Friday, 5 April 2013

Run With Me, Oh Daughter of Mine

At the glorious age of 17, my daughter is in that stage of her life when she is hungry all the time. She is also concerned about her looks - again, typical for a girl-on-the-verge-of-becoming-a-woman. She is smart, and funny, and is going to university this fall. She has nothing to worry about, but she does anyway. Prom is approaching after all, and she wants to look good in her dress (she will). For the past year, she has been trying different approaches to getting, or perhaps a better word would be "staying," fit. She is also already beginning to worry about that "freshman 15" (the 'average' 15-lb weight gain many university students achieve, along with freedom from parents, during their first year away from "the nest.")

She is a highland dancer, which is great exercise in itself, although she hasn't been devoted to it as much as she used to be. She used to play soccer, and she has even dabbled with Zumba (we have a whole Zumba DVD collection. I tried it for about 10 minutes one day. I loved it but wow, it's hard to keep up with those sexy instructors!). And even though she says she hates it, I think running is winning out as her sport of choice. It's the one activity she always comes back to when she gets bored with the others.

The conversation we had on the way home from school today (She missed the bus and asked me to pick her up. Perhaps I should have suggested she run home...) centered around an article she read recently in Get Out There magazine about short and fast running vs long and slow. The writer is of the short and fast variety. I did not read the article, but my daughter summed it up by saying she agreed with what he was saying: sounds like he is getting tired of distance runners asking him when he is going to try a marathon. The fact is, he does not aspire to try a marathon. He has no interest. What he does like to do is run quickly and competitively. An 18-minute 5K, for example.

I think that's great and I must say, I would get annoyed, too, if, conversely, someone kept asking me, "Why don't you try a shorter distance and try to run it really, really fast?" Why? Because I have no interest in that kind of running. I enjoy long, slow runs. Or perhaps medium-to-long slow runs. (Not sure if I want to do another marathon. 10K to half marathons are where my loyalties seem to lie.) And mostly I compete against myself, trying to get across the finish line a little faster than the last time. But all in all, Ed Whitlock I am not. I am a recreational runner, and yes, I enjoy getting the t-shirt and the finishing medal. Plus it keeps me fit and feeling great.

While my daughter and I had a good, healthy debate on this subject of short and fast vs long and slow, I think we were saying the same thing. We like to run, and we don't want the other person to push us into doing a certain kind of running that we are not interested in. She is coming to understand that to enjoy the sport she needs to run fast, and not for hours. She is also coming to understand her mother is OK with slow, and 'however long it takes.'

We are starting our training for the Summer Solstice run and Met Con Blue adventure race that we registered for this summer. We might add one or two more to the list. It should be interesting. I am looking forward to all of it, from the borrowing of running clothing, to the bickering about speed and distance, the whining about "not feeling like it today" (from both of us), right down to those spectacular finish lines. Bring it on! Let the mother-daughter bonding time begin.

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