Today Laurel and I completed our first official 5K Run.
Laurel trained for this most of the semester with a group from school as part of Girls on the Run, and I trained for it, well, um, last week.
Okay, that’s not entirely true, but last week was the first time I actually ran a test 5K — I had done treadmill work and stuff, but I hadn’t actually run a 5K and in fact I ran 4 miles, so I was a little over.
But today I ran it with Laurel.
I went back and forth about whether to run it with her or not — would she feel too much pressure to keep up?
So I just asked her. And she said I should run. So I did.
It was COLD this morning. 37 degrees when we awoke, but we sucked it up and arrived in Forest Park raring to go, dressed in our finest.
Yeah, so we’ll leave the fancy clothes to the serious runners.
After securing our numbers, we found Laurel’s running group and proceeded to the start line, whereupon I shed my coat and saddled Greg with all our stuff. We ran….
…and ran, and Laurel, nearly in tears, insisted she was going to barf. My response? “If you have to barf, go to the side of the road and barf, but you’re not gonna barf. You’re going to KEEP RUNNING.”
By the middle of the race, Laurel was hurting pretty bad, and needed to walk needed to walk neededtowalk. “No, you don’t! You can do this. You’ve trained MONTHS for this. KEEP RUNNING.”
“But Mom,” she wheedled, “I’m not going to get a trophy anyway.”
“No, probably not, but you’re going to have the best prize of all. Know what that is?” I asked.
“Knowing I can do it?” Laurel answered.
“You bet, kid.”
And so she ran.
That kid ran the entire race without stopping, and I stayed with her — I wasn’t about to leave her behind (though I threatened to do so if she walked). We crossed the finish line holding hands at 36:21.
Not bad for a 9-year-old, eh?
No, of course we didn’t get any trophies or accolades or anything. We weren’t the first in the pack and we weren’t the last in the pack.
Laurel got something better — pride in herself and faith in her ability to achieve anything.
And that’s why, after the race, I was feeling my oats when Greg snapped this photo:
Laurel, I’m so proud of you. Great job.