Zach and I entered the race (to fight pancreatic cancer) because for one, it was in Hudson and also because he had been wanting to run one. They offered both the 5K and the 1 mile fun run – perfect. The Monday before the race I thought maybe I should “train” Zach – doing some walking/running intervals just so he’d feel comfortable and to help him run the whole thing since he hadn’t done it before. Well, the week got busy (and really hot) so we only did one day of “training”. I actually think this was a good thing after all, however. The night before the race Zach told me he was worried about the race because we only one day of training. That is when I told him that I was wrong and that he didn’t need to train, but just do his best and that would be enough. He is just a kid for crying out loud!
What actually prompted me to get into this whole training mindset is the email correspondence we received about the Hudson Hawk football program (Zach starts in August). Now, no offence to any of the organizers or people involved with the program (it seems very organized and well run), but the email strongly encouraged that the kids should be getting ready for their conditioning by doing callisthenics, working out, running, etc before practice starts in August. I immediately got into panic mode. Oh, man – gotta get Zach running, gotta get him doing exercises, etc. I don’t want him to not to be able to keep up with the other boys! Thankfully, reason prevailed and I realized, “HE IS JUST A KID!” And an active one at that! He doesn’t need to train for 3rd grade football practice – that is just crazy! He plays at the pool or at camp, rides his bike, goes for walks – he’ll be fine!! Sorry, I digress. We nixed the training, but the race was still on!
On race day we were ready. Of course it was one of the most (if not THE most) humid days of the year. Zach and I donned our purple shirts and headed downtown. Mike met us there on his bike (which we have now affectionately named “Mike’s Tight Trike”!) Zach’s race was first at 8:30am. I encouraged him to just do his best and if he needed to walk, listen to his body and walk, but just don’t stop. The bell rang and he was off! I nervously headed over to wait at the finish line. It was so hot, I didn’t want him to get too tired or fall, or…whatever! Pretty soon, the first boy ran across the finish line and then a girl followed him about 15 seconds later. Then I could see a group of about three young boys running towards the finish in a single file line. I strained my eyes and thought I saw Zach…I squinted and sure enough I did see him with his blond hair blowing up a bit and a determined/pained look on his face. I started cheering then, “Go Zach!” “You can do it!” I felt my eyes getting a little moist and a lump forming in my throat as his barrelled through the finish! I had counted and was surprised to realize that he was either the 5th of 6th person across! I went over to him and congratulated him and all he said in a shaky, borderline teary voice was, “Mommy, I need water – I just need water”. His time was 10 minutes and 42 seconds – awesome! We got him water, a banana and all three of us cheered on the rest of the runners coming in. He said the run was really hard and that he had to walk a few times – but he didn’t stop. He was really proud of that. We were too.
After my run, which was pretty uneventful…just very hot…but I did okay, Zach and I stayed for the raffles and awards. Even though he didn’t get first in his age group and was disappointed not to get a trophy, I think he was proud of what he did. I think it will become more real when we see our times posted in black and white on the website.
I am just so proud. Proud of Zach for doing his best and being persistent. Proud of Mike for coming out to support both of us. Proud of myself for pushing it on a hot day. But most of all, I’m proud of our family – choosing to run/bike for a good cause on a hot and humid Saturday morning…rather than just staying in bed!