Apple picking and hayrides, visiting the Metropolitan Museum, or snagging a picture with a princess at Disney surely bring smiles to the face of a child. Yet, one of the most wonderful ways I get to see my daughter smile, the big, goofy, toothless, ear to ear smile, is while running. Part of me always hoped that she would have an interest in running together. Yet, I never expected it to start so soon.
I Love Running with My Daughter!
Back in 2012 and 2013, I invested a lot of time and energy into running races and the training to go along with it. My little cheerleader, always supporting near the finish line, quickly picked up the terms and the “running bug” as she “ran marathons” around the house. Hesitant to start her too soon, I shied away from allowing her to race. When I asked her about running in her first race, the 2014 runDisney 100m, I was pleasantly surprised when she said yes. And, when it came to race day, little did I know that I had a fierce competitor on my hands! She wanted to leave mom in the dust.
The next year, she ran the runDisney 200m dash. While it was a slightly less magical race, she learned a lesson in perseverance that year. Hello, proud mom moment.
Since laying off the runDisney magic, Cora participated in the 2015 L.L Bean 1 Mile Family Fun Run. We love visiting grandma in Main for the Fourth of July weekend. It added a little something extra to the weekend! While running this 1-Mile race, Cora learned the importance of pacing herself and having the confidence to make it to the finish line.
Races aren’t everything. And, this year, we have started sharing more miles together in Kansas. This is really the first time that Cora has asked to accompany me on training runs. And, who can say no to that?! Sometimes, Cora runs with me in silence. Yet, most of the time, chatter and laughter fills the air. She shares tidbits about school, her friends, her desire to be a ballerina, and just about anything you can imagine in a six-year-old mind.
Often, she asks how many miles we have run because she like to try to go further and further each time. She has also learned the tough reality that sometimes, if you take time off, you just can’t go as far as you did the last time. She has realized that the more effort you put in, the more you get out… an important life lesson at any age.
Sometimes this running journey isn’t about setting personal records. It’s about slowing down to enjoy these moments, just in case they don’t last forever.
Are you convinced that you should run with your child? What has running surprisingly brought to your life?
I love Running with My Daughter!