Run Like A Four Year Old

“I can run with you, Mommy!” I’d been looking forward to hearing each of my children say this someday… but not today. My training plan called for an 8 km run, with 5 at tempo.  I thought, I love you sweetie, but your four year old legs just won’t be able to keep up!

My runs often take place when my children are asleep.  Our farm has a half-mile long driveway, so I take the baby monitor outside, leave it on my front step, and run a mile to the end and back. When I get back I listen to the monitor to make sure everyone is still alright, then go again. 

I know some of you are judging me right now. “How can she leave her kids alone?!” I also know that many of you are also mother runners, and that you get it.  I’m on my driveway.  No one can get in or out without going by me. Our nearest neighbor is 4 km away.  And a mile takes me 8-9 minutes. Mowing the lawn in the summer takes about 45 minutes, and I do that without checking the monitor in the middle, so in a way they’re actually more closely monitored when I run.  If my farmer husband is around the yard or in his shop then he takes the monitor and I actually get to leave the driveway!

Lately, I’ve been running while my twins nap.  My husband takes our four year old daughter with him in the tractor and they feed the cows together, then check for new calves. She brings him tools in the shop and offeres a constant running commentary on everything he’s doing.

Today though, my husband had to go to the city, so I was in charge of the four year old during nap time.  Running on the treadmill has gotten old, fast. I was trying to figure out how to get my run in when my daughter said, “I can run with you, Mommy!” Sigh. Fine.

This is how to run a mile like a four year old: Sprint as fast as you can.  Stop to take a swig out of the water bottle you insist on carrying with you.  Sprint as fast as you can.  Stop to check out a pretty rock and poke it with a piece of grass.  Sprint as fast as you can. Repeat.

She made it to the end and back in fourteen minutes! That’s pretty darn good, I think! We checked the monitor and she got on her bike for the tempo portion of my run. I was still ahead of her, but she had fun chasing me. I’d turn around at the end and we’d high five each other when we met in the middle, then she’d turn around and chase me back to the yard.  Check the monitor and repeat. 

It was one of my favorite runs. Ever.

I was using the tempo portion of this run as my #Anywhere5K April Showers race.  I know the virtual race isn’t supposed to be until Saturday, but that just doesn’t work for me, so I ran it today and will submit my time on Saturday.  I decided that since the whole point of the #Anywhere5K philosophy is to run your own race wherever and whenever you want to, no one would really care if I actually ran two days early. 

Chased by a four year old.  And guess what? I was only four seconds off my PB, finishing in 25:28! I’m pretty thrilled with that, especially since I’m training for a half marathon, so my runs have been longer and slower than when I’m gearing up for a 5K.

We will definitely run together again, and I know one day she’ll be the one leaving me in her dust and high-fiving me on her way back. Maybe she’ll let me ride my bike.

Gotta run.

Do you run with your kids? Mother Runners, how do you fit in your runs? Tell me about it!

Follow me on Twitter! @RunMommyRun3


One response to this post.

  1. Works for me. Can’t wait to see how you did. 🙂


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