Monday, December 17, 2012

The Refresher Run

Anyone that has done a training program knows there are all kinds of running workouts: The long run, The Progressive run, A Hilly Run, FARTLEKS, Yasso 800's, the Recovery Run, and on and on. Thus is the contents of my weekly running regime. However, this season I have the privilege of participating in a twice-weekly run that has been dubbed the Refresher Run.

Me at Bigfoot Snow Show race in Traverse City.

Running is a pain.

At an early age my daughter asked to go running with me. My response was Lace up, let's go!

About a half block from home, Sage was smacked in the face with the reality of what running truly is: your body in distress. Feet pounding pavement, rapidly beating heart, gasping for breath, side stitches. We've all experienced the suffering that is running. Children do not have a filter and Sage made it clear that she was uncomfortable. Neither of us enjoyed our night and neither of us did much running. And this happened every. single. time. The complaining would start and we'd turn around, both of us frustrated and often defeated.

The Refresher Run

Sage and I running a 1-Mile Fun Run in 2010 
This fall Sage asked to go running with me again. As always, I agreed. I had little hope for a positive outcome, but we forged ahead. We strapped on headlamps and set out. Sage planned the route, an ambitious 1.5 mile loop.

My anxiety kicked up as Sage set the pace. Phrases of encouragement, more for my own reassurance than anything, poured out "This is your run. Go your pace, we can walk when you want to. It's just nice spending time together!" 

Sage jogged, chirping and buzzing about every detail of her day. Each block a new, happy story recalled. It was surprisingly pleasant.

And then it happened. Sage complained about her legs being tired—the start of what I knew was going to be a very bad ending to this run.

I downplayed the impending doom. After I offered to walk a little bit I said "Sometimes when you start running, your legs aren't used to it and it can be uncomfortable—especially after sitting all day in school. It's nice to go out for a run to refresh your legs. Before you know it, it feels kind of nice to be out and moving." 

Sage runs with her dad too! (Sage at 3 years)
Sage thought about it and kept jogging. For the first time she ran the entire 1.5 mile loop without a walking break and without a melt down.

Two days later she wanted to run again. And then we did the same thing the following week. And the week after that. Each run a pleasant time of sharing stories and bonding.

Last week Sage asked me when our next Refresher Run would be. Refresher Run? Mom, you know, to refresh our legs? Our Refresher Run!

It took me a while to recall that conversation from weeks earlier. Sage is right in calling it the Refresher Run. Running together is a time of resetting our mother/daughter relationship. It's spending time outdoors and breathing in fresh air. It's one of the things I look most forward to each week, and I know she does too.

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