I run half marathons. With my kids and my husband.
People think we're kind of nuts. I can see it, when they shake their head or shrug their shoulders. They can't imagine why an 8 year old would want to run that long, or why a preteen girl would spend that much effort on something. Or maybe running is their 'alone time' and they can't imagine their kids yakking at them the entire time. I get that.
Here's why I do it:
It started with my first half marathon, a year ago on Mother's Day. It was a special thing, a big thing, a kinda scary thing that I wanted to do for myself and have my family at the finish line to cheer me on.
When I crossed that finish line (a whisker over 2 hours!!!), with tears, and pride, and more than a little disbelief, they were amazed. My daughter said that she thought I was totally hardcore. I hugged her, said that she was, too.
Two months later, she ran her first half. And it's all snowballed from there. Weekends are now sacred for Long Run and Sushi Sundays. We chat about fueling plans while grocery shopping. Pacing and goal setting are normal parts of our conversations.
A year has gone by. I love what running has done for this family. My 8 year old sleeps better than he ever has. He's learning focus and drive and that it's okay to be tired and work hard. My 11 year old has so much pride and confidence as she heads toward her teen years. She wears leggings and race shirts to school and looks forward to gym class just as much as she does math class.
And my husband? Well, he and I now have his and her medal hangers. He'll tell you that I'm dragging him out for his first marathon next fall. But when he says it, he'll have a smile on his face. I think he's secretly coming to like it, too.