As soon as he finished the kids' fun run at the Kirby Derby, my son said "I want to run the 5K next year." Immediately, Katie and I thought that we might be able to run a 1/2 mile or so with Bubba, drop him off with some family or friends, and then pick him up for the last 1/2 mile or so. Bubba just as quickly protested that he wanted to run the whole way.
We explained to Bubba that would require a lot of dedication and effort. We tried to express that there are many grown-ups that can't even run that far. He replied that he understood what it would take, as he has seen Mommy and Daddy train for our races.
So, the family committed to the training. We went for a one mile training run this past summer. Bubba did amazing. He ran almost the entire way and was very impressive. A few weeks later, we all went for another run. Bubba did not perform quite as well. He struggled to run, he whined some, but he still completed a full mile.
Since that run, training had wained. The weather had turned cool. I began to wonder if it was wise for a 5 year old to be running 3.1 miles. I wondered if Bubba was as committed as he was last spring. But a few weeks ago, Bubba began to request more often and more vigorously for another training run. Not only was he requesting another training run, but he said that he wanted to go farther.
So, we took advantage of the nice weather this weekend and decided to go for a 2 mile training run with Bubba. We bundled up a bit, as it was still a little cool out. We borrowed our neighbors jogging stroller so Sissy, who also says she is going to run a 5K, could jump in for a ride when she needed it.
As soon as Bubba started out, Katie and I began the coaching. "Don't go too fast; you want to save our energy." "Keep your arms up close to your body. Don't flail them around like a superhero." "Take nice deep breathes, not short fast ones." Honestly, with all of the "advice" we offered, I am surprised he wants to run at all.
However, he did great!!!
Bubba ran almost a full 2 miles. Sure he had to stop and walk a few times, other times he wanted to take a drink of Gatorade, but for the most part he ran a good bit of the distance. He seemed to enjoy it, and we forgot to do a few of the things that make running with your kids fun. We did not do any skipping (a family favorite). We did not do any sprints (another family favorite). But we did have a nice time, with good weather, jogging with our son and daughter.
When the run was complete, Bubba was visibly tired. Katie and I told him that there are many adults that could not do what he did that day. We told him how proud we were of the work that he did. On Saturday, my son made me one proud Papa!