My Son Brady's First 5k

OK, I need to start by saying that this was not an official race, but rather just a run with dad. Given the fact that he had nothing pushing him but desire I think that makes it all that much more impressive.

Brady is my youngest and is 9 years old.  He has run with me plenty of times in the past, but it has been nearly a year since he ran with me last. At that time, about a year ago, he told me he didn't want to run anymore. I decided not to push him because he is active in other ways and if I pushed him he would get a negative attitude towards running and the chance of him coming back to it later would be hindered.

I have since that time brought up running very little and only mentioned it in passing to see if he was interested at all.  Then, out of the blue a few weeks ago, he told me that he wanted to run again.  Since that time we have been talking about it off and on just trying to make sure he was completely serious and we didn't end up with a lot of complaining. During that time I saw him running around the circle of our driveway which brought a smile to my face knowing that he was ready to start running again.

This past Friday it came up again when we were at Big Peach Running Store in Atlanta getting Payton, his sister, some new shoes. He was trying to talk me into getting him some shoes too since he was going to "start running" soon. I told him that after he ran a few times we could get him some new shoes, but for now he needed to prove that he was actually going to run.

We made the commitment to run Sunday while we were standing at the wall of shoes.  I knew Saturday wasn't going to work and Sunday was just a couple days away.  When Sunday came he reminded me which I was very proud of him for. I had just finished eating so we set a time for 7:30 when we would hit the road. He came back at 7:20 and stood over my shoulder until I finished what I was doing.  He was ready to run and wasn't going to let me put it off any longer.

The plan was for 1 mile. I honestly didn't think he was going to be able to even run that far without stopping, or at least complaining a lot.  He has run about 2 miles with me at the longest, but that was either very hard with lots of complaining, or included walk breaks. He even ran a fun run at school a couple times, but was really tired and complained and wanted to walk nearly the entire time.

Once we got going he was asking if maybe we could go a bit further than a mile. He was sounding great with some great breathing, and his stride was steady and consistent.  I noticed we were running just under a 10 minute pace which I was impressed with.  He told me he was still breathing the way I taught him over a year ago when we used to run and then proceeded to demonstrate it.  I this this is especially cool since it is the same way my Cross Country Coach taught me to breath over 25 years ago.

Since he was doing so good and asking to go a bit further we decided to do 2 miles and walk if needed on the way home. Being still very confident, he asked.... maybe more? That was when I decided we would go the 3.1 mile route I run sometimes and walk if needed on the way home.  He agreed and so we had a 5k plan in front of us.

He continued to sound great the entire time and ran a very steady and nice pace. I checked on him often and he always responded positively.  He mentioned at about the 2 mile mark that the excitement made the pain much easier to deal with - I told him that is exactly how it is to run a marathon :)

He ran the entire way without even a single complaint. He even mentioned that now that he had run the 3.1 miles that he could have gone a bit faster.  We finished strong like I always teach my kids.  I let him choose when to kick it up a notch and it worked out to be right at the 3 mile mark so we finished the last .1 strong.

Although this wasn't a race, it was Brady's first 5k distance ever. At 29:48 with some left over at the end, I don't know what could make a dad any prouder.  That is just awesome and I am very proud of him!! :)

These were his splits:
9:55
9:32
9:35
0:46 (.1)

He will no doubt be passing me very soon!