|Heading out for a training run with her SPARTAN BEAST T-shirt.|
It’s time for this RUNNERCHIK and mama to brag a little.
This photo is of my oldest daughter; the daughter who has been one of my biggest supporters as I ran race and race and upped my miles and challenges over the years. This is also the daughter who looked at me about three or four years ago and told me: “I’m not a runner OK?!? I’ll never be like you!”
She played soccer all throughout middle school and high school and as a sophomore she joined the cross country team so she could use the running as part of her soccer conditioning. Running three miles was EXTREME! She vowed she would not run more than that. In fact, she did join me for a few 5Ks over the years but told me that was her max distance.
Fast forward to senior year in high school. I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner and she comes in after school and tells me that she has finally decided on a topic for her Senior Project: RUNNING. My jaw dropped but I kept my composure as any good runner knows how to do. Then she proceeded to tell me that she wanted to sign up for a half-marathon and wanted me to be her coach and mentor.
After she picked me up off the floor, and could speak again, I asked her all the necessary questions and then did what any good mother-runner and coach would do: I convinced her to sign up for a MARATHON instead. I mean c’mon!! This is a SENIOR PROJECT we’re talking about. :) My only criteria was that if I agreed to mentor and train her, she had to COMMIT and could not quit. We had a deal.
Training commenced that summer and I trained and mentored her for the 6 months leading up to the marathon. There were tears, struggles and arguments. I remember when I took her out for her first 5-mile run, and she told me up on the levee: “I hate this!! I AM NOT A RUNNER!” I told her to keep running. I taught her about hydration and electrolytes and showed her how mentally she is stronger than she ever thought she was.
There were moments of joy and laughter. The girl who said she would never run more than three miles was now running 10 – 22 miles on the weekends and 3 - 5 miles almost everyday during the week. Not every one of those runs was easy. Some were downright painful, both emotionally and physically. She learned when to eat and when not to eat and what to eat before and after a run and what NOT to eat before a run. Trial and error. That’s what training runs are for right? One of my favorite moments was a Friday night where were preparing for our long run the following day. The weekend before we had run 18 miles and the next day was a 10-mile training run. She looked at me and said: “We’re only running 10 miles tomorrow?!?” Ha! Could it be, that this Runnerchik might have a runner for a daughter?
She finished that MARATHON. Every. Single. Mile. We cried as we crossed the finish line and I was so proud when they put that medal around her neck. It was one of the best days of my life with her.
She never looked back and has now run several races and in 2012 even got into OCRs with me. Her race calendar for 2013 is taking shape and while in 2011 she told me she doubted she would ever run a marathon again, this year she said she wants to run another one. Ha! I think the “runner bug” has bitten her.
Right now she is out running 10 miles. Alone. This is what she wanted to do today on her day off.
Yeah. I’d say she’s a runner. Wouldn’t you?