An Open Letter to My Son : Running Your First Half Marathon

At 13 years old, you're just one day away from running your first half marathon.  You've always been an overachiever.  Potty trained before you were 2, skipping the baby babble and going straight to complete sentences.  You can't just solve a rubix's cube, you can solve it in under 30 seconds.  Kendama, guitar, card tricks, algebra, reading, drawing, the list goes on and on.  You've excelled in all you set your mind to do. 

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Except running. Because all those other things have come easy to you, but not running. Running has been hard.  It's been slow.  It's been chock full of complaints, struggles, and failures.  Running has beaten you down.  It has irritated you.  Running has made you hurt.  It's frustrated you.  Running has made you feel less than. It's humbled you.  And for this I say, thank you, to running.  I thank running for teaching you that it's not always easy to reach your goals.  Running requires discipline and endurance and grit.  These are all things I hope you've learned through running.  

You complained about waking up early during summer break to run, but you did it anyways.  We argued along the road many mornings, but it never stopped you.  During moments of frustration, you still endured.  So many times you wanted to give up, to turn around, but you never did.  You kept going.  May this be a lesson you take with you always.

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I hope that running will always stay with you.  I hope you find a love for running, as I have.  But, if you don't, that's ok too.  But I do hope you never forget the lessons learned during your training.  Because, whether you realize it or not, running has taught you so much about life.  It's taught you to never give up.  Wether you go fast or slow, what matters is that you are moving forward.  Never forget that.  Never forget that although there may be pain and it may be difficult, chasing your dreams is always worth it.  Life won't always be easy, but sticking to your goals and being true to yourself will always be worth it.  Never forget that feeling of accomplishment you get after a long or difficult run.  Let that stay with you and let that guide you. There is power in perseverance.   

Running alongside you all these weeks has not always been easy, but neither has being your mom and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. I am so proud to be running with you tomorrow and sharing 13.1 miles with you.  Crossing that finish line together will be a moment I never forget. I love you beyond words.   

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PS. I can't forget to give a shout of of thanks and appreciation to the hubs for all those early mornings of driving him up to meet us at the mountain so he could get his long runs in.  And to Valerie for all the rides up the mountain and encouraging him and me along the way.  To all our friends and family who've also encouraged him, it doesn't go unnoticed! XO 

Summer Bucket List 2018 | Camping in Utah

Our family enjoys being outdoors.  We like to go hiking and take walks at the park.  Jason and the kids like going on bike rides and as you know, I'm a runner.  However, we just recently started going camping as a family.  I guess you can say we are officially "outdoorsy" now ;) To check out my 5 tips for camping with kids, go HERE

Anyhow, we'd been camping twice and both times to the same place, Navajo Lake in Utah, so for this year's camping trip we decided we'd try someplace new.  We made reservations to a campsite in Central Utah called Kents Lake.  We went with 3 other families, all of which had also been with us on our last camping trip.  We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and spent 2 nights sleeping in tents and enjoying the fresh air.  The weather was a bit warmer than our last trips, but we appreciated it at night.  We had one afternoon of showers and hail, which put a slight damper on our lunch and made Elysse freak out, but it cleared up pretty quickly and all was well again! 

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The main highlight for our family was Diego catching his first fish on the lake! It was so special to see his face light up! Huge thanks to the family fishing next to them for sharing their secret weapon with us and helping him figure out what to do once he'd caught it.  

The camp site was fine, but I wouldn't recommend it as it didn't have flushing toilets.  Now, I understand we're camping and all, but flushing toilets are a basic necessity for me.  They had vault toilets, which is really just an outhouse.  Also, compared to Navajo Lake, there wasn't too much to do around the campsite or on the lake.   Of course, when you're camping with 13 other people and you are all good friends, you don't need much more than that!  We still had a really good time with lots of laughs and new memories were made.  We can't wait to go camping again together, just not at Kent's Lake this time.  We're thinking of changing it up and doing some beach camping in Southern California next summer. What's your favorite camping spot? Have you been camping at the beach? Let me know in the comments below.  

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Half Marathon Training with a Teenager

Last year, my then 12 year old son said he'd like to run a half marathon.  I thought he was just being funny or talking in the distant future, but no.  He was serious and insisted on it.  We researched some races and talked some more about it.  I gave him the good and the bad, but honestly, mostly the bad because I wanted to paint a truthful picture and the truth is that training for a half marathon is not easy.  He acknowledged that it was going to be hard work, but that he really wanted to challenge himself and run his first half marathon at the age of 13.  So, we did it.  We signed up for the Cedar City Half Marathon on September 8, 2018.  I explained that he would be training for a half marathon all through summer break and even into his first weeks of back to school but he was not deterred. 

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While he was still in school, we started with 2 mile once a week runs.  Then, last month, we started the actual 14-week training plan and he's been training pretty consistently for the past 6 weeks.  We have 8 more weeks to go and I couldn't be prouder of this kid! But please, don't get me wrong.  He is no super kid.  He is after all, a 13 year old boy and oh have we had our arguments.  It's been hard being mom and coach.  I feel like because it's been me giving him running advice, it's been hard for him to accept it and we butt heads a lot.  He's cranky at 6am and when I remind him that he signed up for this on his own, I get attitude.  I then have to remember he is still just a 13 year old kid and take a deep breath.    

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It's been hard, but it's also been rewarding.  I've been learning to be patient and let things go.  I'm learning to go at his pace and enjoy our time together regardless of our pace and whether I think he could do better or go faster.  I remind myself that I just ran my first half marathon 5 years ago at the age of 36! This kid is 13 and about to run his first half marathon.  I am so proud of him already! I'm not too mushy or sentimental, but I did cry after my 1st half marathon and after my 1st full marathon.  I'm pretty sure I will cry for the 3rd time again after I cross the finish line with my son in September.  But until then, there will most definitely be more cranky early mornings and arguments, and I'll just have to be ok with that.

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What races are you training for this summer? Any tips on running with a teen? EEK!!