Brady hasn’t been running lately. In fact just last week when he ran a 5k run with me, it was the first time he had ran with me for around a year. Since he had not been running I hadn’t even thought about entering him to run the Peachtree Jr. this year, but when a friend of mine contacted me on Friday saying that his son wasn’t going to be able to run I figured…. why not? Their last name is also Wilson so I didn’t figure I would have any issues picking up the number, Brady would just have to be 10 instead of 9 and go by a different name this time :) Thanks Kevin and Noah!!!
Piedmont Park in Atlanta. When we got off Marta I didn’t have a clue which way I was going to get to the park, I figured I would just follow all the other parents and children that I was sure to see. This worked great until two of them started to walk different ways. One of the other parents was doing the same thing I was doing so then I turned around and saw all the other parents and children following as well. I couldn’t help to think that we were all doing the same thing and that we were following one brave mother that didn’t have a clue either :)
Luckily the mother knew where she was going and we all made it to Piedmont Park with plenty of time to spare. We made our way to the bib pickup and was given the bib without any incident. A few minutes later Brady was numbered up and waiting for the gun. As we walked around the park I couldn’t help but remember the great times I had running through Piedmont Park with Andrew and Sue O’Brien aka Couple On The Run when they were in Atlanta back in February.
Two waves of 12 year olds were sent on their way and then two more waves of 11 year olds followed them. Next in line it was the 10 year olds and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to pick Brady out of the sea of 10 year old faces. Just before the “GO” I saw his face. This was important to me because you know, as a runner myself I have to time him :)
He was off and so I made my way over to the one mile mark…… You didn’t think I was going to miss getting his splits did you? I was waiting, and watching as all the kids went filing past, and then there he was. I clocked him in at 9:38. I was happy, but I also knew he wasn’t running a “race” but rather just running. That was fine with me because he only started running again 6 days earlier after around a year off. He came back by the same area again just a short time later so I snapped an action shot as he came by.
I didn’t think to check to see how long in miles a 3k was so I was trying to do the calculations in my head. I wanted to know what time to expect him at the finish line because it was hard to see, plus with all the kids coming across I didn’t know if I would be able to pick him out of the crowd. I got back to the finish line in what I thought was plenty of time and started watching for him. The time ticked away and there was no Brady. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting, and finally when the time said 25 minutes I knew I had missed him. I checked later, and 3k = 1.864 miles so I think I may have gotten to the finish line after he had already finished. This absolutely killed me because as a runner how can we leave without knowing what his official time was?!?!
I made my way to the corralling area where we were supposed to meet up with our kids and there he was, nibbling on his granola bar. I asked if he had been there long and he said – “Uh, YEA!” We talked about the race and he shared with me a few things about how he felt, and how everything went. He told me that he was barely sweating at the one mile mark (see comment earlier about him not running a “race”) and that he wasn’t tired either. Knowing this tidbit of information, it appears I am going to need to teach him what it means to race. :)
The one last thing he told me about the race was that he was finishing strong (like I tell all my kids to always do) and he was coming up on this other kid. Just as they were getting ready to cross the finish line the other boy slowed down and Brady blew past him to beat him across the finish line. He was so proud of himself and I was very proud as well :)
We got the t-shirt and didn’t even get a minute or two into our walk back to Marta when he brought up getting a pair of running shoes. I have to tell the story behind this -- A week ago this past Friday 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. This race had marked the third time he had run since that time, and we were already in Atlanta where Big Peach is, so it just made sense to him, and unfortunately to me as well. :)
We hit the Marta, got the car, and then stopped for an early lunch at Chick-fil-a on our way to Big Peach. They were awesome and took him through the complete fit process just like they would if he was an adult. They settled on a pair of shoes that would make him run faster since that is what all runners are looking for in a new pair of shoes, and we were on our way home. When asked what he was going to do when we got home, he said play video games. Not that I would have expected him to want to go for another run to test out his new shoes or anything, but video games? Isn’t that the opposite of a healthy lifestyle?
Brady made me so proud and I was more than happy to buy him a pair of running shoes. Of course I am tight so it is always painful….. but worth it. I am happy to give him the tools he needs to continue to build the love of running, and one of those tools is the right pair of shoes. I now can’t wait to see how much faster they make him. :)