My son, Wayne Jr has a budding passion for running! I’ve seen it in him for several years now and I’m always looking for ways to fan the flame of this new love in the hopes that he will grow up to be as crazy in love with the sport as I am! When I woke up on 12/12/12 I didn’t have any concrete running plans, but felt I should do something to commemorate the day. As I was making my morning cappuccino, I mentioned to Jr, who’s 12, that I was thinking of going for a run and I wanted to know if he’d like to join me. A huge smile spread across his face and he excitedly asked, “How far, Mom?” That’s when it hit me: He’s 12!!! It’s 12/12/12 and I was planning on running 12 miles – a distance he’d never done in his life. I said, “I’m going 12. Want to do the whole thing with me?!” He leaped up from the chair, did a fist pump in the air and yelled out, “WOO HOO!” 😀 Talk about enthusiastic running partner!
I loaded up the Nathan with lots of snacks: peanut butter sandwiches, salty chips, Shot Bloks, mint chocolate GUs and we each carried a hand bottle with Gatorade. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and full of fluffy clouds and we enjoyed one another’s company as we took off. I let him set the pace, but encouraged him to walk as much as he needed since his longest run in the last 11 months was only 3 miles!
Jr learned one little lesson: If your running partner is also your homeschool Mom, she may spring spelling pop quizzes on you to distract you from the miles. She will also cheer enthusiastically when you get the words correct! 🙂 I’d brought along a little notepad and a pen and we made a game of writing down every single street name that we passed in our neighborhood. There were 27 that we passed, most of them named after uncommon plants, shrubs and flowers like Quamash, Nasturtium and Firethorn (Jr’s favorite!) I promised him that he could google them all when we got back home so he could know what each one meant.
As we were running downhill together, he said to me, “Mom, in Mine Sweeper you run faster if you LEAP run!” So, of course, we both started leap running down the hill, laughing and having a wonderful time. When we’d pass street signs next to the sidewalk, he would grab them and twirl around them. When we’d run under crab apple trees, he’d say, “Duck, Mom! Those are enemy bombs and they’re about to fall!” It made me laugh. He made me smile – happy to enjoy those 12 miles with my son who one day soon may not think it’s cool to be seen in public with his Mom. 🙂 For now, he’s still a playful boy, full of life and energy and determination! I will enjoy every moment!
He finished up the 12.12 miles with his fists pumped in the air and a big grin on his face! It was the perfect way to celebrate such a unique date!