Last night my 9 year old daughter Maggie and I went to downtown Kalamazoo for their annual "Run Through The Lights" 5k. This is an untimed race put on by Gazelle Sports (one of the top 4 running stores in the nation apparently) to collect food for the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.
My GPS seemed a bit off but I think it took us about 40 minutes to run the race (the most beautiful part was passing through Bronson Park and the myriad of lights at the end). The weather was perfect (dry and not too cold) and it was so much fun to see all the people that had donned festive costumes for the event.
The best part of the race was running it with Maggie of course. We started running together back in the spring when I was an assistant coach for her Girls on the Run team. She HATED running at that point, and was always crying and moaning at me that she wanted to walk, and how she was hurting, in her usual drama queen fashion. The 5k at the end was even that way (although to be fair it was 98 degrees out that day and miserable, although running was better than standing around in Waldo Stadium at WMU for an hour and a half waiting to begin - heat reflects very nicely off of astro turf).
That attitude seemed to have changed when we did the Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving Day. Maggie was so cute with her self talk - "this is not going to kill me," "I can make it through this pain," "I CAN run this whole thing." And she did! Even when her brother caught up to us and I had to walk with him for a while, she kept jogging slowly in front of us and literally ran the whole race.
The same was true last night, although I think it hurt her a little more than she let on. I kept encouraging her to walk when she said that her ankle was hurting, but she was determined to just keep going. So I slowed down to a walk for part of the race and held her hand (well, we always hold hands when we run right now) while she slowly jogged along. The only time she would stop was to pick up fallen jingle bells (if she could get them without being run over) along the race course.
And as we approached the finish line..."Let's GO Mommy!" And we did. :)