Happy holidays! I’m adding a quick post that I have been meaning to do for a few weeks now. Our family joined several cousins, aunts, and uncles in a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and I’m finally sitting down to share a special moment from that day.
For weeks our family had been talking about doing a Turkey Trot and we finally signed up the day before Thanksgiving. Several family members had said they would be doing the kids run/walk and our 4 year old thought that would be a lot of fun. Only after we had talked about it for several days, did we find out that the kids race was a 5k!
This past summer Rock completed his first Half Ironman and Mary was disappointed to find out that she missed out on the opportunity to do a kid’s race. When she knew that everyone else was doing the 5k, she insisted she needed to do it. We decided that Rock would run the race and push Lucy in the stroller and I would do the kid’s race with Mary.
We literally showed up as the gun went off and Mary hopped out of the stroller and began running. For the first mile, she actually ran the entire time. I was really impressed by her endurance and speedy little legs! Then things began to slow down.
Somewhere between mile 1 and 2 she needed a drink. I explained that there was only one way to get refreshments and that was to press on until we found an aid station. At mile 2 we found our oasis and after downing a cup, she shrugged and said, “That wasn’t the best water ever but it will do.” She knows how to make me laugh.
Things began to go downhill from there. She started to feel tired and her feet were hurting. We had discussed this before the race and the rule was that if she was going to do this with her cousins, I wasn’t going to carry her.
“I don’t think I am going to make it, mom.”
I looked around me and several older runners were also struggling and beginning to walk. I could tell that many people were doing this for the first time, together.
I squeezed Mary’s hand and explained that this happens to every runner at every distance. Part of the reason people do races is for the challenge it presents. Regardless of how fast or how far you are going, you are always going to have a moment in a race where you question if you are going to be able to do this. Pushing past that point is the way to reach your goal.
I reminded her of our afternoon a few weeks before, cheering runners on at the NYC Marathon. “Remember how we saw people walking and some people were crying? They didn’t think they were going to finish. But they kept on going.”
We held hands and continued our run/walk to the end where she flew through the finish chute and grabbed some bananas and water. The smile stayed on her face the rest of the day. She proudly had finished her first 5k. I was incredibly proud of her. The mental barriers of running are often more difficult to overcome than the physical challenges.
This was a good reminder for me. If you continue to run, you will continue to face challenges. They come when you aren’t expecting them. If you fight through and stay confident, the reward on the other side of that challenge is bigger than you can imagine.
She also reminded me the next day as she came shuffling down the stairs, that your legs will always be sore the morning after a race! Happy Running and Happy Holidays.