5 Things I Learned by Running a 5K… With my 6 year old

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So I have been running for awhile now. About 4 years ago, I decided I needed to work on getting back into shape. My sweet little baby was now a sweet little 2 year old and stayed with her grandparents while I worked. I made a conscious decision to make more time for myself and to spend that time getting healthy. I started running because it was something I could walk right out my front door and do with simple gear (shoes) , no gym membership required, and as much or as little time as I needed. I fell in love with running and over the course of 2 years, I ran my first 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon. I learned many things about myself and about running in that time. Even through some ups and some bad downs, I have continued to run and take a little time for myself.
Two more years and now I have a 6 year old. She always tells me, “I’m going to be a runner like you and I’m going to beat you one day!” 🙂 SO, when the opportunity arose, I decided to sign her up for her first 5K. This race was sponsored by our local hospital and the entire race fee would go to any local charity of the participants choosing. How awesome is that??? I signed Baby Girl and myself up and she was *pumped*!
Race day was yesterday and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overbearing and trying to squeeze all of my running knowledge into one 5K. She did great and I am so proud.
One of the things that I learned about myself over the course of 4 years of running is that I am pretty darn competitive. I haven’t always been that way, but something about running brought that out in me. I really had to work at holding back yesterday and letting her do this her own way. In the end, I learned more than she did… But Isn’t that always how it is with kids? Unspoiled by competitiveness and self-deprecation and able to go out and actually enjoy the run.

5 Things I learned about running by hanging with my 6 year old for her first 5k:
1. Pace-smace. Starting out at a full on sprint is FUN! For a hot second you get to be in first place!
2. Waffling between winning the race and quitting the race for the entire run is completely normal.
3. If you see a stray cat that seems really friendly and follows you, stop and pet it – rabies are for weaklings.

4. You CAN play a game on your iPod and run at the same time.
5. The only reason to run *through* the finish is to get to the chocolate milk before your friend.:)

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