A little bit on running, a little bit on parenting

Rocket Kid is attending half day camp. (We’re all very grateful for places that are maintaining COVID protocols.) We don’t have to leave the house until eight or so. On Tuesday, his first day, I woke up at about six and decided I was going to run before I had to get him up, then decided to take the dogs for a walk first. Both the sidewalks and the air would be cooler for the dogs and it would be a nice warm up for my run.

And so it went. I walked the dogs, went for a run, jumped in the pool to cool off, and we got ready for the day. 

I’m still not excited about running first thing in the morning, but I deeply appreciate getting it done. Evenings are my preference, but it’s difficult to plan around both the eating and the making of dinner, especially in the summer when we really need to run closer to sunset. I do love that the shower to follow the running is at a time of day that makes sense (as opposed to when I was running mid-day or late afternoon). While in the post-run-pool on Tuesday, I decided to make this a habit for the summer.

I explained my plan to Rocket Kid and told him he was welcome to join me if he wanted to get up earlier and do it. He said he didn’t want to get up early enough for the dog walk, but he’d come with me running.

He’s been running a mile most evenings with a goal of running the equivalent of a marathon each month. He decided he’d rather run in the morning (not his preference) with us together (his preference) than sleep a little later and run by himself in the evening.

His marathon a month plan gets him to run a reasonable distance most days, which does wonders for regulating both mood and sleep. He loves biking, climbing, and swimming, but none of those do the same for him as running. I don’t know why, but I have the same response. I highly recommend getting the kids out and running, whether on a track, on a trail, or just playing around the yard. Bonus points if you do it together.

Also, I could run twice a day so he has a running partner in the evenings, but honestly at this point in time, I’m not that motivated. And if I know I’m going to run in the evening anyway, it will be harder to get moving in the morning. While this isn’t my ideal, it works, especially as midday becomes too hot and evening becomes complicated.

Yesterday, I woke him just as I was leaving to walk the dogs. He had enough time to wake up and get dressed. I dropped off the dogs and picked up the kid. We did a mile run, a quick dip in the pool, and got ready for the day. It was lovely. And he suggested we do this every day for the summer. 

Just like that, our plans were aligned.

This morning, I was really tired when I woke up and didn’t want to do anything. I was able to decide that it didn’t matter that I was tired—I have a plan, I’m not sick or injured, I’m going to walk the dogs and run.

When I woke Rocket Kid, he also was not ready to be awake. Despite that, as I was putting the leashes on the dogs he asked, “Can I get dressed and come meet you?” Sure. I let him know where we’d be walking, and before we’d made it half way around our loop, he came running up behind us. We finished the dog walk, dropped off the dogs, and did our run and swim.

There is something extra special about getting it done when you really didn’t want to, when you were ready to skip it today. 

There are plenty of days he’s declined getting up earlier to run, which I completely respect. But by offering him an option, we now both have a running buddy and our evenings are free to do other things. 

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