She loves doing kids' runs at the races that I go to, but I knew she could do more if she wanted. Last summer, she loved to go on "runs" with me. I would finish up my regular run, then come home, pick her up and we'd head out for maybe a half or 3/4 of a mile. We both loved it, though we had stopped doing it once school and winter got in the way.
Enter the Mother's Day Run. Now, not only would it be on Mother's Day (duh), but it also was the day after Running with the Cows half marathon. I was running Running with the Cows, so I knew I wouldn't want to actually race a 5K the next morning. But, I thought that it might be the perfect time to run with Molly.
The Mother's Day run is an all-women's race that is just a big party, with lots of walkers and people in tutus and tiaras. I mean, tell me that's not perfect for Molly. Plus, what better way to celebrate Mother's Day than sharing my love of running with my baby girl?
So, a few weeks ago, I asked her if she would be interested in running it with me. She paused, then told me she would think about it. She does this a lot, so I knew better than to push her. I just asked every couple days what she was thinking. She usually told me that she was still thinking about it.
Then, I found out that a little friend of hers from Kindergarten was running in a 5K with her family the weekend before. When I told Molly that Amelia was running, I think Molly decided that maybe she could do it. Then she started telling everyone that she was going to run in a 5K with mommy on Mother's Day. So, I signed us up.
I made a big deal about it just being fun and insisting to her that she could do it. On Saturday, we went over to packet pick-up at Dick's Sporting Goods. I wanted her to get the whole feel for the race. She told the lady behind the table her name and was given her very own bib. Then, she got a shirt AND a tiara. Big time.
As we were headed to the exit of Dick's, we passed a display of Sweaty Bands (cute running headbands). I stopped to look, and Molly started fingering a cute pink sparkly one. I had previously promised her that she could wear one of my headbands for the race, but she said, "I think this one would go so cute with my tiara."
Now, I was incredibly tempted to get her one, but Cory was with us, so I said, "Well, you do have mine that you can wear." She nodded, put it back and said, "You're right. Plus, this costs money and we need to save money so we can buy our beach house because that costs lots of money." I almost died laughing, but I'm pretty sure that was the most proud Cory has ever been.
That night, Molly told me that we needed to watch the weather and lay out our clothes. I'm not sure where in the world she would've learned that from. Unfortunately, the temperatures for the morning were forecast to be 37 degrees. Really?!? In May?!? Jeez. So, we laid out her pants and long-sleeved running outfit with her shirt, bib, tiara, tutu and shoes. It was really cute, and I wished I would've thought to take a picture of her laying it out. We also laid out Charlotte's outfit, because even though she wasn't racing the 5K, she still wanted to dress up for the princess run.
The next morning, my alarm went off and before I even had a chance to put my contacts in, both girls were in my room dressed in their race clothes. Can we say excited? Then, it was my turn to figure out what to wear. I decided on capris and a long-sleeved shirt and jacket. With tutu and tiara, of course.
Molly ate a pre-race breakfast of banana and breakfast bar, and we piled in the car and headed over to the race. The day before, Kelli, who was in charge of water stops, convinced Cory to help hand out water, so he had a job at the race, too.
|Posing for the traditional pre-race photo.|
|Molly decided to warm up with some jumping jacks.|
|So happy to see Anne and Kelli, who were going to be volunteering at the water stop, Molly ran over and gave them both big hugs.|
|Big hugs for Kelli, too!|
|Hanging out in the starting corral before the start.|
|Can you say excited?!?|
The national anthem played, then we heard the starting horn. We had to walk quite a ways to get to the starting line because we had lined up toward the back in the run/walk area. We crossed over the start line, and we started running. I had originally set my watch to do run/walk intervals, but when Molly said she wanted to walk after 20 seconds, I knew that plan was gone. So, I decided to just go with whatever she was feeling.
Yes, it may have killed me inwardly to walk so much in a 5K, but not as much as I thought. I just spent the whole time encouraging Molly. And, luckily, she didn't sprint-and-stop like a lot of kids her age. We ran at a pretty slow pace, which helped her not tire out, I think.
We read the encouraging signs along the road and looked at everyone's costumes and tutus and tiaras. When she said she wanted to run again, we ran. When she said she wanted to walk, we walked. Eventually, after getting into a groove, we started to look for signs or lamp posts to start running or start walking. I would encourage her to go one farther than she picked, and she easily did it.
She did ask if we were almost done when we were about .44 miles in. I had to explain that "no, we were not almost done." But, I tried to explain the distance in terms that made sense to her. Like, we had 2.5 miles left, which is about as far from our house to the library and back. And, that helped. We saw my friend Ashlee and her daughter Lauren, who was also running her first 5K. We said hi, and I tried to talk a little, but then Molly said she was ready to run, so we were off.
Then, we made it to the water stop, which was about halfway through the course (or about 1.5 miles). I had made a sign for her the night before to surprise her, because, well, everyone loves a sign for them on a race.
So, Cory quickly held it up for her to see. She took her water cup from Kelli and read the sign as she passed.
|Trying to drink and read her sign.|
|Molly keeps going.|
|She did come back when she realized I was not with her, so I made her pose for a picture for daddy.|
|Charlotte and Kaesen helped out at the water stop by cleaning up cups.|
After we left the water stop, we kept doing our running/walking with different signs. We were having so much fun. I was so happy to be having a good time running with my girl. We eventually made our way to the finish line. I had told Cory that my dream was for Charlotte to come with us as we crossed the finish line. And, what do you know, she finally perked up enough to do that. (She had been having a rough morning earlier.) We ended up crossing the finish line in 47:30. SO much faster than I even thought was possible with Molly. I was so impressed with her.
|Charlotte seeing us as we were headed to the finish line.|
|What do you know? My dream came true.|
|Such proud finishers!|
|Posing with my girls and their finishers medallions.|
|And, posing with the sign I made for her.|
We wandered around the after area for a while and saw some people we knew, including Kelly.
|Kelly was also at Running with the Cows the day before, and she's our Einstein's buddy, because we always run into her there.|
After showers and food, I convinced the girls to take one last Mother's Day picture with me. Sigh. Happy Mother's Day to me.