I felt really guilty when the alarm went off the day before Mother’s Day at 5:30 a.m. and I knew the kids’ and husband’s alarms would be going off soon, rousing comfy, warm sleeping kiddos from bed, where their “running clothes” (they don’t really have running clothes) were already laid out next to them.
My daughters especially have a full calendar of activities during the week; we spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday racing between soccer, guitar, dance, and Girl Scouts, not to mention changing households due to custody-sharing. It’s a lot when it unintentionally converges on the same days in spring, and they need sleep when they can get it.
Honestly…I’m not sure who I’m kidding because they’re almost always up at 5:45 a.m. on any given weekend anyway, but as a mom there’s guilt for everything. Even for encouraging physical activity.
Out the door before 6 a.m. and piled into Tater Tot the minivan, the three younger kids were surprisingly wide awake and in good cheer. We had decided to let the teenager sleep, and headed to Nashotah for the Mother’s Day Run.
As usual, a bit of bribery was required to get them to participate; namely, the 5-year-old, who is in a slightly evil phase where she doesn’t want to do anything I ask, and instead sneaks around putting on makeup, stealing snacks, and being sassy to everyone. Isn’t this supposed to happen in about 10 years?! This time I purchased ice cream and hot fudge for dessert instead of promising fro yo (which cost $38!!!).
It wasn’t until we were on the road that I noticed the aforementioned evil phase child was not wearing the clothes she’d set out, but a warm winter cardigan sweater and slip-on sneakers so small her toe is wearing a hole. There was not much to do at that point, but in the future I might pack extra shoes the night before. This will not only be for wardrobe anarchy, but because they get soaked from dewy grass even before the race starts.
We had about 20 minutes before the race started to do just that (soak our feet and whine about it). We spent an additional 20 minutes pinning on bibs (one child is VERY particular about it being exactly straight and perfectly aligned), and another 20 minutes staring at the wavy-arms-balloon-guy near the start. Mesmerizing. (You can see part of his body at the top right of my header photo!)
The kids did a great job running the 1K, but were as usual more entertained with their medals, balloon guy, and the post-race snack table. Whatevs.
Then it was time for Team Run Dirty (our newly-formed trail running team!) to hit the course in our embroidered team gear.
The wooded parts of the course were dry and not muddy due to boatloads of springy wood chips. It was like a cross between running on a rubber track and through my flower beds. Squishy. Woody. Odd. The start, finish, and unwooded parts of the trail were the diciest, in terms of footing; short, wet grass is no joke when running downhill. Wheee! A dislocated knee or pulled muscle was just one slip away. I ran the 5K, but the 10K was merely two loops of the same course. There were a few hills, and one pretty darn steep hill (with a water station right at the top—so one could choke on it due to not being able to breathe?!!), but it was a lot tamer than Lapham Peak, Devil’s Lake, or Pike Lake State Park. There was no tripping or falling for me.
My ankle felt awesome this race and I could finally use two legs instead of hobbling along with one bum leg being dragged along. It’s been sore the past two days, but is generally improving day by day. I’m so grateful for this, and for our team’s four (or more?) first place age group finishes.
Yesterday I asked my husband what his favorite part of the weekend was.
“Probably the race,” he said.
What!!!!!!! I’m not the only one enjoying this new family/friend/team adventure?! Mommy guilt can go away. Until the next race when I worry if it’s all wearing thin yet and/or have to think of the next bribe tactic.