13 February 2012

To run with my son...and other stuff...

One of the best things to come out of needing to step back with running is this...

Big G and his mama, post-run :)

Big G runs a timed mile for PE once a month. He's been a little discouraged that his times are not getting faster...in fact, they've gotten slower. His best was 7:57 or something like that just under an 8-minute mile. His last two have been around 9:15. He keeps wishing he were faster...but somehow that whole notion of doing the work to make that happen seemed to be escaping him. Then, about 10 days ago, he told me he really wanted to be able to get a better time, and when I suggested he come out and run with me a few times per week, he said "Okay." 

The first two times were agony. He was miserable and whiny. Huffing and puffing and slapping his feet and then shuffling his feet, he kept asking if we could stop...like, every 30 seconds. We were doing minilaps around the block (<0.2 mi) because he "didn't want to run too far"...failing to understand that a mile is a mile is a mile and running a whole mess of tiny loops might be way more boring than running a bigger loop fewer times. Whatever. Toward the end of the second run we did together, about when the pissing and moaning was at its zenith, I asked him, "So...does a manticore have wings?" And without hesitating or gasping for air, he rattled off several different descriptions of this mythological beast. And then he launched into a compare/contrast monologue between the manticore and a chimera which lasted for the rest of the run.

Since then, at the beginning of each subsequent outing, he starts right off asking me, "So what should we talk about this time?" And he's all chipper and jaunty as he rattles of myths and legends and tales of strange beasts from literature. There is usually a segment of the run where he starts groaning and gasping, but it seems to be happening later and later in the run and lasting for a shorter period of time. Go, Big G!

For the first time in his life, he is enjoying stepping out of his comfort zone. He even asked for real running shoes...so we got some yesterday. We've just gone regular, ol' running...no speedwork, no tempo crap...just running to run to have it be fun. I'm guessing that it can't help but improve his fitness level and mile time more than sitting on his butt doing homework would or playing alien-invaders-meet-the-knights-of-the-jedi-round-table-in-sherwood-forest...or whatever the heck he and Q-man play every single night when they are supposed to be doing homework.

We'll see this Wednesday when he runs in PE. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I know that an improvement will go a long way toward motivating him to keep it up. Unfortunately, I'm thinking the flip side of that also applies. But we're going for OPTIMISM here at Taking It On...so think good thoughts for my boy :)

After he and I ran 1.25 miles on Friday, I did an additional 3...that felt spectacular. They weren't particularly speedy, but they felt solid and comfortable and loose and happy, even though it was pouring rain for part of the run. It was so unbelievably encouraging. 

On Saturday, after our family went out in Sherry's honor (click here to see a slideshow tribute created by Sherry's cousin, Beth Risdon), I went for the nicest bike ride I've had in 3 months. It was a gorgeous day. I didn't cry. Irritating people and their leash-less dogs only bothered me a little bit. And I saw this...

Guy on a really tall bike...
...that he made himself...I asked.

When I showed these pictures to my husband, he wanted to know Why? What is the attraction to this? Would it make you ride faster? Is it refining balance or strength? What is the purpose of the Tall Bike? (he's a guy who always asks these kinds of questions...on a casual run together once early in our courtship, he asked me...just as casual conversation, mind you... "what is the basis of your spiritual foundation?" Yeah, inquiring minds want to know).

I told him that I didn't think there was a point to the Tall Bike...that I really thought is was just a creative thing and for attention. And he countered with, "Well...how do you know?" To which I replied, "I can tell by the boots." The guy's wearing image boots.

Sadly, my awesome Friday run, powerfully emotive walk Saturday morning, and joyous bike ride later that afternoon took their toll on me somehow. My guts are messed up and my back is in pain. The pain goes down my leg. I actually think the guts are hurting something in my pelvis (psoas, maybe?) that is, in turn, bugging my back and leg. And I think this is likely related to that thing I did for the entire month of November that also screwed up my serotonin. The intricacies and interrelations of the human body are mind-blowing. 

I am looking forward to the day that I get this crap sorted out. Literally.


  1. I really want to hear how the boy's mile goes Wednesday. And I hope you feel better soon.

  2. I can't wait to hear how Big G's run goes, I hope it's faster. My middle daughter loves to run with me and she's great! It is a fun time. I hope you feel better soon, I hate that you are feeling bad, especially after such great days! I love the tall bike and the image boots, very cool.

  3. I love that you are running with your son. My oldest hates running but my youngest loves it and is really good. So fun and a great time to just be together. Can't wait to hear about his mile in PE. I hope you feel better:)

  4. Happy to hear about all the joyous stuff with running with G and the cool tall bike. I hope you feel better soon.

  5. Happy running with your son! Hugs!

    That tall bike is ri-COCK-u-lous (sorry, your movie is is still in my head!) only in the Bay Area? :)

  6. Fingers crossed for Big G! You may wanna give him something to talk to himself about while he runs, so he doesn't get bored in class. Like, what he wants to talk to you about the next time you run! It's like wearing an ipod for training, you might wanna wear one for the race.

  7. I hope your back/leg get better soon. I am still dealing with an off and on achy back/back of the leg/hip thing every time I try to push myself. I just want to be normal again!! Totally understand your frustration.

    What I want to know is...how does that guy get on/off his bike??

  8. Your son sounds a lot like mine (wanting to run, but complaining until he gets in a zone). Although my son would be totally jealous that yours has a brother to play alien-invaders-meet-the-knights-of-the-jedi-round-table-in-sherwood-forest with. Fingers crossed for Wednesday.

  9. That's awesome that he's been running with you. Good luck to him on Wednesday!!
    Hope you feel better!

  10. I was so excited for 7/8 of that post--there were such beautiful things going on...I am so sorry that your body is feeling badly again!

  11. That is great that G is running with you, I hope he kills it in PE! In PE my favorite day was when we ran the mile, I was the only one in the class who looked forward to things like that, lol

  12. ah crap...sorry that you are not feeling good...it will get better, you must believe

    I think it is great about your son. I would be so nervous about that mile...I hope the outcome are positive!

    that tall bike...interesting...I cannot say I get it...

  13. Ouch...hate pain! It's not groin pain is it? so many ligaments and tendons running through that area...hard to tell!

    Awesome that you are running with your son...my kids LOVE to run with me...and it kinda makes it more meaningful somewaht...that is until they get tired and want me to piggy back them:)

    Thanks for the comment on my last post! and as always, your pics are amazing! I think I saw one of Beth's video!

  14. Oh man I used to HATE the timed mile when I was a kid! I am glad that your son is running with you and finally getting that running can be fun. It's all about motivation. Half of us runners aren't even that fast; we just have HEART! So, it seems like he is getting it! That's great!

    I like the tall bike. I don't really "get it" but it's still fun!

  15. Really cool that your son is running with you. I'll be pulling for the PR in the mile this week.

    Hope you start feeling better soon.

  16. Here's hoping you have a speedy recovery and are back on your feet in no time! Also love that you and your son are so active together. I think that's wonderful.

    And awesome bike!

    Thanks so much for leaving that sweet comment over at Shell's place so that I could find you here. All the best for a great week!

  17. How sweet that Big G now runs with you, his captive audience for mythology tales. Neat that you managed to stop the tall bike guy and ask him about his creation. The view from up there must be a trip! Hope you feel better soon :(

  18. Hope you feel together again soon.

    Sounds like you had a great weekend also!

    And I think it's great that G can run with you, what a great way to connect!

  19. I LOVE this! I have three boys and just yesterday I noticed when looking up tee ball at the local rec center that they offered track and field! I would really love to get my boys running with me. Or running in general.

  20. Forget the guy...what's up with his lame boots? For F's sake, as if the bike doesn't scream "look at me!!" enough. NorCal...whatevs.

    Seriously cool your miles of late have been happy ones. Need not to be said, but those are the good ones.

  21. I love that he runs with you. I wish, so wish that my mom had been fit and had emphasized the importance of physical activity with us.

    We're all going to be the first ones the zombies get, for sure.

  22. Inspiring post. I was really moved by his enthusiasm to talk with you during your runs. A reminder for me to do so more often with my girls. I hope your pain has subsided and that you see more cool tall bike-like vehicles....and share them here, of course.


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