"When we run we are showing our children, teaching without words, that we value ourselves, our hearts, our fitness, our health, our friendships, our clarity, and our balance. They see us push, and with every stride, they learn a measure of what it is to prepare for their own races." 
--Kristin Armstrong
The theme around here lately seems to be about including family in your runs: Making exercise a family affair. While I was marathon training I decided to give that very idea a try, it didn't go well. Here is a story I wrote during my 16th week of training, when I decided to take my kiddos along for an "easy" 5 miler. It's a story I won't soon forget... 

My marathon training is 20 weeks long. The past 16 weeks I have used
all of my runs as "me" time and it has been wonderful. The only catch to all of  that "me" time is that I miss a lot of family time in the evening. It isn't all bad, but lately with the increased mileage, I have missed being home for dinner  and playing with the kids before bedtime.

So today I decided that I would take the kids out to the trail for my 5 mile run. Z, my soon-to-be 4 year old would ride his bike, while Olivia, 13 months, would ride in the jogger. Perfection! Before you *tisk* *tisk* my idea of making my almost 4 year old bike for 5 miles, he did it on Monday like it was nothing.*

I filled the jogging stroller with snacks and drinks and we set  off. The first 2.5 miles were GREAT. Z rode his bike and listened to all of my  pre-set guidelines. He stopped at every intersection, stayed within ear shot of
me and didn't whine for a drink every 30 seconds. Olivia was almost the perfect companion, minus throwing her shoes out 1/2 a mile in. Hey, who doesn't want to ride in comfort?

The bad part came when we turned around at the 2.5 mile mark. We  took a nice long drink break and I did a little pep talk about how we only had  to make it back to the van. "You're doing awesome, Z! I'm so proud of  you!!!"

We turn around and take off. My Garmin rings at the 3 mile marker  and I am ready to take off. I turn around and Z is going strong and looks happy.  Then, it happens. "MOMMYYYYYYYYYYY I'M TIRED!!!!!!" He is wailing. Bawling. He scared horses, seriously. So I try to coax him into riding nice and easy and just looking at nature. He wanted nothing of that. He wanted me to push his bike and carry him. CARRY HIM.

 I got him to walk his bike another mile and then when I couldn't take the crying for one more second... I decided to throw his bike into the stream, put him on my back and just run as fast as humanly possible back to the car. Then, I came to my senses and remembered the bike cost a lot of money and
that was a pretty mean thing to do. Plus, I'm not really equipped to carry 40lbs of kid and push 70lbs of jogging stroller and baby.

 So the next best thing I could think to do was this:

and I ran, the rest of the way back to the car. People stared at me and I wanted to cry.

The baby used one of her shoes and hit Z on the back for the entire mile. He
complained that she was hitting him and all I could do was laugh to keep from  crying.

Marathon training with kids = FAIL.

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,

*While screaming at my husband in the middle of the trail about how the
children ruin all of my family fun ideas. He informed me that Z did not do well
AT ALL on the 5 mile bike ride Monday. I would have known this if I were not
running far far ahead of them (to get away from the beautiful screaming coming from Olivia). So, my bad. Whoops!


This is still one of the funniest stories in our lives as parents. I still laugh when reading it because I can see it all happening!


Aah motherhood and exercise. Most of the time they just don't mix :-)


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