SPOILER ALERT - This was not necessarily a great idea for all involved.
In my defense, it SEEMED like a pretty good idea. Zachary has run a 5k before, and Cooper will do anything his big brother does, so it seemed safe. Also, this race promised loads of lazer lights and glowing things and I felt certain that the boys would be so distracted by all that kind of stuff that they would forget that what we were doing was kinda hard.
The real truth though? I've been in a bit of a running funk lately, and I really, really, really miss running races. A combination of trying to save money and not having childcare has kept me from them the last couple years, but oh, how I miss it.
So this seemed like a good - if not exactly perfect - solution. By taking the kids along I could call it "entertainment" and not feel quite as guilty about spending the money, plus no sitter was required. It was a brilliant plan, with the small exception being that I knew I'd likely end up walking more than running, because of the boys. Still, it was fine. At least I'd get to be there. And get a t-shirt.
I love race t-shirts.
Cooper opted to wear his Superman shirt and cape to the race "so he would be faster," and I loaded us up on light sticks and flashing things, and we were ready to run.
I noticed a couple small problems right off the bat. 1. It was freaking hot. 2. It wasn't dark yet, so my light sticks were pretty useless as a distraction, and 3. It started at 8pm, which is Cooper's normal bedtime, and he was yawning before we even got out of the car.
We lined up like we belonged there, but at the starting line two very different things happened. Zachary shot off like a rocket blast, and Cooper said, "I'm tired. Can you carry me?"
It was quickly determined I would go catch/find Zachary, and R, ever the trooper when my crazy albeit well-meaning ideas come to fruition, scooped Cooper up and walked the entire race with him on his shoulders. The entire way. With a 30 pound weight wearing a cape. On his shoulders. Remind me not to be grouchy at him the next time he leaves his socks on the floor.
Zachary ran like a bat out of hell for the first 3/4 of a mile and I struggled, and I do mean STRUGGLED, to keep up. Then as suddenly as he had taken off, he stopped and asked me, "Mama, are we done yet?'
Hell no kid. Hell. No.
So we walked most of the rest of the way, with a few bursts of running thrown in whenever we saw a water station ahead. Apparently he was thirsty.
But we finished and both of us were pretty darn happy to be done.
A few minutes later, we were standing at the finish line waiting for R and Cooper, and we saw Cooper's head bobbing above the crowd. A couple hundred feet before the finish line, R put Cooper down and he ran FULL OUT across the finish. And he kept running. And running. And running. All the way past the finish line, down the path and nearly to the lake.
When we finally caught him, he said to me "Guess what Mama? I just ran a race and I BEAT DADDY!"
So although it wasn't the BEST experience for all of us involved (namely the adults), the kids had a pretty good time.
And wanna know the really, really, really crazy part? I'm considering doing it again when The Color Run comes to town in October.
But SHHHHHHHH! Don't tell R. Let's make it a surprise for him. He LOVES surprises!