My next race will be a Family Affair!

Last night I took my son Ryan to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants -- Pablo's. As we sat in a booth, trying to decide what to order, we started talking about running. Ryan started talking about his Disney 5K experience where he ran with Mike, my cousin Doug and his daughter, and me. We had a great time, and he earned his first Disney medallion.

But he surprised me by saying he wanted a 'real' medal... a metal one from a 5K race. I told him that most 5K races did not give medals but tech shirts or ribbons. He was disappointed. But then I remembered the 5K I am running on March 24th -- the Penguin in the Park 5K in Decatur, IL -- organized by John Bingham. That race does have Finisher Medals.

So I asked him if he would be interested in running with me in that race. But I asked him to think about it before answering because if he said "Yes", I was going to expect him to start training for it. I told him I wanted him to take the race seriously. I had planned on running for a PR in that race, but if Ryan is running with me, I will give up that goal so I can share in his first timed race. So I want the race to have meaning for him as well.

At dinner tonight, I got my answer. He said "I am serious about running the 5K race. And I will train." So I am really excited! I am going to get him to start using the Treadmill and doing some core exercises. I do not expect him to run the entire race; I think we will do the Run/Walk method at 3/1 intervals. It will give him a good introduction to running, and not leave him too exhausted to have a fun time.

I am looking forward to sharing this with him. He will be starting high school this fall, and he has already told me he is going to join the Cross Country/Track Team. I hope that he and I will start training together this year, particularly once it warms up and we can run outdoors. I hope this will be something that we can share as Father and Son.

And who knows? Perhaps there won't be too many kids in the 12-14 age group, and he can win an age group award! Either way, when we cross that finish line, I will be one proud Dad!

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