mud, down the hills, up the hills, and there were people cheering us on the whole way. “Don’t give up, Mommy!” she told me at least ten times during the race. So I didn’t.
I found my son and husband at the finish line, all in one piece. I’ve never been more inspired by my children, and proud of my family for the team work that we pulled off today. I didn’t plan to run, I had thrown on old shoes to “walk in the rain,” and didn’t eat my carbs beforehand. Sometimes it takes an eight- and two-year-old to really show you what you’re made of. Now I’ve gotta go give Vance the massage I promised him after the race. Cheers!