Friday, June 26, 2009

Pre-Race Jitters

I have the pre-race jitters and I'm not even racing tomorrow. Nope, my five-year-old is the racer and she'll be competing in a mile race that she ran last year. She's such a confident, veteran runner that she has asked that I not go with her this time.

As a parent, my mind floods with some worries and expectations -- I hope she doesn't start too fast and blow up, I hope her shoe lace doesn't come untied, will she be disappointed if her friends finish before her? 

I know that my concerns are foolish. There are many other parents who will be running and can offer support and this little girl loves to run. So, I'm trying to calm myself and get prepared early (race clothes out, change of clothes, food and water for after). Little sister and I will be at the finish line with our camera ready for action shots.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bike Rodeo

We have an annual Kids' Fest in my town that has the usual attractions for young kids: bubble blowing, bouncy house, face painting, kids' music... Another big draw is the bike rodeo. 

No, it is not as wild as it sounds. Kids aren't doing crazy tricks on their bikes. Instead, they are being led in an orderly fashion through a course marked on a designated parking lot. Kids have to stop at the cross walk (indicated by chalk markings) and walk their bikes. They weave through cones and go over a ramp at fast or slow speeds depending on their ability and adventure quest. 

Children on tricycles, training wheels and middle-school show offs all got something out of this event (even FREE helmets) thanks to our local Wheels Around Waterbury and Wayne A. Sourdiff Safety Foundation. We'll be there again next year.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Flying High

Naturally, I'm always thinking of ways to get our family out and be fit. By chance and circumstance a new activity came to mind this weekend: kite flying. 

On Saturday afternoon, we were all ready to take our first trip to the reservoir for some swim fun when in rolled the storm clouds. Luckily, I had just bought the girls kites in the morning so with the wind whipping we had a quick fall back activity.

After some basic kite assembly, we took to the nearby playground. Luckily, we had one parent for each child to help get the kites flying. Ava caught on quickly and became somewhat independent. Julia's string kept letting go and soon her Nemo fish was swimming high in the sky. Eventually Ava's fairies and Julia's fish crossed paths and some untangling was required. 

The girls were laughing and running back and forth to keep the kites soaring. I was surprised by how much running they got in. The exercise was an unexpected benefit. Tom and I didn't run too much, but we enjoyed the nostalgia of the activity. Of course, the girls are begging to fly kites again and we haven't had any wind. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Exercise Playgroup

It's physical. It's social. Exercise playgroup gives parents a chance to get out and exercise while other parents watch the children. Often, the kids simply play in someone's backyard or at the park. This week, however, one of the girls in our group suggested that all the kids go for a run. And so we did, once all the moms had a chance to get in their own jaunt.

I quickly took on the lead runner role dashing down the sidewalk with the five and six year olds. I let them know our stopping destination was the red fire hydrant at the end of the road so they had a sense of where we were going and it was in sight -- a good destination. 

My three year old wailed because I was so far ahead of her, so some carrying and consoling was needed for the return run and another mom quickly jumped in as the lead runner. We had a 2 year old, 3 year old, 4 and 5 year olds and even an infant in a front carrier along on our run/walk. 

We covered about a 1/2 mile and we didn't call it a race. The kids went out for a run just like their moms did. Active parents are great role models for kids and acting on a kid's interest in being active, too, is powerful stuff.

I just found a website about kids' running that is hosted by Runner's World at I'm going to check it out for ideas.