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