Saturday, April 3, 2010

Motherhood doesn't change you except...

I was at the track today putting together a pretty decent 5 X 1.6 km work-out. My first four were 6:07.8, 6:07.8, 6:07.9, 6:07.6 ... consistency thy name is the common cold - it's amazing how consistent my intervals are when I am a little sick because there is simply no capacity to go out too fast and not much capacity for heroic kicks at the end of intervals. Anyhow, on my last interval I set myself up pretty well to go sub-6:00 on the first three laps. I went through 1200 m in 4:29 so I figured I was going to run 5:5-something for sure. On the last 200 m I happened to pass this man who was moving pretty quickly and as I did, his son (presumably) who was spectating on the in-field started cheering for him and encouraging him to catch me. His son was *maybe* 5 years old, old enough to walk and sprint a little and talk. (I guess I'll get better at the age estimations as my cocotte gets bigger). I ignored the whole scene for a couple of strides, I was a few meters past the man. Then I felt him coming up on my right side. The runner in me immediately picked it up to hold him off.... but then the parent in me, who until now has been silent during my work-outs presumably occupied with other matters, said: "Um, excuse me, but what are you doing there sport? Are you really going to outkick daddy in front of his son who is so excited to see his daddy be a hero? TELL ME you AREN'T about to do that." So, for the first time in my life, I deliberately put on the brakes ON THE LAST LAP of MY LAST INTERVAL! It took superhuman effort let me tell you. I slowed way down and, unfortunately, so did the man who was a bit winded from his surge. I chopped my strides, tried desperately not to clip his heels. I swear it would have taken less effort to run the last 200 m at sub-6 pace. I was hoping the man would bust a move and I could sneak in under 6:00 but, alas, I reached the finish line, an appropriate 3 meters behind him, in 6:04.

I can hear inside my head the objections of various friends from athletic, parental and even feminist perspectives. I won't bore you with the objections I can fathom because I think they are all BS. All I know is that on this fine spring morning, that little boy's daddy was the fastest person at the track... and how cool is that?

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