This morning one of the schools in our district hosted a kids' run and 5K fun run to raise money for the family one of our kindergartners who was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma last November. Despite chilly temperatures and intermittent rain, I thought the turnout was great. And when I felt like complaining about how cold I was, it helped that Jacob's smiling face was there (as well as his friend and former roommate, Howard, who was diagnosed with a different form of cancer recently and is the son of a former classmate of mine) to remind us all that if a six (or four) year old can still smile after the horrific treatments they have had to undergo then a little rain shouldn't bring me down.
Originally the plan was for the four of us to attend together. The girls would run the kid's race and then The General would take them while I ran the 5K. I've been dealing with some post half- marathon knee issues so I was a little hesitant to make my first run back a 3 mile race. As a result, I scrapped the original plans and decided to walk the route with the girls in tow with friends while The General stayed home. I really should have known better.
Not even one mile into the three mile course Punkin was dragging, and the whining soon followed. Understandably, both girls were complaining of the cold well before the half-way point which prompted motivational talks about what Jacob has to endure and how we're doing this for him. When that inspiration wore off I resorted to more direct tactics, giving both girls visual imagery of a McDonald's lunch after crossing the finish line. Shortcake was a trooper and walked the entire route; Punkin enjoyed only those portions of the race that she saw from her perch on top of my shoulders.
As we (finally) approached the home stretch toward the finish line, I really kicked up the positive affirmations and self-talk to get Shortcake to the end. Punkin was of little concern at that point as she was firmly planted on top of my muscle spasm seizing shoulders but she did provide the quote of the day:
Mrs.: Come on, Shortcake! You can do this! You've come this far, and look how close you are now! We're almost there, we can't quit now!
Shortcake: silence aside from her mild huffing and puffing, looks of pure agony courtesy of exhaustion and bone chilling rain painted clearly across her face
Punkin: (irritatingly gleeful from atop my shoulders) Yeah! Come on Showtcake! We can't quit now, we've got to win dis wace!
Ironic because I was trying very hard not to be passed by the police car trailing the very last participants. Apparently Punkin's concept of WINNING! is very similar to that of one Charlie Sheen.
We finished in just about an hour, and I think it's more than safe to say that I don't have to worry about them tagging along for any runs with me anytime soon. Lesson learned today: walking 3.1 miles (at least half of those with a 40 pound child on my shoulders) with my daughters is SIGNIFICANTLY harder and MONUMENTALLY less meditative than running 13.1 on my own.