Days of Summer

There are many days that the only reason that I am able to get out and run is that I have the family supporting me in my goals. Last night, for example, Skipper said he would get up early to play with LI so that I could get my long run in before Church. Well, that was the plan.

Only the plan forgot to take into consideration that Skipper is a pre-teen and getting up before 7:00 isn’t as easy for him as it use to be. I stood at his bedroom door at 6:45, listened to him snore deeply, and walked away. Fifteen minutes later, I went back upstairs, hopeful that he might be kicking the covers off – no luck. By 7:15, my dreams of a morning run had vanished.

When we got home from Church at 11:30, I announced to the boys, “I’m going for a run now.”
“I want to come too,” replied LI.
“I’m going for a long run, honey. It’s too far for you to ride your bike.”
“I can ride my bike that far. Just wait for me.”
“Sorry, but I’m going with Mr. C. and a few of his friends.”

I lied to my 5 year old. I suppose that makes me a bad mother but I did get out of the house without an argument or tears. Was it worth it? Definitely. Would I do it again? Absolutely!

I couldn’t wait to get out for today’s run as I hadn’t run this route since last summer. Skipper and I would get up at 6:30 on weekend mornings, and he’d ride the 13.5 miles with water and an emergency $5 bill, which was inevitably spent on more water and an Aero Bar at a corner store on the way home. Today, it was just me – with no water or fuel, but a $5 bill (just in case).

As I headed out, I couldn’t help but think about those summer runs we had together, especially since it was such an unseasonably warm afternoon. I pictured Skipper riding ahead of me, camelpack strapped on his back, and I thought about the little critters – the squirrels, rabbits, cats and dogs – that we used to count as we covered our miles – and of the number of morning cyclists we passed on Lakeshore.

Today’s run was nothing like that, though. There was traffic – lots of traffic – and I ended up waiting at more lights than I wanted to count. And, just as I neared Lakeshore, somebody honked and slowed down.

“Great,” I thought, “one more thing to slow me down. Here’s somebody who wants directions.”

But I was pleasantly surprised. It was one of the ladies from the running clinic I led at The Running Company this fall. She wanted to thank me for getting her running again, for motivating her. This morning, she ran her first 11K and she’s registered to run a half-marathon in March. We chatted a bit and, before she drove off, she thanked me again and told me that I inspired her.

Wow! I was both flattered and delighted that I had such an impact on her. As I resumed my run, I couldn’t help but notice that my steps were just a little bit lighter. Then, my thoughts drifted back to those summer runs.

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