When you have young children, and have a goal such as running a marathon with a Boston Qualifying time, training can be interesting. Today I was scheduled to run a “pace run” per Hal’s Intermediate I program. My son, YaYa, accompanies me. He is 7 years old. He rides a bike well but I am still not comfortable with him on the bike path as I would like to be. Shortly after we got moving along the path, YaYa takes a spill. Okay, now we got that over with. He brushes off the dirt and we are moving again.
Now he’s moving pretty briskly and I am chasing after him offering him instructions and encouragement. “Stay right, YaYa”, “Okay, watch out for bikes coming from behind when you pass those walkers”, “Make sure the lady with the dog knows you are coming so that she can keep her dog to the right”. It’s hard enough to keep up with him, but even more difficult to yell these instructions along the way. “Good job, YaYa”.
After a bit YaYa starts to slow down. I’m not sure if he is getting tired, is bored, or just taking in the scenery. We stop for water and get moving again. When we come to the little hills I push him from behind and tell him to “peddle, peddle” and “use your strong legs”. He wants me to lead the way, but I want him in front of me so that I can be sure that he is safe. “How about if I just follow the pink girl?” he suggests seeing another runner ahead of us. “Well, that is fine until we pass her”, I explain. “What about the blue guy?” he asks. “The pink girl will be passing him soon”, I go on. “What bridge were you talking about?” he keeps asking. “YaYa, you will see the bridge when we get to it”, I go on. I’m tired just thinking about all of the questions.
Finally we reach the bridge and I have him get off of the bike because the downhill side is pretty steep. There are metal poles at the bottom to keep the cyclists from going down it too fast. YaYa runs down the bridge while I run with his bike to the bottom. He gets back on and we continue on a dirt path for the last half of a mile. It seems sort of silly to even go over the bridge for such a short distance, but I am “Type A” about my training. I need to have logged the required distance. The terrain is more difficult for YaYa to maneuver. He struggles with the hills and the rugged trail. I slow down to help him steer and push him up the hill. We run a bit over a quarter mile and then we turn back. As I turn around, I glance at my GPS device. My average pace has dropped from 8:40 to 8:56. This just won’t do. I get YaYa started and pick up the pace in an effort to regain my planned marathon pace. I don’t quite recover the pace by the end of the dirt trail but I’m sure glad to be done. Run 5.16 (45:53)