Monday, April 28, 2008

Girls on the Run

My best friend Heidi volunteers for a great organization called Girls on the Run, which promotes healthy habits and builds self-esteem for pre-teen girls through running. Heidi has seen some girls conquer their self-doubt, weight issues, and bad eating habits through their coached running sessions. She helps a group of about 20 girls between the ages of 9 and 12 up in Northern Virginia, some of whom have never truly exercised in their life outside of PE class if even then. Last year their big race was a 5k, run on a COLD (below 20 with the windchill) February day.

Joe and I are trying to help Maddy find some kind of athletic endeavor that she enjoys--two years ago we tried swim team and softball to no avail, and she's been dancing ballet for over 3 years too but not really enjoying it. So now we're trying running. Today after getting home from school, Maddy asked if we could go for a mile run since she's signed up to run the Komen 5k with us in two weeks. (I know, we're a little late getting started on her training...) She and I suited up, and headed out with Sophie in tow. I guess I should say Sophie headed out with us in tow, that dog loves to run! The first 3/4 mile went so well, I changed our route to my regular 3 mile loop.

Maddy did great! We only walked 3 times, and she made it around the University of Richmond lake--a total of 7/10ths of a mile--without stopping in about 9 minutes. The 3 mile route includes some small hills, and is not the easiest for a purely beginning runner, but she almost ran the entire thing! I'm so proud of her. We talked about the 5k, and how she can walk through the water stops to catch her breath and drink some water or gatorade. She was glad to know she's not expected to run each and every step, and I'm glad she's realized she could cover the distance already. I asked if she would help me during IMFL, by running a bit with me to take my mind off things, and she promised she would. Now if I could only get her to stop being afraid of her bike, I'd have a new TriGirl for Grandison to coach!


Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Yea Yea YEA For the BOTH of you! Have fun with the 5K!!!!! Great picture - you guys look so happy and great. What a great sport this is - isn't it? How truly lucky we are!

Keep up the fantastic work!

fave said...

aw I am so proud of maddy (rading this with pms i got a tear in ym eye) tell her i will be cheering for her from afar! and of course it's okay to walk. the goal is to finihs with a smile on your face!

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

Awesome job, Maddy! You are on your way to following in your Mom's steps as an amazing runner!

Kate said...

Well done Maddy, sometimes taking that first step is the biggest hurdle.

TriGirl Thea said...

What a fantastic organisation! We definately need more of those kinds of programmes in the world I reckon.

And well done to Maddy for getting out there with her Mum!

Enjoy your race!

kerrie said...

good for you guys! i have found running with my 10 year old daughter to be such a struggle at times, but something that i desperately wanted her to do for all of the reasons you we finally signed her up with a very little track club and she LOVES it! i am so happy and it has kind of become her 'own thing' instead of something that her mom is making her do, lol.