|Shane and Mom at the MB Summer Solstice 5K|
On Sunday, I will be participating in my 7thhalf marathon. I will wake long beforedawn and make my way to the heart of the City of Angels to run in the LosAngeles Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.
This year, the course starts in downtown L.A.and will take me running down to the University of Southern California andaround the L.A. Coliseum; returning back through downtown and passing throughthe warehouse district and Japan Town; and ending back at L.A. Live just intime for The Dirty Head’s concert.
Ahalf marathon is only 13.1 miles and not 26.2 like a full marathon. But ittruly takes dedication and perseverance to just get out there and go that far.Not to mention the importance of a training regime to prepare not just yourlegs and body for the long run, but your mind as well.
As far as I can remember, I have always lovedto run. When I was a little girl, mypediatrician said that my legs were made to run and I just sort of acceptedthat as truth.
When I was17 years old, I landed a job at a gym in my suburb of New Jersey. I worked thefront desk from the time I was in high school until I left for university. Ican thank that job for getting me into fitness and running for sport.
When I moved to New York City, I tried to keep up with my running but with the pressure of school and work, I just couldn't always find the time. Mostly, I felt that I was running away from the scary people on the pre-dawn streets of the Big Apple.
In2000, I celebrated the Millennium by running in my first full Marathon with mysister-in-law. Since then, I have tried to participate in a half marathon everyyear and a myriad of 5- and 10-K races as well.
Icontinue to train for these races because I have a passion for running but, Itruly believe, it is in my genes and I am prepared to pass it on.
Myfather, who went to college on a track and field scholarship, has allowed hislong legs to carry him far and now I am realizing that my own son has therunning bug.
Overthe last eight years, Shane has watched me lace up my sneakers and pound thepavement so you can imagine my pride – and surprise – when he told me he wasinterested in running Manhattan Beach’s Summer Solstice 5K back in June.
Personally,I thought 3 miles would be daunting for him, but we showed up and he was readyto win. I tried to explain to Shane thatit wasn’t about winning but more about the experience. He was not to be dissuaded and took off likea bat out of hell.
Isoon realized that I had made a rookie mom mistake and forgot water for myseven-year-old. After a mile and a half,he told me in an extremely husky voice, "I think I swallowed thesun Mom."
I felt terrible and concerned, butShane would not quit and, even though we walked a little bit, he was theyoungest person to complete the family race in about 39 minutes. Then he went on to win first place in a halfmile race for his age group immediately after having a rest and some water.
This fall, Shane started his third season of football in the BeachCities Flag Football league. InSeptember, my husband and I applauded his 30 yard touchdown and were proudparents. Two weeks later, when he rananother 55 yards to score for his team, we were floored by how fast heaccelerated and amazed that he could not be stopped. After another 80 yard touchdown last weekend, people are starting totake notice of his speed.
As a mother and a runner, it makes my heart sing to watch Shane’slittle legs pump and his impossible speed makes him look as though he is ridingthe wind.
Shane and my husband will be there at the finish line to cheer me on this weekendand Shane asked me if I was going to win. I said no and tried to explain that, for me, running about going the distance,building endurance and getting a little Zen along the way.
Shane looked at my blankly and said, “I jus tlike to run Mom.”