This morning I was dashing out the door at 7 am to pick up the nephews and niece. Fortunately for them, and for me, my sister was out watering the garden. She reminded me that I'd made arrangements to pick them up at 8:30 am because of the clocks going forward.
I started collecting kids at 8:25 am and I had the whole tribe rounded up by 8:50 am. They were all ready to go when I arrived, complete with smiling faces and water bottles. On the way into town one of the Andrews kindly filled the others in on the Anderson Street hill. We had a bit of a chat about what we'd do when we got there, as I was pretty sure the hill would be too much for one or two of the group. I told the kids that I really wanted to run all the way up the hill this time but that I didn't care how slowly I went up it, so they'd be able to walk it if they wanted to.
When we arrived at the Tan we warmed up on the other side of the street. This had a dual purpose. There were a lot of people on the Tan and we were a big group. I wanted to sort out the "who was running where" and "proper running etiquette" stuff where we had plenty of space. I also wanted to do a warm up with the kids while we headed back towards the start / finish point. Mind you, we missed the start / finish marker because of where we crossed the road. The kids were really keen to get started so we decided that the 3.5 km marker would do us.
I paired up the two Andrews (13 and 12) and let them go on ahead as long as they didn't go too far. They took this seriously the whole way around. It is lovely knowing that they will be so responsible. Michael (11) is not as tall as the other two but he is pretty running fit, so I was leaving it up to him where he wanted to run. Laura (13) is the tallest of the group but she doesn't consider herself to be running fit. She is a mad keen horse rider and netball player.
Michael and Laura started with me, then Laura ran on ahead to run with the Andrews. After a while she came back to us. She was finding the wind and dust difficult, as she has hayfever, so there were a few walking breaks. I kept jogging along with her instead of walking with her, as I'm trying to break my run / walk habit.
When we got to the hill, the two Andrews were waiting for us so they'd had a bit of a breather. They then ran on up the hill and waited for us at the top. I stayed back with Laura and Michael, and managed to run the whole way. It seemed incredibly easy at a slow jog. I was wondering how I'd have managed if I had been running faster, so I'm going to have to go back and try it at my normal running pace. Michael ran most of the way and Laura ran part of the way up the hill. We all enjoyed running down on the other side.
After the hill Michael teamed up with the two boys and Laura and I continued on behind them, catching up with them every once in a while when they stopped to wait for us. Laura developed a persistent stitch and pretty much walked the rest of the way. I rarely get them so I've no idea what to recommend. When we got to the 2.5 km marker, I gave the boys my Garmin so they could have a play with it and see how fast they were going. I'll be able to email them the details once I've downloaded the data in Canberra. They dashed off into the distance again, and a good time was had by all. When we were about 250 m from the end, I asked Laura if she wanted to run the last bit and she gave it a go. The thought crossed my mind that people seeing us run together would think that Laura was running slowly for my sake rather than the other way round, which I thought was amusing.
The boys came bouncing back towards us, to tell us how fast they'd been running and then took off into the distance again. Oh to have that energy!
After we finished we did a slow jog and a few stretches on the way back to the car. MacDonalds was our next port of call. We were too late for the breakfast menu but that didn't bother us. While we were there, I told them about the Olympic Dream fun run, and all four of them are keen to come along with me to do that.
JoJo, you're right about all the parents being pleased. They are all hoping we keep this up. There are four more nephews to come along with us. One of my sisters has just taken on another long term foster son. He's five, so it will be a while before he joins us. The others are just a little younger than the older four. When they want to come along I'm going to have to hire a bus! Either that, or we'll have to work out some good places to run closer to home, so that they can be dropped off.
Dad's offered to cook breakfast for the crew when I take them running. He's going to be overseas until Christmas but I'll definitely be taking him up on the offer when he's back home.
I am sitting here in my running gear, hoping the wind eases up later this afternoon, as I don't really feel as though I've had a run at all. The weather forecast says easing! I am hoping for some rain too, but it sounds as though there will only be brief showers.
I am starting to understand why people have training plans in place. I'm doing so many different activities that it's a struggle to balance them all to make sure I don't overwork any particular muscle groups. Fitting it all in is an issue too. I want to get my weights sessions back to 2-3 times a week, I want to do Body Attack and Body Balance, I want to ride to work at least twice a week, I want to run three times a week, I'd like to give Belly Dancing a go and I'm committed to pool running, Yoga and Personal Training. I'm going to need colour coded charts and heaps of organisation if I'm to achieve even half of that.
I guess if I had a specific goal in mind that might give my training some focus. Mind you, I'm enjoying myself so I guess it really doesn't matter.
Oh, I weighed myself again this weekend and my weight has crept up a little. I think it's time for me to go back to writing everything down again. In fact, that might be how I choose my activities - if I have a calorie based exercise goal (eg between 500 and 600 calories per day) then I could pick the activities to meet the goal. Something for me to think about on the plane this evening.