Saturday, June 29, 2013

Race Day

 Caleb and Connor ready for the start of a 5-K race (with friends Emma and Annabel).

 After the race, the kiddos spotted the Butler Bulldog.
A post-race photo of the Wood team.  So proud of the boys!  Connor completed his first 5-K race and Caleb finished his second race.  We're also very proud of our friends the Hermacinskis.  They ran an amazing race!

I think it was January when I got the idea in my head.  The thought that running might be a good fit for Caleb.  He needed it.  His clothes seemed a little snug.  He was sluggish, moody, and struggling with sleep issues.  I'm sure there are plenty of cures for many of those ailments, but personally I know none better than running.

That's when I encouraged/bribed him to slip on some running shoes and jump on the treadmill.  With little reluctance, he did the first workout and then the next and the next.  Pretty soon, he was nine weeks into it and running his first race.

I didn't want Caleb to be a one-race wonder.  And so I continued to encourage/bribe him to run another race.  This time, Connor agreed to run too.

Today was the race.  We lined up at the start along with our friends the Hermacinskis and a slew of other racers.  When the announcer said "Go," Connor sprinted past us and fell into stride with our faster friends.  He continued this pace for half the race before admitting the girls were just a tad too fast for him and falling back into line with Caleb and me.

Caleb and I stuck together the entire race.  He selected a more modest pace and fiddled with my phone as he continued forward.  Days early, he created a playlist and was giddy to listen to his tunes via my headphones.

With the headphones jammed in his ears, Caleb spoke in a volume level only used when speaking to the elderly.  Add this to the fact that Caleb has a flair for the dramatic and absolutely no filter (he thinks it, he says it) and we put on quite a show for our fellow runners.

Caleb (screaming):  I'm hyperventilating.

Me (trying to whisper):  I promise, you're not hyperventilating.

The runners around us exchange glances.

Caleb (yelling):  I'm going to die.

Me (in hushed tones):  You wouldn't want to die before eating that donut at the finish line!

New runners pass by and shoot me concerned looks.

Caleb (hollering):  Shoot me now.  THIS. IS. HARD!

Me (hissing):  You want to talk hard?  How about running a marathon?  Childbirth?  Trigonometry?  Low Carb Diets?  I could do this all day.

At this point, it was pointless to whisper.  Practically everyone from the start to the finish was in on our conversation.

I felt a bit like a Tiger mom, pushing him along the course.  But the thing is, he can do it.  That I know.  He's better because of it.  He's proud of himself.  And so despite the crazy looks and snickers, I continued to push (gently) and encourage.

He crossed the finish line one minute faster than his last race with Connor along side.  As soon as we hit the food table, he was a different kid: happy, peaceful, and proud.  It was all worth it.  I was proud too (of both boys!).

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