Wednesday, March 07, 2007

MarathonMum's Sons Take the Torch

As regular readers of this blog will tell you, running has not featured much in the past year. That's simply because I wasn't doing much, given the excruciating pain in my left foot (and no, I still haven't seen the movie). After several X-rays, one MRI and dozens of doctor visits with a variety of specialists, my problem was finally diagnosed by Google, who told me it was arthritis. Go Dr. Google! In any case, my rheumatologist told me in November that because of my arthritis, and fears that it would spread to other parts of my body, I'd never be able to run again. I was absolutely gutted.

So it is time to pass on my love of running to Thing One and Thing Two. As they are still both in single digits, age wise, it's still early days, but I hope they will love it as much as I did. On Sunday, we had a chance to race together (shh.... don't tell my doctor) in a 2K Fun Run around Greenwich Park. On the day our numbers arrived in the mail, both boys jumped around the house yelling, "Our numbers are here! Our numbers are here!" In the days leading up the race, both boys kept asking, "Is today our race?"

As you can see from the picture above, both boys already looked like champions-- or at least organized enough to get their numbers on correctly (with help) -- before we left the house. Now Thing One is a race veteran, having done a one-mile race 17 months ago. But Thing Two had never done one, and as he's only 3 3/4, just over a mile is a considerable distance for him to run. But he was psyched, so off we went. I figured he'd be one of the youngest racing, and I was right: I saw only one little boy younger than him.

We got there just minutes before the start, so we had enough time to find our friends, exchange some pleasantries, and the gun went off.

Thing One was quick to run off with his friends, and the next time we saw him was at the finish. With runners in front, behind and beside us, Thing Two was happy, excited and thrilled to be racing...Not to mention inexperienced in the art of dodging around people at the starts. So with 30 seconds of the race elapsed, I looked over to see Thing Two....

Do a face scrape across the pavement.

Needless to say, hardly an impressive beginning for his first race. But with a tenacity that would impress even the most seasoned professional athlete, he dusted himself off, took some "I'll make it better" kisses from Mommy, and we continued on our way. When he realized that we weren't going to win the race, he was unhappy, and then when he realized his face really DID hurt quite a lot, that only made him unhappier still. But we forged ahead-- running, walking, running, walking, running.

"This is a long way," Thing Two kept saying. "I'm getting really tired." Then, for added emphasis, "My head hurts!"

Finally, I did what any self-respecting mother would do when she wants to see her son get his first running medal: I promised him that we could go to McDonald's, a restaurant we make a point of visiting only once a quarter (four times a year). "I'm happy now!" said Thing Two, as he raced to the finish line.

I know that the Sports Gods will not be happy that I promised McDonald's in exchange for finishing the race, but I also know that the Mothering Goddesses would fully endorse my approach and understand why I did it.

So now Thing One and Thing Two are race veterans. For the record, Thing One finished in 12:40 (118th), and Thing Two (remember, he's 3 3/4, so his legs are VERY short) finished in 18:15 (159th, and crucially NOT LAST!).
Here's the face of tenacity (when promised lunch at McDonald's of course). The picture, unfortunately, doesn't do the injury justice.

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