Sanity Stretching Strides
I often talk about running with the boys and get a lot of head scratches thrown my way, so today I thought I’d share my experience with you.
The Goal: 6 miles around an 8-8:15 pace.
The boys have been waking up early so I was excited to get a cool, early start while the marine layer was still blessing us with some sweet relief from the sun. Yet the clock ticked by 6:30, 7, 7:30…until about 8:30 when the last kid woke up. Seriously dudes, every other day this week you woke up the moment the sun cracked it’s sleepy eyeball awake, but today you choose to sleep in?
Buh-bye marine layer, hello blazin’ sun.
While I was contemplating difficult decisions like which sports bra and shoes to wear, the boys were getting suited up for bike rides. One kid had a busted bike tire, so I spent a good 5-10 minutes convincing him that scooters are just as awesome as bikes. I gave it my best Infomercial work and eventually he bought it like a Shamwow!.
The “Run” (let’s use that term loosely)
Mile 1- Somewhere a half mile in (which how we made it this long without a major issue was pretty much a miracle), the two on bikes got their communication chains crossed and one kid ran square into a mail box and went flying off his bike. Surprisingly the only damage seemed to be a bruised ego. We recovered & found the bike trail – 1st lecture on bike path etiquette begins.
Mile 2- Despite my lecture approximately 90 seconds ago (sigh), one child keeps hugging the middle line cheesing off the mega-bikers coming at us. The “How much longers?” and “Are we going as far as last time’s?” begin. I start loosing my patience and declare such in a thinly veiled, “Please just listen, I’m losing my patience right now” (I have a knack for subtlety). After the second “how much further” I resort to bribery #1 – we will stop at the creek and explore for 5 minutes if everyone stops complaining until we get there.
Mile 3- Dead silence until the creek. Who knew, bribery works?!
Since we didn’t find the Loch Ness monster we opted to head for home and within 30 seconds, Vanilla’s helmet starts losing the plastic layer covering the foam and I wait for his emotional dam to break (he’s not my most patient of the crew). As I see the cracks form and the whining from all 3 intensify, I bust out bribe #2 – anyone who doesn’t complain the rest of the time can have an ice pop when we get home.
Mile 4: We’re almost home, but I tell them I want to “show them a new trail” and let them ride their bikes down the wash to buy myself some extra mileage. I turn around to find Chocolate’s Razor handle twisted the wrong way and have to realign the entire thing while everyone sits on the side of the wash By the end of the mile, Vanilla is onto my game, “Did you just make us go further by going this way?”. #busted I pretend to ignore the comment and mutter something about popsicles and being nice to each other.
Mile 5: In a veiled complaint, one child mentions they would rather be doing something else and I explain sometimes family members should to make sacrifices in their time to help one another. Visions of ice pops must float through his mind and the conversation ends quickly.
Once gain, the Razor gets misaligned, so we make a pitstop to fix that while I secretly wish my running shorts could fit a wrench because it seems bikes & scooters break down regularly when we’re trying to run together. I can see we’re losing steam with about .7 mile left to our driveway, so enter Bribe #3. I promise a nice cold pitcher of iced Nuun when we get home after popsicles – kids choice on the flavor. I immediately realize I must dash into the door first and pull the caffeinated cherry lime from the box o’ flavas or face the wrath of 3 tasmanian devils tearing through my house for hours on end after imbibing the hydrating goodness.
The Finale: As promised – popsicles before 10am -desperation to offset the perspiration.
The Finished Product – 40 fingers, 40 toes, 4 heads and zero major injuries. 5.29 miles – and guess what, I accidentally canceled the Map My Run save in my hurry to get the ice pops, so I didn’t even see my splits. But, from what I had seen we had about 7:45-8:15 splits. While there were moments of frustration, there were also a lot of giggles, jokes, ridiculous puns and awe-inspired moments as we explored the creek, found birds, and relished in the somewhat complaint laden time with one another.
I know these days where the boys actually are little boys and not grumpy adolescents are slipping through my fingers way too fast. A little short of my goal for the day, but for a Sunday Runday with kids, we’ll call it a win!