Today we ran our first race.
Our first race.
I really like those words.
While we couldn't train together - scheduling issues, distance issues for kids - or even run the exact same course today, we all ran. My husband stood at the starting line where the kids and I were lined up, holding hands, ready for the blast of the gun signaling our start.
Since we didn't want to send the kids off on this race by themselves, through the woods, out of our sight, I signed up, too, and together we moved up the road, ran through the woods, past the lake.
We crossed the finish line just in time to high tail it back to the starting line, where we again heard the gun and cheered for Daddy as he began his first 5K - with more than 100 other runners.
While we couldn't all run together the whole time, there was something important about being there for each other's beginning and ending. About knowing that hard work and lots of training and good food choices had made this all possible.
Truthfully, as I held a little hand in each of mine, as they watched the gun nervously and then began darting up the path, it was hard not to cry. Knowing that they were excited to be outside, doing something physical, that we could do this as a family, all made me excited for their futures. Sure, they might hit eighteen and become candy bar addicts, but we're doing the best we can to be a healthy family, and today's race gave me hope that we'll continue to fight against the heart disease and diabetes that's so prevalent in our culture and so genetic in my family.
We all finished this race excited about the next one. My Big Helper, who could probably have gone much faster, wants to run a 5K next time with her Daddy. She shows signs of being a good runner, too - maybe someday she will. I couldn't help but wonder: what might my time have been if I'd been able to run the longer race, too? Daddy is determined to train more and beat his own time for the next one.
WE were in a race! US! ME! The girl who could never run a mile kept up with the kids easily - and really would've liked to have run more of it. The kids - they respected each other's needs and walked when someone needed to walk, but My Little Man determined early on to set the pace, and he choose to run big parts of it. It was fun to see their determination when tripping over a root as they hopped up and kept going, or when walkers ahead of us gave them permission to pass and they charged ahead, taking the lead. While our main goal for the little ones was to finish, Daddy says that not many people finished in front of us.
As for Daddy - he did really well, too. He's now accomplished his goal of running a 5K and is setting a new goal for next time.
I can't believe there's going to be a next time.
I can't wait for next time.
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