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Our house is getting now heavily infested. It is heavily infested by the running bug that seems to have bitten by now just about everyone in our family. Started with me now more than a year ago, then my wife about a month ago and now the kids are starting to exercise on the family’s new treadmill more and more often, preparing for a kids event coming up in March.

Watching the girls getting all excited about exercising makes me already very happy. The fact that they are picking up running makes me even happier. I know I am selfish…

So motivation to get better sometimes comes from surprising sources. This time it was presented on Saturday morning.

Not bad for Michigan winter morning...

Not bad for Michigan winter morning…

My wife has been exercising on a regular basis for a long time now: zumba, yoga, conditioning. But since the new family treadmill arrived (more on this at another time in another post), she started to include running in her weekly training schedule. But through these past weeks all of her running sessions were on the treadmill. There she was already running 5k in 25 minutes. In three weeks after she started running! As a reference: four months after I started running, I finished my first 5k in 26:33… So we decided that we take her newly discovered running talent outside.

My new running mate/date :-)

My new running mate/date 🙂

I had 7.5 miles scheduled for that morning with comfortable, easy tempo. So we decided to run the first 3.1 miles together.

Ready to do it for the first time together...

Ready to do it for the first time together…

The first mile we took really carefully. Kind of like getting your feet wet type of approach. It was interesting to observe how my wife adjusts to running outside from running on treadmill. I am not saying that running on a treadmill is nothing, but I think it is definitely different when you have to keep pushing forward yourself with every single step instead of lifting your legs up and the belt running under your feet. Keeping a consistent tempo outside, when it really depends on your strength and will power only is definitely more challenging. At least in my opinion… So here we were casually jogging outside, me kind of acting as an expert self-made running distance estimator, announcing “we just run about half mile”, “just about to finish one mile”, and other similar comments. Tried to offer her a sense of mini accomplishments: help her to realize that she is really leaving feet, yards, tens of yards, hundreds of yards, miles behind.

By the end of the second mile she definitely felt comfortable. She already realized that she can do it on her, without a treadmill and did not worry about not being able to finish her first ever 5k run. She also decided that she was going to push harder at the end. Then came the reality check…

Clearly visible where she started to take it more serious...

Clearly visible where she started to take it more serious…

She started to increase her speed after 2.5 miles. First I felt good and was able to keep up with her.  Then she kept increasing her speed and then I recognized that it might take a more serious effort for me to keep up with her. Keeping in mind, that I planned to run 7.5 miles that morning at a comfortable tempo, I still thought that a short sprint until the 3.1 mile mark cannot really hurt. It turned out to be a 0.3 mile long really strong effort that was enough to watch my wife continuously pulling away from me. She beat me by more than 0.1 mile on the last 0.4 miles. We miscalculated initially the 3.1 mile marker, so she stopped at around 3 miles 27:57 after we started running. Good job, Mommy! I have zero doubt, that now as she sees what she is capable of, she will be getting much closer to her treadmill time next time she opts to run outside.

First almost 5k with my running mate/date

First almost 5k with my running mate/date

And here comes my motivation: I need to continue working on getting stronger and faster. I think her core strength is way beyond mine and I think that definitely came to full display when she really turned on the back burner on Saturday morning.

Now as I am entering my third week of core strength training, I look forward to keep up with my rookie running mate/date on future runs. Keep it up Mommy! And by the way: try to keep up Laszlo…

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