As we know, I’m injured. But Mr LMR and the monkeys are not. This year I have pledged to get the monkeys out running with me. As we know I can’t even walk to the park at the minute but Mr LMR can. Therefore, with my personal plans and goals on hold, I am chanelling all my energies into the running plans for the monkeys. This started on Sunday with their first Junior Parkrun.
Against all the odds
The Junior Parkrun plan started a couple of weeks ago as a discussion between myself and Mr LMR. After our successful 5k colour run in 2016 with all of them, we were confident that a 2k would not be a problem for the older two. Our main issue was getting organised, out the door and to the start line for 9am on a Sunday morning.
I mean, against all of the odds sometimes, we managed to get our monkeys to nursery/school on time five days a week why should this be different? Well because it is on a Sunday. For a family like ours where the chaos is tightly controlled on a week day. Careful preparation and planning is essential otherwise chaos reigns. Weekends should be about loosening the reigns a little and allowing some breathing space. However, decision made, Junior Parkrun was happening. Whatever it took.
Have you registered them yet?
On Saturday night we put out joggers, t shirts and trainers. We prepared them for the morning and told them what was going to happen. We had planted the seed a few days earlier that week so everyone knew what was going to happen. I was determined and thought I was all organised. Mr LMR and I were out at a family party that night. On the way home at 11pm he turned to me and said “have you registered them for tomorrow then?”
No I hadn’t!!! We also don’t own a printer and had no access to one before the run the next day. Was all lost? Well no. I came home and registered them both and decided we would take them but not get their time. I messaged my lovely friend and recounted my most recent parenting fail. She came to my rescue. She offered to print out the barcodes and we could collect them on the way. I have some good friends.
Rolling with resistance
Plan back on the tracks, we got up and made porridge with banana for our running monkeys. Middle came downstairs, dressed, full of enthusiasm and ready to run. Top got up, realised I wouldn’t be running with them and decided he wasn’t going to run either. Plan began to derail again.
He came downstairs in smart trousers and a shirt. Running clothes rejected. Adamant he wasn’t going to run. Mr LMR and I had two choices. Start a fight with our stubborn determined headstrong monkey and force him to join in; or roll with it. Tell him it was ok, take his running kit in case he changed his mind, but if he didn’t it was ok. We opted for the latter. The fine threads keeping the plan together would not tolerate a Top tantrum.
On your marks, get set, GO
After a mad dash to get in the car, despite a badly timed monkey poo, we actually ended up with a few minutes to spare. Barcodes collected at the side of the road. (Thank you again Rachael). We made it with 10 minutes to go. Top continued to refuse to run. But with a park at the finish line I knew he would still benefit from a run around and fresh air. Middle only thrived more on the idea of running once we got to the start. Milestone wristbands were being distributed which added incentive for him. He loved the warm up too. Red Nose Day deely boppers, an addition to his running outfit, bouncing about on his head.
Mr LMR took him from me to the start line. I can’t say that I didn’t feel green with envy watching them go, because I knew they were going to have a blast. Before I knew it they were gone.
Within minutes the first runners were back. Some of them were really fast. Top watched with me from the park. Little Miss now happily encased in a swing. Top quietly absorbed the atmosphere. If he wished he had gone too he didn’t let on. After about 15 minutes I spotted the deely boppers in the distance, because they were now on top of Mr LMR. Finally, Middle came into view a few seconds later. Running like the wind. As he came closer, I could hear him talking because nothing stops him talking. His little face flushed and his hair sweaty round his fringe and his ears. “Come on” we shouted “nearly there”.
We lost sight of them as they rounded the corner to the finish line. My heart swelled with pride at his happy little head bobbling off away from me.
The monkey verdict on junior parkrun
After he returned to the park, full of more chat, I discovered that he had talked all the way round. Mr LMR said he had spoken to ever marshal on the route and he ran the whole way. A style of running not too dissimilar to my own. I run slowly to ensure I still have breath to chat. You could see the attention being on Middles’ achievement was now starting to rub Top up the wrong way. So when Mr LMR declared that Middle could have a little toy to celebrate his first parkrun, the anger overflowed. This coupled with Little Miss throwing an “I don’t want to get off the swing” tantrum which involved her locking her legs so she had to be prised away. This could have spoiled the whole thing. It didn’t.
Middle talked about his Junior Parkrun all the way home. Still a little pink and happy with his achievement. This was exactly what I had hoped for. Since then, Top has calmed down and has indicated that he might go next week. So we’ll wait and see how the week pans out. If he doesn’t want to go, though we won’t force him. The aim was to make an impression on them both and plant the seed. Junior Parkrun certainly did that. I sense some monkey competitions in the future.