I found out today that I won’t be able to run one of my new, favorite half marathons next year. I did this race back in April — the Park to Park Half Marathon in Waynesboro, Va.
It was my first half of the year and it was a good race. I ran it with my best time of the year — 2:06. I was proud of that since the race description says the course is made up of “gentle rolling hills.” You run through a valley, so you hit plenty of ups and downs along the course. It’s a rural course and a small race — and the scenery is just beautiful.
So why can’t I run this race in 2014? Well, it’s because of the mama in me. My oldest daughter’s school is holding it’s third annual 5K race, which raises money to buy more technology for the school/classrooms. I promised her after she won her age group’s .5-mile kids race earlier this fall that we would tackle this 5K together.
Last year, while I was running the Park to Park half, my girls were taking part in the kids fun run obstacle course at this event. My husband made sure they had a great time, as always, but I definitely felt bad missing out. Had I known the dates conflicted, I would have just picked another half. But, I had a great experience at the Park to Park — and wouldn’t trade that, either.
It’s a strange conflict, I have to say. The mama in me is thrilled at the idea of having this experience with my Bean (assuming I can keep up with my little speed demon). The runner in me, though, is feeling a few pangs of disappointment to miss that valley run.
However, I know that these kind of moments with my kids is what it’s all about. One of my favorite pieces from this year has to do with another running first with the Bean: When we ran our first mile together. For me, that post served as a bit of a parenting breakthrough as a working mother raising daughters. I have banned the word “bossy” from my vocabulary. I let them take the lead with each other or in certain situations — unless it gets a little too heated (and my 3-year-old can be feisty).
These moments, if not grabbed hold of, relished and then reflected upon, can be so easily lost. I also wrote about this theme the weekend my iPhone blanked out and I had no email/Facebook/work lifeline/Twitter to check. Sadly, I’ve fallen back into the iDistraction habit all too easily. Shame on me.
The Park to Park race? It’s a no-brainer. The experience of training with the Bean next spring, then running with her in her longest race to date will be pure gold. And, cheering on my youngest, who will be four by then, in the kids obstacle course will be so much more rewarding than conquering 13.1 miles of gentle rolling hills on any day.
I’m not the only runner in the house. I guess that means I’ve influenced these little girls of mine. And that a feels really good.