Saturday, April 24, 2010

A run with my son

My son, Jacob, who turned 7 on Thursday, is the keeper of my race medals and the logger of my miles. ("How many miles did you run today, Mommy? Three? Why not four?") He's also pretty swift-footed himself when racing around the Little League diamond or up and down the basketball court. But until today, running was a Mommy-thing, not a Jacob-thing. He had never seemed that interested in running just to run--not to win a race or score a run.

About a month ago, I signed up to do the Weston 5k on Memorial Day and had noticed that there was a kids' 1/4 mile fun run afterwards. I asked Jacob a few times if he wanted to see if he could run a 1/4 mile with me, just to see if there was an interest in doing this run, and his answer each time was, "Maybe another time." But today, even after a baseball day an a half hour of catching with his Daddy, he said he'd try it.

So we put on our shoes, I grabbed my Garmin for accuracy, and off we went.

I did give him some advice first: I said, "This isn't a race to see who's fastest. If you want to run the whole time and not stop, you can't run so fast that you get out of breath."

He said was OK with  the slow-but-steady plan of attack.

And I'm glad he did: Jacob and I easily completed the 1/4 mile without stopping, in 2:37. I high-fived him and whooped up and down for him, and he looked pretty proud. Then he said, "Can we try to run a whole mile?" I grinned. "We sure can!" So off we went again.

This was a lot harder on Jacob. He said a few times, "Can we take a break?" and I said, "Let's just try running really slow instead and then if we have to, we can." Slowing down really helped and I am amazed to say we did the full mile (right after running the 1/4) without stopping, in 10:13.

I'm not sure if I have a future high school track star on my hands--but I do suspect I've got myself a running buddy. Because he loved it. He said to me, "Even when it was hard I still really liked it, Mommy." I said to Jacob, "That's how I feel, too!"

When we got home, Jacob wrote me a "book" about his running adventure. I typed it up for him and am pasting it here.


By Jacob Mark

We have fun
We feel good.
It’s cool.

It makes you happy.
It’s good for your heart.

It makes your family happy.

It makes you happy and makes you sweaty.

That’s why I like running.


So my son runs with me--then writes a little poem about it. Running and writing. Did Mother's Day come a few weeks early this year? Be still, my heart.


  1. so so cool and so so sweet! I hope my kids will be interested soon too...

  2. Well, my four year old daughter isn't so keen on getting "sweaty," but I am holding out hope that when she's 7, she will want to run, too!

  3. That is about the sweetest thing I've ever read!!

  4. What a cute poem!! That's so great that you have your son interested in running at a young age. I am always amazed at the kids I see at the mini-triathlons in my area. They are so fun to watch.