This year, Edie and I are planning to run in the Black Cat costume run at Point Defiance in October, so we have been training like crazy. Our big practice run this week was at the actual race course, and we busted out two solid miles at an average of 17 min miles, which I think is pretty respectable for a four year old and stroller mama… We have just one more mile to add to our training program over the next month.
Every time we set out to run, Edie whines and informs me that she is definitely not racing with me after all, but a slow half mile later, she’s all warmed up and falls into a steady pace chattering about her current costume inspirations. She cackles and careens like a maniac grabbing pinecones and leafs along the way. Her current kicks are covered with blue and pink swirls she chose because they are “Aurora Borealis shoes;” they don’t light up but they sparkle and they came with cat stickers, oddly. I try to explain about pushing through until the endorphins come onboard, but next time it’s still going to be my insistence that “I will be training anyway, but you can catch up later if you’re dropping out now” that will pull her through that first half mile. I will jog along at a speed no faster than walking, “Just until that yellow sign up there, see it?” and with plenty of walking breaks and water stops. Then when she’s warm and ready, we’ll storm down a gentle slope and she will laugh and yell. This time she screamed, “This is so fun to go fast! We’re almost to the finish line!”
After a good run we try to always use up all that good energy with something super fun and pleasant, wandering through the display gardens or playing at the park. This week we did both, stretching out by some deer and ducks in the Japanese Garden, then swinging with Rory at the playground and wrapping up some wild pirate imagination play.
It’s really hard for me to stay present and engaged the way I always meant to be, especially now with both these little turkeys and their constantly evolving forms of dependency. But when we all get out together, grab some fresh air, silly play, and good clean sweat, we somehow button back up together and stabilize. So it may be a weird association for her later, but I hope Edie is able to draw on these memories, when shared times of burning off stress allowed us to turn a rough week around. That would be a pretty healthy adult skill… Regardless, days like this are the only way to survive this motherhood thing.