Tuesday, July 05, 2011

We can do Hard Things

We spent the last weekend of June on a mini-vacation with Scott's parents. They rented a house in Sunriver during the Pacific Crest Sports Festival weekend. Only 25 minutes from home, but well worth it to spend a weekend with family and NOT have to worry about the to do list.

Pacific Crest has 10 different sports events. Running events from 5K through Marathon, Sprint and Endurance Dualathons, and Olympic and Half-Ironman Triathlons. They have two running events for bigger kids and the whole weekend kicks-off with the Kids' Splash-Pedal-Dash. The house we rented was RIGHT ON the trail where all the longer distance runs past, so after our events on Saturday, we got to watch all the crazies go by at mile 5 of their 13.1 mile run (note, that's AFTER a 1 mile swim and 58 mile bike ride!). Owen took very seriously his job to "give encouragement" and offered high fives to dozens of runners. And the longer into the day we got, the more appreciative those folks were see his smiling face alongside the trail.

Hard Thing #1: Owen - Splash-Pedal-Dash
The triathlon for kids 12 and under had 500 participants! They treat the kids just like the big time triathletes - number bibs, timing chips on their ankles, even numbers marked down the side of their leg. Owen was thrilled! We lined up his strider bike, found his buddy Evan, and then waited a FULL HOUR for our turn to start. They start twos from oldest to youngest, which makes sense so the big kids don't run over the littles, but we waited so long that half the kids around us were asleep by the time we reached the starting line. No worries, Owen and Evan were still pumped and jumping up and down for their turn. They climbed through the bouncy house, splashed through two wading pools, ran to transition, rode 1/4 mile bike loop, back to transition, and then a 1/4 mile run. About halfway through the run, Owen was breathing heavy and said, "Mom, this is a pretty far run!" but he ran every step of the way. His favorite parts:
- wearing his shoes and socks in the water.
- slapping high fives to other kids cheering along the run route, and
- getting a medal at the end!

Hard Thing #2: Jeff and Ethel - Half Marathon #3
J&E walked their 3rd (or 4th???) half marathon. This time, they SMASHED their big goal of finishing under 4 hours. The course did a full loop around Sunriver - mostly shaded and FLAT with great scenery. Scott had the kids in the bike trailer, so they tooled around most of the morning to make sure everyone was keeping pace. (Conrad and Glenna and their friends John and Elaine also walked the half).

Hard Thing #3: Alissa - Half Marathon
This time, I felt like I got the right amount of training in for my second half marathon. I did almost all the runs on my schedule (3 times/week) and even some cross training on the bike. My goal was to get under 2 hours, and I felt really good running most of the race, but when I got through mile 10, I hit a major mental wall. I realized that to get under 2 hours, I would have to run the last 3 miles in 24 minutes and there's NO WAY that was going to happen. After dragging through mile 11, I rallied and was able to cross the finish line in 2:06. I do think getting under 2 hours is attainable, but I realized that I need to get STRONGER in order to get faster. My lungs felt great (even at 4200 feet), but I just couldn't get my legs to move.

Hard Think #4: Owen - Ride a Bike
We didn't really know this was going to be part of the weekend. Since Owen turned 2, he's had a Strider Balance Bike. We've always told him that he would get a pedal bike when he's 5, but he's gotten so good on the balance bike, that we decided to surprise him with a pedal bike for his 4th birthday. We decided to give it to him in Sunriver, along with his birthday celebration with Grandma and Grandpa.
At the last minute, Scott decided to pull the training wheels off the bike... The whole point of a balance bike is that kids are supposed to be able to transition to a real bike without trainers, but we were skeptical that a 32 pound Owen would be able to lift and steady a 25 pound bike and get it started. Owen took about 22 seconds to prove us wrong and start pedaling the bike on his own. 15 minutes later, he was riding up and down the street. 30 minutes later, Scott got on his own bike, so they two of them could go for a legitimate ride, and the next morning ALL of us rode bikes to a nearby park.

Owen still needs some practice learning how to use the brake (and consequently is a little afraid of going downhill), but we're in pretty major shock that he learned to ride a bike before turning 4. I guess I better get stronger and faster - next year he's doing to be twice as fast during the Splash-Pedal-Dash!


Carmen Goetschius said...

Wow. Thanks for the inspiration, Alissa. I can do hard things too!!!

Peg said...

I think you should write to Strider and send that video Scott shot! Pretty amazing riding that well before age 4!