Finally, a month that didn’t speed by like a hummingbird in flight. February was kind to me, although it seemed that everyone was sick at some point or another. Gregory and I managed to visit my best friend and her cousins over family day weekend for what we called it a ‘kid-cation’. We also ran (almost) a full 5k charity run. It’s time to preserve a few memories from this month with a story from our RAD house.
Katrina woke in a strange bed, with a familiar little body beside her. She relaxed and was comforted by her son’s slow deep breaths indicating sleep. All was well and she brought her attention to this day. This exciting and fun-filled day. On this day, Katrina was going to let Gregory run his first trail running race.
At the start line, Gregory was more than ready to go. They’d done a warmup, pinned on their race numbers, hydrated, had a potty break and were pumped for the run. Gregory was bouncing and running around at the start line, eager to go, but waiting fairly patiently for a 3-year-old. Katrina bent down to his level to speak to him over the commotion of the racers.
“Okay, so we can run 1, 3 or 5. What number do you want to try to go to?”
“5!?” Katrina exclaims, Gregory nods with a big smile on his face. “Okay, let’s try and do five. Good thing I brought the saddle.” Katrina pats the baby hip hugger, thankful she didn’t leave it behind like she had debated to at the last minute.
The race started and the rad duo started off slow at the start line, allowing the adults take the lead and letting little legs fall to the back of the race pack. It didn’t deter their motivation to run, however, Gregory did speak up on the fact that he wanted to pass everyone.
Within the first 50 meters after the start line, the route went downhill and if you weren’t careful you could slip and fall. Unfortunately, the little man tripped up on his feet and took a tumble 45 seconds into the race. Tears started and for that moment the race was over for Katrina.
“Are you okay? Did I trip you or did you fall over something else? Are you bleeding?” A barrage of questions overloaded Gregory and he slowly stopped crying as they started to check out the damage. A little scrape, definitely bruise worthy by the next day and will cause some soreness and discomfort.
“Did you still want to run the race?” Katrina asked, knowing that there was a high chance that the race ended just as it started.
“Yes!” Gregory exclaimed. Katrina smiled at her trooper and held out her hand. They were off again, running.
Gregory is a great runner, Katrina held his hand as they ran and had a flashback to when they lived in the Adventure house.
She sat in the kitchen, peppermint tea warming her ice cold hands, slowing her shivering and warming her body. She never could get warm in this climate. West Coast truly is the Best Coast, she thought. The sound of an elephant running by her pulled her focus from her physical discomfort.
“Look,” Gregory says as he takes another lap around the kitchen table. He beams with pride on every pass of his mom.
“Woah! Look at you, Speedy Gonzales! You’re super fast!” She exclaims, encouraging him to burn as much energy as possible while they were stuck inside.
Many times Katrina wished she could take him outside and run. Put Gregory in a stroller and go for an hour or two, burn energy, get warm, work her body, get those endorphins she was so used to having coarse through her body. They were runners, she and her 2-year-old. And here… they were prisoners.
The options were to let the kid run inside, running a hundred or so laps in an afternoon around the kitchen, or go outside and run up and down the driveway. Katrina ran the driveway once while Gregory napped inside the house. Being unable to go outside the barbed wire that ran along each side of the driveway made her feel even more imprisoned and she didn’t care to subject her son to the reality of their situation any more than she needed.
So, Gregory ran circles around the kitchen, laughing, smiling, care-free and loving the fact that he got to hold his moms’ attention and show her that he too could run just like she did, pushing him in the jogger outside.
It was barely 200 meters when Katrina felt the tiny hand in hers start to slow down and once again her attention was brought back to the present. They were still going downhill and could see the .5km marker ahead. Katrina looked down at her son and smiled. Even if they turned around there, she would be very proud of her little man.
“Did you still want to do 5? See that sign down there, with the lady and the golf cart? That’s where we can turn around if we want to do 1.”
“Umm,” He thinks a moment, “I still want to do 5. Mmm, maybe 3… maybe 5. Just 5 mom.” He rattles on, speaking exactly what is going on in his mind.
“5? You sure?” Gregory nods. “Okay, let’s do it!” Katrina pulls out the cheerleader in her and starts to encourage and enthuse about their hard work. “We can do it!”
About 100 meters from the .5km marker, Gregory stops. Katrina stops. They look at each other, Gregory then looks down. Katrina knows; a feeling of dread comes over her, she knows exactly what is about to be said, and what will consequently follow.
“I’m tired, I don’t want to run anymore,” Gregory says.
Katrina nods. “Did you want to turn around and finish the race? That’s okay.” She hopes if she puts out the offer he may take it. But she had no such luck.
“No, carry me. On the saddle.” He says.
Katrina takes a deep breath. She hesitates and thinks. Carry him? 40lbs, for 4.5km. I could walk it, maybe I could convince him by the 1.5k marker that we can be successful with a 3k race. She looks at him, talks it out with him and decides that she needs to be the hero and make this a great first race for her son.
“Come on then.” She kneels down and Gregory climbs up piggyback style. They set off at an easy trot. There weren’t many people left behind them anymore, but that didn’t bother her. Katrina had another thought dominating her mind. This is perfect backpacking training. Berg Lake, West Coast Trail, here I come!
The struggle was real, keeping a faster than walking pace to ensure finishing the race in a somewhat timely manner. But the encouragement from fellow racers and the event volunteers was the boost that Katrina thrived on. It started quickly at the 0.5km marker.
“Wow, that’s a nice seat to have. Well done mom.”
“That’s quite the added workout, amazing.”
“He has the best seat in the house! Good Job.”
“Whew! Keep it up!”
“Wow, awesome job mom, I can’t believe you’re carrying him.”
They passed the 2km marker after descending a hill, the last comment made by the volunteer standing at that marker directing us to the correct trail. He clapped his hands and made Katrina feel like a real winner. Even though she heard her heartbeat in her ears, felt like she could maybe stop and take a nap and never walk again. The little boy in her arms (having shifted around for comfort as the race progressed), held tight and sang songs with her as they continued on.
Crossing a small bridge over a creek, Katrina and Gregory started to climb another hill. Halfway up she stopped to catch her breath and Gregory said something nearly made Katrina scream out loud.
“I want to be done.”
Katrina smiled and rejoiced inside. The killer training session was officially halfway over, the end was in sight. They hadn’t made it to the 2.5km turn around marker but they were almost there. It didn’t matter they hadn’t made it the full way, Katrina was just happy to be running a race with her son. Or at least carrying him.
Katrina nodded to her boy, squeezed Gregory in her arms and turned around. They finished the race together, holding hands. Gregory getting down from his moms arms and
triumphantly conquering the first hill that he stumbled down at the start, much to Katrina’s appreciation.
High-fiving, hugging, taking a finish line selfie to commemorate a job well done on Gregory’s first trail running race. As they drove down the mountain Gregory made a comment that Katrina knew was coming.
“I don’t want to race next time. You can do it alone.” Gregory says, exhausted.
Katrina was relieved, knowing when he was older he’d want to tackle another race, maybe she wouldn’t give him the option for a full 5k again. Stick to a 1k. It was quite the race, his first trail running race. His second charity race and a wonderful memory he made with his mom.
Books I Read This Month
- Sex From Scratch by Sarah Mirk
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Before I got Here by Blair Underwood
- Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
- Girl with a Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
- Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield
- Angry Optimist by Lisa Rogak
Places I visited this Month
- Victoria Bug Zoo
- Royal BC Museum
- Beacon Hill Park (and Ice Cream)
- Bear Mountain
- Bright Angel Park
- Ammonite Falls
- East Sooke Park
- Holland Creek Trail (Crystal Falls)
- Sandy Pool Beach
Before You Go
I have really started having fun writing out my monthly memories like a story. I find it more fun to write and re-live the moment. If you like reading a rad memory from our house, check out my January 2018 memories. Gregory and I both crossed off items from our bucket list and I preserved some of it in the post.
February Blog Posts
I hope you come back later this month. I’ve got some great stuff planned. This months book club has a theme of ‘I’m getting ready to date again’, I’ve got some juice recipes I want to share and I’m going to start breaking down some hiking information so that those with kids who want to get on the trail can. I remember how daunting it was to have an active lifestyle after becoming a parent. I’ve gained some skills, tips, and tricks and it’s time to share. Check back soon, have a rad day.