Raising a Runner to live a Relentless Life

Week 3 of really trying to live a relentless life was not without its ups and downs.

We received news that Ronin might be better served by changing classrooms, I started to feel a little bit under the weather, and the scale did not budge one single pound despite me doing EVERYTHING right.

My workouts this week were pretty awesome.

On Thursday, Connie and I walked 4 miles as part of our training plan for the Holiday Halfathon in December. I made up Thursday's WOD on Friday. My legs are certainly feeling much stronger and I'm pretty confident that when we go for a new one rep max on back/front squats that I am going to set a new PR.

Here is all my activity for the week. Not quite sure WHAT I did on Friday, but wow...I did something right!


But what I really want to talk about today is raising a runner.

For most of my young life I dreamed of being a runner. But I wasn't. I was too big. And into my adult life I used to dream of being a runner. Finally I became a runner at the age of 40. But it was short-lived. Injury sidelined my running, and honestly as much as I dreamed of being a runner, I never really LOVED it. I didn't run for the right reasons. I ran because it burned calories. Plain and simple. I got the most bang for my exercise buck by running.

But during my stint with running I discovered that my son Ronin LOVED to run. When we ran our first Gasparilla race together in Feburary 2011 he was 4 years old. He didn't know the meaning of the word pace. We were all in the pack together (me and the 3 kids) and when the race started and we finally crossed the start line, Ronin took off like a Cheetah. He was too fast for me to catch, and I just hoped that he'd have enough sense to wait for me somewhere along the course. Up ahead I could hear people cheering and screaming "look at that little boy run" and I knew that they were talking about my Ronin.

I found him sitting down at the Mile 1 marker. He was spent. He gave everything he had in that first mile, and we spent the next 2 miles doing a run/walk pace, more walking than running, and he was simply exhausted. But when that medal was placed around his neck, a smile quickly engulfed his face.

During the next few years whenever I'd have the opportunity to bring along one, two, or all three of my kids to a 5K Ronin would usually bolt off, putter out, and then complain that he wasn't fast enough to keep going.

But recently something changed in him.

He wanted to run.

He wanted to go faster.

He wanted to run more.

In January 2014, he started running on his own. A mile at a time. Unbroken. We have a little loop near our house, so I'd walk it while we ran, he'd pass me, high five me, and I'd turn about and watch him. Often he got out of my eyesight, but I was okay with that. Our neighbor's all know him, and this is the only neighborhood we've ever lived in, so he knows it well.

In the summer he ran a few times with gym friends while I walked. And then he'd go back into the kids club and wait for me to come back.

And then in April our gym, CrossFit En Fuego started hosting monthly 5K fun runs. Ronin wanted to go. Ronin wanted to run.

So we went.

But I can't run.

He was supposed to stay and walk with me.

But he can't walk. He HAS to run.

Thankfully I have great runner friends who would take turns running with him.

But I always felt guilty having them run with him. Was he slowing them down? Was he disrupting them?

But they said that they didn't mind. He was great company, so we kept doing it this way.

And then I got a bike. A S.L.O.W. bike. A really slow bike. With room for a passenger. This meant that I could pace Ronin and if/when he tuckered out, he could take a ride on the bike, get his breath and legs back and then get back to running.

The first time we did this, we ran an 8 MINUTE mile. Yes, 8 minutes. Unbroken. And then he rested. And then he ran. And then he rested. And then he sprinted to the finish line.

We've been doing this a lot around our neighborhood. I've noticed he's been "pacing" better. He's still starting off like a cheetah, but he then settles into a good pace, and just runs.

Yesterday all this training was put to the test.

The kids and I were invited to participate in the Girls Scouts of West Central Florida Thin Mint Sprint.

I haven't "run" since February 2013, but I've been walking like crazy. Haley doesn't like to run, and Ella is injured. Haley and I decided we'd walk the race together, Ella sat out the race helping other Girl Scouts pass out cookies, and Ronin, well Ronin decided he was going to try "to win."

They announcers made their announcements and declared "this is a self-seeding race, any runner who thinks that they can place in the top 50 should be at the start. Walkers to the back. Please be honest."

This is where I found Ronin.

He self-seeded right at the starting line.

A beautiful rendition of our national anthem was played on the sax, and then we were off. I wasn't sure if/when I'd see Ronin again. But we had a plan. He knew where to go if he finished before me, he knew to just sit and wait for me on the course if he felt like he needed me. I felt confident. He felt confident.

Haley and I were walking, when we saw the leader pass by us on the return. He was FLYING! And then came another man, and then a pack of 3 men, another few men, then the first girl, I was trying to count in my head how many were passing us when suddenly I saw him!!

And I called his name.


He just stopped and looked at me. The poor woman behind him wasn't expecting that as you can tell by the look on her face and the placement of her hands. She looks like she's going to strangle him! So I quickly asked him if he was okay, he told me YES, so I told him to keep going, and off he went.

And when Haley and I finished, this is what came up to greet me!

HE DID IT!! He placed 47th!! He earned his box of cookies!!

I asked him what his time was and he had no idea. He said someone handed him a blue card, and he turned it in for his cookies. Off we went to find his blue card at the Fit Niche table.

And there it was sandwiched between 46th and 48th place.

Ronin doesn't write very well, but he had written his name and bib number on the card, but the time area was left blank. So we "guessed" based on the placement of 46 and 48 and came up with a finish time of 31:15, which is about a 10 1/2 minute mile.

I am one proud mama. When I asked Ronin this morning what he loves most about running he just looked at me, ran his fingers through his thick blond hair and said "mama, I LOVE the way that the wind goes faster through my hair when I run faster. So the faster I go, the faster the wind goes, and I like fast wind."

He was the youngest child to "place."

And it just goes to show you don't have to be a runner to raise a runner. You just have to set the example that physical activity is important. I am relentless in my goals to live a healthier lifestyle, and that is a trait being passed down to my children. I don't care what activity they do, AS LONG AS THEY DO SOMETHING!




Comments (1) -

  • He did so great out there yesterday!  I love that he loves to run and it's such a great go to for fitness. All your need is shoes, the open road and the determination to keep moving forward. He definitely has all three!

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