Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Disclaimer: 1) I’m not a sports psychologist. 2) I’m not a 9 yr old.


Last week I asked my son if he wanted to delay his tennis session to run his 10th parkrun (that’s the weekly, Saturday, free 5km run – in case you’ve been on another planet…or you are one of my relatives) at the same time I was due to run my 50th one. No pressure. 

He said, “Yes”.

On the Friday night, I went to a Christmas work do. I cycled there. I had a good time. I had a bit too much to eat. I had just the right amount to drink. I danced far too much. I cycled back. I got home in the early hours of the morning- at 02:00.

At 08:00 on Saturday I go through to my sleeping son and say, “So… you’d better be getting up if we’re going to make it to parkrun this morning.”

There are some protestations from him – the bed is warm, he forgot it was Saturday, the wind might blow him away, there are hills, etc.   I remind him that I said I’d meet fellow runner/blogger abradypus at the parkrun, so I was going anyway and if we were going to run our milestone runs together, then today would have to be the day. He gets up

He said he was going to run, so he did. Credit to him.

Now obviously I don’t want to force or blackmail him to run. I would have gone on my own. Yes, I wanted to run it with him… only partly because if I ran it on my own and ran it hard (as I would), then the results, given last night’s…. ‘dancing’… would not have been pretty. But I would have gone on my own.

He is in control now. He chooses a light breakfast, he asks to take headphones this week (there’s a whole other debate, right there), but as it turns out, my ears and his are different sizes (who’d have thought it?) so we end up leaving them.

We are soon at the parkrun and meet up with Louise (abradypus) and her entourage, in the form of Mike – another runner, and Louise’s husband and chief bag holder Andy – not running today.

*For those who doubt the importance of punctuation in blog posts, I think that last sentence proves a subtle point.*

We set off… too fast as always…but this is my son’s run and I’m just there for the ride. The first half km is pretty flat but he struggles a bit at the first hill, more at the second, and he has a stitch that is threatening to rip out his insides by the time we reach the third. We walk. We talk. We run again. On to lap two.

This is where I think I make an error, I put my hands up to this – without intending to add any pressure but because I thought he might want to know – I look at the time and I comment that if he keeps this pace, he’d beat his PB (he’d asked about his best time before we left home).

Bad, bad daddy! I am 9 years old, I actually wanted to stay in bed this morning but you guilted me into running with you, and now here I am – still with 2km to go and that series of mini hills / mountain range and you tell me I have to keep this pace?! 

When we hit the next hill, he holds my arm. I assure him it’s fine to walk for a bit. We do. But I notice tears 😦

We walk… and I do my best not to sound sarcastic in any way when I say we can walk or run or whatever he wants. I don’t want him to be upset – obviously, I don’t want him to hate running, and clearly I don’t mention the time again, I want him to know (silently) that the time is not important here. We walk. We hug. We are passed by a couple of very encouraging runners on the top, hilly (mountainous) section.

“I just can’t do it” he says.

“I want to, but I can’t.  It hurts.”

And although this isn’t about me, I also feel suddenly very aware that I look like a pushy parent, forcing his child into painful, unwanted physical activity. This is not me, by the way. This is not parkrun.

Choices time. We can stop here. There’s the cafe. Short-cut to the cafe. Hot drink? Grab the football we brought with us? Have a kickabout? Achieve those milestone runs another time?

But it’s not my choice and I refuse to make it (though I was asked).

We have all been there or thereabouts before, I’m sure. Going for a goal, falling short of what we hoped for, and needing to decide if we cut our losses and live to fight (or run) another day or keep going – just finish. Sometimes just finishing is important to us. Sometimes it’s the goal that’s important and stopping is actually the strong thing to do, increasing the chances of hitting the goal another time. So I’m not saying one is right and the other, wrong… just that this decision wasn’t mine.  

When it came to the crunch, he decided to run. He said he didn’t want to come this way and not complete it. It was as if once he made up his mind, that was it. He ran all the remaining way, eventually passing the ever-encouraging other parkrunners who’d passed us earlier. He finished. He finished strong. He was even almost happy…

…but that was before early-onset teenagerhood kicked in again back at the cafe.

He was of course now too tired to speak. Too tired to talk. Too tired for a drink. Too tired to lift his head from the table…

…so naturally we played football for half an hour before his hour-long tennis coaching session…

…where incidentally, I massively pulled my calf muscle and still can’t walk properly. So much for warm-ups!

What’s next. Now that we are have running icons in the parkrun world we might just claim our free parkruns any Saturday morning when the mood takes us.

We will also claim our milestone T-shirts and if/when he wants to (and my calf has healed), this father/son combo will be back.


I have had an annoying pain for about a year now. It’s not very big but it has got bigger and stopped me feeling human and has definitely limited my running of late…

I could be talking about my daughter but I actually refer to a non-descript lower abdo / groin pain, occasionally sharp, which will seem fine until I run, and then I struggle to sit up in bed the next morning, hence I’m here tapping away at the iPod now, I guess.

Random, unrelated comment follows:
Crumbs it’s windy outside!
End of random, unrelated comments

Anyway, the night before last Notmuchofasleeper woke at 2:30am and despite all usual methods tried, was still awake at 4:00, at which point I decided “if I’m going to be awake and exhausted, I might as well lose some weight at the same time”. So I got the pushchair out and went for a run with her, returning about 3 whole hours later.

In hindsight, I could have run around the estate, let her fall asleep and return to my bed…. But I didn’t want to be a parent who falls into a trap of having to take my baby out in the pushchair just to get her to sleep… Oh no. Instead, I wanted to be a parent who is so dedicated to occasionally randomly running 15 miles, for no particular reason other than he’s going a but mad and even though he hasn’t run in ages, that he has to take the pushchair out in the pitch blackness at 4:30am to do so.

I ran past our new house to be. It still looked nice, and the area didn’t feel dodgy at night,
…so that’s good.

We still don’t have a date to move though and our buyer is requesting random information such as written permission from the council for a dropped kerb (which, as an ex-council house, we presume they might already know about)
… So that’s not so good.

Notmuchofasleeper did indeed of course sleep through the whole episode and then woke up 5 mins after we got home. Typical.

In weight-loss news… Things are very slow, but moving in the right direction (a bit like an elephant seal on the beach, heading back to water – ha! I sort of got the elephant reference in for no particular reason) and the early morning run would have helped, but unfortunately a family outing to Frankie&Bennies’s, a full rack of ribs, waffles&ice-cream, 2 pints and polishing off others’ left-overs, pretty much cancelled out the benefits!


I have been trying out a myfitnesspal app. on the iPod to help keep track of calories in/out…. based on a goal of getting to under 90kg before Christmas. My run day ended only 23 calories in credit!
I’m currently about 96kg (still 4 better than 100 I suppose!) which still makes me clinically obese based on my height…. but I’ve already gone on about that before I think.

I stated on twitter a while back, that I would not tweet again until I was less than 90kgs. I didn’t tweet a lot anyway so I don’t think I’m missed but I did enjoy it occasionally so believe it or not, it is still part of my motivation… as is the fact that in the back of my mind, somewhere in that perfect, imaginary world where I have no random stomach pain, I would still like to do a triathlon before I’m 40… and I’d definitely need to lose weight before that happens… that and learn how to swim properly of course.

Til next time,