I love running, and enjoy any opportunity I have to share running with my family. I try to encourage them only and not shove it down their throats. When BoBo decided that he didn’t want to do another 10K with me (at least not this one), I didn’t push any further. I considered doing the 10K on my own. It would serve as both another opportunity to race, as well as a way to get another number to gauge my training success. I threw that idea out, and asked YaYa if he wanted to join me and run his first running race. YaYa said, “yes” and I had a date for the race.
On Sunday, September 24th, I had the opportunity to introduce my youngest son to the world of running races. Like me, he has a competitive streak. This was apparent as soon as the horn blow. YaYa wiggled in between the other runners and followed some of the faster runners up the side of the paved path. There were a lot of families at this event but I was still able to easily get around the people to keep up with my enthusiastic runner.
His enthusiasm began to die out around the 1/2 mile point in the race. He turned to me and said that his legs hurt. His face looked pained. It wasn’t the pained look of “they hurt so bad,” but more so that of disappointment that he couldn’t keep up with the big boys. I asked him what he wanted to do, giving him 2 choices. The choices were to quit or walk. I knew that he would have to be hurting really badly in order to quit. He chose to walk.
After about a minute, the lead runners in the race were coming through. They were moving fast and I could see that he had got back some of his energy in the excitement of watching them swoosh past us. He began running again. Again, he was moving too fast. He and another boy his age were vying for the lead as the parents tried to encourage them to keep an easy pace. Soon they were both walking. I urged YaYa to run until he hit the water stop that was just 20 yards ahead. He reluctantly ran, as he murmured his complaints about my request.
At the water stop he grabbed his cup. I told him to walk so that he could get all of the water in his body. He walked and then he surprised me as he waited patiently for the volunteer to open up her bag so that he could deposit his cup. The other little boy did the same. Then we were off and running back towards the finish line. As we ran across the wooden bridge, I told YaYa that we had less than a mile to go. Garminia had measured out 1 mile and I didn’t realize that the water stop was actually the 1 mile mark. We were closing in on the finish line.
In just minutes, I saw my husband’s truck. He and BoBo had come out to cheer for our little runner. I pointed the truck out to YaYa and told him that it was time to go a little faster. He picked it up a little. The other boy began to walk, and YaYa and I passed a lady. We were now so close to the finish that I could feel the finish line energy. I pointed out what remained in the race – “run down the little hill, cross the street, turn left in the parking lot, and run as fast as you can until you cross the line.” That is just what he did. My little boy ran across that finish line with such determination. He made me proud, and happy that I got to share the moment with him rather than running another 10K only for the purpose of racing.
Photo taken by Justin Peterson (Almaden Times Weekly Newspaper)