Runner Girl had another race last Thursday. I've been a tad emotional about it and it took a while to be able to write about what happened.
The whole family had a really hard day and Runner Girl and I fought in the morning and then on the way to the race. The Rock and I had a little tiff before I picked her up from school, so I'm sure that didn't help things. And before we left for the race, I had to have SEPs with her teacher and found out she's just not turning things in and is failing her easiest class right now. So all of that made the second fight with her pretty bad and I nearly turned around and went home. She didn't want that, so she calmed down and so did I, and off we went.
We got there a little early and the kids played at the park until it was time to start. Runner Girl chased Little Mister around and helped him up the slide and stuff, so when her time came to race, she said she was too tired. I told her to pack up and let's leave then, I'd tell the coach. She got ticked off and went to the start line. Girls! Grah!
So she ran by me about 7 minutes into it, and was about to cry. I went with her. "My arches went *rude noise*," she said. I asked if she was hurting and she nodded and cried. "Do you want to stop?" "No, I want to keep going, but I hurt!" "Okay, just walk if you need to." She nodded and kept going.
When the coach saw her slow down about a minute later, she told Runner Girl to keep running. I went over and told her what was going on. She felt bad. Then we waited around at a tunnel the kids had to run through twice. All the other girls came through except Runner Girl, so the babies and I went walking. The other coach was at the other end of the tunnel, so we waited with her and chatted a bit. We finally saw her bright red shorts in the distance and, pretty soon, we could see her blonde hair flopping with every step. Two of the boys on the team had walked back through the tunnel with me and the babies, and when she got to us, they started running with her again. We were about 3/4 mile from the finish line.
They ran the entire rest of the race with her.
About 1/4 mile from the finish line, four other boys from our team joined her, and they all ran to the end with her. Tears came to my eyes as her escorts encouraged and pushed her harder. She finished, in pain, only 2 minutes slower than her best time.
About 1/8 mile from the end, I had noticed her speed picked up drastically. When we talked on the way home, I asked if she was afraid they were going to kiss her. She laughed and said, "NO! They all pretended that they were the devil and that he was going to kill me!" *snort* Now I know how to motivate her, I guess.
The strength of character she shows in pursuing her goal of finishing every race is remarkable. The other parents are impressed with her, but I admire her more than anyone. She has proven to me that she can do anything, and I bet I can too if I set my mind and heart on it. Her willingness and desire to continue are making me take a look at myself and my own goals, reevaluating what I can and will do for my own health from here on out.
In addition to that, those boys who ran with her will forever have my gratitude for helping her finish her goal. That makes me want to get healthier too, so I can really help train with the team next year.
Regionals are tomorrow, same park and same track they ran last Thursday. I am crossing my fingers she is not in as much pain and can finish and maybe even beat her best time.