Lil Ansky has been nudging me for quite some time to run with me. Usually it's on Sunday mornings after I've come back from a long training run and I tell her "some other time, when I didn't just run 20 miles." I feel really guilty about it because she is starting to get interested in running and I should be doing what I can to encourage her. I'm also passing up on an opportunity for some quality Daddy/daughter time, something I should be relishing, especially as she gets older (She'll be 10 at the end of July).
I had a short (for me) run on the calendar this past Sunday, 20 minutes in zone 2 followed by 40 minutes in upper zone 3 and we didn't have anywhere to rush to Sunday morning. When I got home from my run, I asked Lil Ansky if she wanted to go running. She could barely contain her excitement and went up to her room and changed (if only she would do this every morning).
I thought the best place to go was the local high school track. The surface is soft and it's flat. We warmed up by walking a lap then I asked her if she wanted to run. After running an entire lap, we recovered by walking. We then alternated by walking 300m and running 100m. She even got cute and took off in a sprint and asked me if I could catch her. I did what any father would do, and let her win. Several people on the track commented to me how nice it was that we were exercising together. All this time, we chatted about school, her friends, what she was looking forward to most about summer, and running.
We ended up doing a 5k run/walk. When we were done she gave me a big hug and told me how much fun she had and that she wanted to do to it again next week. She also said that she wants to run the 5k in November to benefit her school and that she wanted me to be her coach. My heart melted.
After our time on the track last Sunday, I realized that this is something that I need to continue doing with her regardless of how many miles I ran earlier in the day. Not only is it good for her health but I feel like we now have something to bond over. Quality daddy/daughter time is priceless and better than any individual running accomplishment.