Are you surprised?

I got asked this question recently when discussing my boys’ success in cross country. For a moment, I had a negative thought and asked for clarification. “What do you mean ‘am I surprised’?”

Well…you and your husband are athletic. You run. Of course, your boys are following in your footsteps.

Full stop.

Yes, my husband is athletic. But he’s ball sport athletic…football, basketball, tennis, racketball, ultimate frisbee, softball, track (mostly throwing and fat man relays). He’s also one helluva a cyclist…a point he argues with me frequently. Running isn’t his favorite.

Me on the other hand…I was not athletic growing up. I got a black eye during coach pitch softball. I leaned into the pitch apparently. I went out for track in middle school and quit when the shin splints hurt too much. I was overweight nearly my entire adolescence and early adulthood. I didn’t letter in anything in high school…zero letters.

So, when my freshman son letters in his first high school activity…yeah…it’s a big deal to this mama who learned how to be athletic later in life. The mama who learned the value of a good sweat session and that running endless miles for fun can be incredibly therapeutic and in more ways than one literally saved my life.

So yeah…I’m surprised. And grateful. And happy. And proud. So proud.

We came. We saw. We got muddy.

And just like that…another XC season is over. We traveled from KS to Ohio this past weekend for Coaches Youth XC Nationals. This year it was held at Voice of America MetroPark. Out of the four venues we’ve experienced, I must say it was my least favorite. Zero access to the course. And the mud…oh the mud. I know the mud wasn’t their fault. I don’t know how much it rained before we got there, but thankfully it didn’t rain in the two days we were there. That would have made it an even bigger nightmare than it already was.

Tiny Boy ran an 8:32 2K. 6:51 pace! He made it official…8yo Tiny Boy is faster than 8yo Runner Boy. He has learned so much from his brother’s running, and I hope that trend will continue. He was the 47th 8yo across the line.

The aftermath. The 2K course wasn’t too bad.

Runner Boy ran a 13:12 3K (7:04 pace). He came in 69th 10yo. This is well off his usual pace. He just plain had a crummy race. He said he couldn’t get footing and slid all over the place, tweaking his hip halfway through the race. He couldn’t get up to speed after that. He crumbled into me at the finish line. He tossed his finisher medal in our pull cart and hasn’t asked for it since. It’s hard as a parent to watch him want something so badly and have a bad run during his biggest race of the season. We walked to the car to get the battery pack for our phones, and he held my hand the whole way there and the whole way back. That’s how I knew he was upset.

Hopefully they can both turn it around and ease back into training. Mr. Neon is encouraging both boys to pick up another sport to work on other muscle groups. And Runner Boy has already asked for more biking and swimming. Runner Boy –> Tri Boy.

It’s not very often kids are encouraged by their parents to play in the mud.

Stay neon!

Excuse Me

Note: I started writing this post on Monday with the intention of posting it on Monday. So let’s pretend you are all reading this on Monday.

Excuse me for a second as I relive yesterday over and over again.

Daylight Savings Times was a bust for us. We had to get up early to head to Regionals XC for Runner Boy and Tiny Boy. We could have gone to bed at our normal time and got that extra hour of sleep. Instead, we stayed up late catching up on the DVR and playing games on our phones.

On the way up to Garnett, KS, I was able to get bits and pieces of the NYC Marathon streaming on the ESPN app. I was tracking the leaders and then would hop on when it looked like something exciting was happening.

SHALANE!

Oh man…all the feels. Beth from Shut Up and Run said it best with “Did anyone else turn into one giant crying goose bump as she ran into the finish?” YES!

And then we watched the dudes finish. I really thought Kipsang was going to catch the young gun, Kamworor, but he didn’t. And then Meb came through. Oh Meb. Thank you for all you’ve done for the rest of us average human runners. For every ounce of inspiration you’ve given us. Enjoy your retirement.

And just when I thought I had filled my running inspiration tank for the day, my two little bubs toed the line of their own races.

They had talked through the race with Mr. Neon, aka Dad Coach, and had set their goals. They have put in the time this year and have both made steady progress. The weather was good, and they knew the course. They were ready!

Tiny Boy ran an impressive 8:54 2K (7:09 pace). A full 20 seconds faster than his race two weeks ago. It was his first time breaking 9 minutes. I told him later that he only needs to run 14 seconds faster to beat his brother’s 2K PR and break 7:00 pace. He told me, “Done.”

Runner Boy took off like a bolt of lightning. We’ve really been working on him getting out front in races. He struggles to push himself in the beginning and then can’t get up to speed fast enough to break into the lead pack. I saw him at the half way point and he was running 4th. I was shocked. I just yelled, “John, do you realize what you are doing? You are running fourth! Keep it up!”

And then I caught him at the finish line. Literally. I love to catch him at the finish line. He’s spent. He wants me and needs me to hold him up. He held on to 4th and ran an incredible 11:58 3K (6:25 pace). It was his first time breaking 12 minutes and was nearly a full minute faster than his time last year. He hugged me and said, “You are the best parents in the world.” He gives all his success right back to us and thanks us for pushing him and bringing him to races. What a kid.

Tiny Boy was 13th (9th 8yo) and Runner Boy was 4th (2nd 10yo).

Needless to say, Mr. Neon and I are proud as punch, busting buttons, and all those other cliched things you say when you are REALLY REALLY REALLY proud of your kids.

And now we head to Nationals next week. I can’t wait.

Also…is anyone else obsessed with comparing side-by-side of your kids as they grow?


Look how long his legs have gotten!


Check out the muscle development on Tiny Boy! I have a theory that magical things happen for little runners between 7 and 8 and again between 9 and 10.

Stay neon!

TinyBoy Birthday

It’s Tiny Boy’s 8th birthday. EIGHT?! How did that happen?

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We are celebrating with pizza, wacky cake, and cinnamon cake. And family.

And I took his class donuts to eat for snack this afternoon. I’m their new favorite. My car will smell like plain glazed for the rest of the week.

Has anyone seen the new feature on Garmin Connect for sharing pictures? Back when I had an Android phone, I was always jealous of Apple phones and the FitSnap app. Now I can just use the Garmin app, which I use all the time anyway!

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That quote filled my head this morning on the trainer. This week is week 5 of 12 of part one of my Oly distance training plan. I’ve slowly built up from 30 minute workouts to 45 minute workouts. Soon, I’ll step up to hour workouts during the week. It’s just a matter of minutes, nudging up the alarm clock time. I’ll get back there. I still shake my head when I think of the handful of times I got up at 4am to get in 10 miles before work. How much coffee did I drink back then?

The bike is getting easier. My bum is getting used to the saddle, and my legs are remembering how to ride in aero. Last weekend’s long run was the first one in 4 weeks that my legs didn’t feel like absolute lead. Triathlon training is a whole other monster than just running alone.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to do hillwork. I’ve avoided it long enough. I need to program the workout into my Garmin to take the guess work out of the intervals.

Stay neon!

FAIL

Well, that was pretty epic.

Who had three days? You won the pot. I lasted three days on #NoBloPoMo. Three days.

Lame. I fail. Whatever. I’m ok with being a failure in daily blogging. MOVING ON!

How about these two?

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Seriously…I idolize my 9yo. Runner Boy is fast. It blows my mind that he has pushed himself that far. He finished 12th in the 9-10 age group. He was the 5th 9yo. It was his first time running the 3K and he did it in 12:45 (6:50 pace!). He left it all out there. At the finish line, he was DONE. Mr. Neon had to carry him back over to the tent. What a kid!

The wee, tiny one had a rough day. Poor kid has had a cold/cough situation happening for over a week now. We gave him cough meds about two hours before the race. He got through the race, well below his goal time. I went to get him from the finisher chute and saw him make a beeline for the bathroom. Poor kid experienced his first case of runner’s trots. Insert sad emoji here.

But…they both qualified for Nationals. WOOT! Now we get to drive 9 hours to watch them run for 12 minutes and 9 minutes. Worth it? You betcha! (But Mr. Neon and I do reserve the right to hold it over the head for the next year every time they whine about going to one of our races.)

I’ll give a leg update tomorrow, since I went to the doctor today. I need to process and set some new goals.

Stay neon!