How do you get your 8 yr old to join you on a run with minimal whining and complaining? With promises of ice cream, of course!
Marc has been away this week at Burning Man, so I haven't been able to just scoot out the door anytime I wanted to go for a run. The only feasible options were to either run at lunch, which meant I'd only have time for about 3 miles, or to take the little guy along with me. I decided to run in the evenings with the little guy on his bike.
On Tuesday, the high temp was close to 90 but it didn't feel too bad when we left the house around 6 pm. The plan was to run/bike down to the bike path for an out and back, then loop around to our favorite neighborhood ice cream shop. I carried a waist pack with a single bottle of sports drink for me, and a handheld bottle with water for the boy. It was a pretty decent excursion. We stopped a lot for drink breaks and generally had a good time. The little guy entertained me with reinactments from some of his favorite Scooby Doo movies. The trip back to our neighborhood was uphill and with about a mile to go I started to hear the first complaints. It was at this time I revealed that I had a coupon for a free upgrade to a double scoop cone. Amazingly, that brought the life back to the boy and it wasn't long before we were enjoying our ice cream.
On Thursday evening I decided that it would be safer if we stuck to the bike path for our entire trip. So we put the bike in the van and drove a few miles to the trail head by the Willamette River. This time I opted to carry my hydration pack with just water, since the little guy doesn't really like sports drink. Portland is big on biking and the path was busy with recreational riders and bike commuters on their way home. The little guy is pretty good about staying to his right. But when someone is passing and rings their bell or calls out "On your left!", he tends to look and veer toward them. But there were no accidents (or even close calls) and he's getting better and better each ride. It was a tough run for me because it was still warm and I'm not used to running in the evening. According to my perceived exertion I should have been clocking sub 9 minute miles! But it was really closer to 11 minute miles. At the turnaround spot, we shared some sports beans and had a little break. The reward after this run was a Dairy Queen cone.
Today we completed another 6 miles on the bike path, but started at a different trail head. We started late morning so I had a chance to sleep in, eat some breakfast and have my coffee. I felt much more energized than I did on Thursday. With 1.5 miles to go, the little guy complained that his legs were tired. This was the first time he'd actually complained about a physical ailment all week. However when I suggested that we could stop at the quicky mart and pick out any ice cream he wanted, he was off like a shot. And that was the last I heard anything about achy legs.
So I've been a bad mommie this week....forcing my child to exercise and then plying him with ice cream and treats. (Shhhh...don't tell Marc.....we ate Lucky Charms for breakfast all week! Oh yeah, and popcorn for dinner a few night too.) But Marc will be home soon and it will be back to the regular healthy routine!