Four Letter Words

My running this week was overshadowed by the two boys in the house. It always seems easier to swallow another low mileage week when you watch your boys race well. Dan raced to an amazing 30 min PR at the Salida marathon and James ran his first race. Throw into the mix some cheese fries, burgers and pizza and we had a perfect Salida weekend. Salida seems to always mark the beginning of spring and the start of training season. Salida certainly delivered this year with a perfect day for racing and spectating. The sun shined brilliantly...maybe a bit too much as we all returned home with rosy cheeks and noses. 

I was nervous signing James up for his race. Was I pushing him too hard to do this? Was I trying to push inclusion too much? What would happen when he came in last? Would he even run or know what to do? But James loves his Leadville videos, loves watching races and I'll be damned if I don't let him participate in inclusive sports when I'm working so hard to get him in an inclusive classroom. I mean what's the difference right? And how would I know if it was too much if I didn't try. So I lined James up at the side of the starting line and when they said go all the other kids went. I looked at James, did our countdown and signed run. He knew immediately and took off running and signing run. I think he took a whole 5 steps before he reached out for my hand, but that was okay we were still moving forward. Plus one kid had already sat down apparently debating his first DNF. James and I kept going. We stopped to play with 5 of the course marking flags, I got 3 hugs and he only fell once. He was starting to lose it around 300 m into the race when one of the older kids helping out noticed. All the other kids, including the one who had decided not to DNF, had already finished. This boy watched James and came running out to cheer him on. He cheered and ran backwards to the finish line coaxing James the whole way. James finally let go of my hands, broke out in his wide mouth toothy grin and followed the boy all the way to the finish line. It was all I could do not to wrap this boy up and give him the biggest hug of his life. James was immediately overwhelmed by the cheering and crowds so I scooped him up and helped put his medal around his neck. 

Anyone who knows me knows despite my sailors mouth there is one four letter word that I hate, I despise, and I refuse to let kids use around me...the four letter c-word...can't. There is no can't only won't. And there is still no can't in James' dictionary. He may not always want to race and I will absolutely not push it if he doesn't want to do it, but it's one of the things I love most about running. Anyone can do it...special needs or not. Runners are some of the most accepting groups I've been a part of and I really hope they accept James as well...and never let him use that damn c-word. James just raced his very first 400m dash at 2.5 years old! He was the youngest runner, but easily had the biggest smile. 

As we hung out at the finish line after the race the little kids race director came up to me saying how ridiculously cute James is. Then she asked if she could give him one of the t-shirts from the older kids race since they had a bunch of extras. As she handed the shirt to me she started thanking me for letting James race and for sharing him with her. It was a little thing but reassured me that all the nervous questions that ran through my head earlier that morning when I signed him up for the race were just nervous questions and James CAN do whatever typical kids just might take him a little longer to get there.

Week March 9 - 15

Miles Running: 38.7
Hours Hiking and Running: 6.5

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 7.3 miles: still a lot of snow at Apex; 10 x 1 min hill sprints on the longest dryish patch I could find

Wednesday: 7.9 miles: Bear Creek; felt really good and kept a decent pace

Thursday: 12 miles: Bear Creek; slow and didn't feel great, cut a bit short

Friday: OFF 

Saturday: 6 miles: pushing James up to the road crossing on the course and around Salida

Sunday: 5.5 miles: Bear Creek; pushing James, crazy hot (well it felt crazy hot to those of us acclimated to 30F)


  1. Oh my word this brought tears to my eyes! Go James! So proud of him!!


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