Last October I wrote about upping my running mileage. I was running three times a week, with one of the runs being 10K in distance. I was inspired to run 10K twice a week, and did so on Mondays and Fridays with a 6-8 km run on Wednesdays. I did that for over two months, until Christmas break hit. I still ran at least twice a week, but I didn’t have the time to run more than one 10K per week.
January arrived, and with it, skiing! Between long weekends at the cabin and days off spent skiing with friends mid-week, I ran three days a week on a good week, but usually ran two days a week. One was always a 10K, and the others a minimum of 6K, but running two 10Ks and another run just wasn’t possible. Because skiing! We spent a full week at the cabin over spring break and we hiked and skied and snow shoed, but I was itchy to run.
Last week arrived and I had the time to run as much as I wanted to. I ran 10K on Sunday (See: Lack of running over spring break), ran 6K with Jennifer on Monday, ran 10K on Wednesday, and realized that if I ran another 10K on Friday, I would break a personal weekly distance record. The sun was shining, I felt like the run was effortless, and then this happened.
This coming week doesn’t afford me the time to try and even come close to that distance, for a myriad of reasons. One of them is that I’m helping to organize this year’s marathon at my kids’ elementary school.
Two years ago, a friend of mine organized a “marathon” at the school. The kids get a map that tracks their distance, and they spend time running with their class every day around the jogging track behind the school. The teachers do this as a class on top of the regular P.E. class, and help the kids track their distance. Some kids just do the 42.2 km required and some do twice or three times that distance. On the grand finale day, there’s a sponsored booth set up and the principal draws prizes, cheers on the kids, and sings along with the music playing.
My kids (and most kids) come home after school every day and tell us about how many runs they did. Nathan’s a bit ridiculous with the laps he does, but Graham did amazing last year when he was at the school and Emily does more than you would expect from a girl who claims to hate running.
The kids who run a minimum of 42 km over the eight weeks (ALL OF THEM) get a t-shirt. It’s a good-quality t-shirt, the type that keeps you dry, and it has a fun graphic on the front and the sponsors on the back. I’m in charge of rounding up sponsors and we’ve had some great ones sign on so far. If you’re local, you need to be a part of this. It’s such an amazing thing.
Part of my volunteering to help is because I love seeing so many kids excited about running, and running far more than they “have to.” On Mondays at lunch, the kids have the opportunity to run over their lunch break to catch up on their laps if they’ve been away, or sick, or want to do more than one “marathon.” Today was the first Monday run and about forty kids showed up to run. I’d run a 10K in the morning, so I brought up the rear with some first grade girls while the other volunteers led the charge with the faster runners. I taught my girls about Fartlek (They giggled at the word), and we ran and walked together as we chatted about anything and everything. I can’t stop smiling.
I love Summerland for so many reasons, and this is just one more. Kids being active and having fun, with huge rewards for doing so, both physically and tangibly (T-shirts!), is the best.