There is a lollipop route at the park that is a perfect 5K distance, so I figured we could do a run/walk method and they could get a feel for how far a 5K actually is. I set my Garmin up for run/walk intervals--a feature I'd never used before. It's different from doing intervals, because it only keeps track of your 1-mile laps, but it will alert you when it's time to run and when it's time to walk. You can specify the time or distance of each run/walk segment, so I set the run for 1:00 (minute), and walk for 1:00. I figured that would be a good place to start with the kids.
I told them we were going to take it very easy, and do a light jog for the running part, because I was nervous they wouldn't be able to finish. We filled their water bottles with ice water, and left them in the car, and then headed out on the path. The first 4-5 running segments went really well.
Noah, my almost-10-year old, doesn't like to run, so I was expecting him to complain the entire time. And I was expecting Eli (8 years old) to be pushing us to go faster, because he wants to SPRINT the entire distance ;) But Noah said several times that he felt really good to be running and he was glad that we went.
Eli found a long stick on the ground during one of the walking segments (barely a half-mile into the run), and he started running with it. I told him he can't run with a stick like that, because he'll trip. He didn't listen, and within a few seconds, he tripped over the stick and flew onto the pavement. He scraped his knees and hands. Normally, he's a pretty tough kid, but he started crying and then being really dramatic.
We stopped for a few minutes to figure out what to do, and he wanted to turn around. Noah was really excited to do the whole 5K, and I didn't want to disappoint him. I knew Eli was fine, that it was just a couple of scraped knees and they would hurt whether we turned around or kept going forward. So, I bribed him--I told him that if he could suck it up and keep going, I'd let him get something from the corner store later. Between sobs, he agreed. That's when I knew he was fine, and he was just being overly dramatic ;)
But, we had to listen to Eli cry for the next mile and a half. He was pretending to hyperventilate, and double over with pain, and all the other dramatic things I remember doing as a kid. Noah, meanwhile, was loving every minute of the run.
He said he was getting tired, but he was excited to finish his first 5K. At the halfway point, Eli insisted that he had to sit down and rest, so we stopped for a couple of minutes.
Finally, around mile two, Eli stopped crying while he ran. I think he was enjoying himself, but didn't want to admit it. I pointed ahead and told Noah that was the finish line, and he was really excited. When we hit 3.11, I told them that they'd done it--they ran their first 5K. Noah said, "YES!" and was SO very proud. Eli said he was never going to run a 5K again. Hahaha!
The best part of the whole thing was that I could actually do something like this with them. Five years ago, I couldn't even teach Noah how to ride a bike because I couldn't run down the street. And today, I got to help them run a 5K! Noah asked me a couple of times, "Is this super easy for you?" And I told him the truth: "Yes, but it will get to be super easy for you, too, if you keep practicing."
On the way home, I heard Noah ask Eli, "Eli, did you think that was fun? I thought it was so fun!" and Eli muttered, "Yeah, a little bit." So maybe he'll change his mind about one day doing another 5K ;)
I watched Extreme Weight Loss this morning (recorded from last night) and I LOVED the episode. (Don't worry, no spoilers...) The woman on the show lost her husband to suicide due to PTSD after he went to Afghanistan. It really hit home for me, because my younger brother has PTSD (after serving in Iraq). I don't know how much he'd be okay with me sharing, so I won't get into specifics, but there hasn't been a single day that I haven't worried about him since he was discharged from the Army several years ago.
That's one of the reasons I've been so excited that he's gotten into running. I've noticed such a change in him, and I love that I'm getting to spend more time with him because of the common ground we share. Anyway, seeing the woman on the show just broke my heart. After her husband's suicide, her young son was diagnosed with PTSD due to the suicide of his father!
It's such a scary disorder, and I love that the show was bringing more awareness to it. Even when soldiers come home and seem like they are totally fine, they may have all kinds of things going on that you can't see. I didn't really comprehend that, or think much about it until I saw this photograph series about a veteran with PTSD. Seeing the photos and reading the captions blew me away, and I started to read more about post-war PTSD to gain some insight on what my brother may be going through.
I love the TV show Parenthood, and Zeek, the grandpa on the show, said something one time about war that I thought was so dead on that I paused the show to write it down:
"War is a place where you lose who you were. And then if you get back, you don't have any idea who you are. And you're scared to death of what you might become."I obviously can't speak from experience, because I've never been to war; but from what others have told me, and what I've read, it sums it up so well.
Anyway, the Extreme Weight Loss episode was a really good one, so if you haven't seen it, make sure you try to watch it!
I don't think I mentioned this Monday, because it was Motivational Monday; but Eli's baseball coach put him in as starting pitcher at Monday's game! He did REALLY well--they are only allowed to pitch for three innings, and out of the nine outs in three innings, EIGHT of them were strike-outs by Eli :)
My brother, Nathan, is coming to the game tonight. Eli surprisingly doesn't get nervous under pressure, so I'm sure he'll do fine!