This past Saturday was the culmination of Lindsey's last 10 weeks of training with Girls on the Run. The Twin Cities chapter is growing, and this time they had enough participants across all the Minneapolis schools to hold their own 5k, instead of having to register for someone else's.
Girls on the Run is about so much more than just running. The organization uses running as a tool to teach girls about self-confidence, positive self-talk and standing up to bullies. They met twice a week for 10 weeks, not just to run but also to come together as a team and reinforce these messages with each other.
Lindsey first participated in Girls on the Run this past spring, when they had their inaugural team at her school. I noticed that her self-confidence got a big boost, and she seemed less unsure of herself in new situations.
We arrived a bit late after some confusion as to where on Lake Phalen the group would be starting out from. But we made it in time for Lindsey and her friend Ava to get some silly hair. We went through some warm-ups and then they gave out "energy awards," meaning that they recognized various people for their work to organize the event and support it. The energy awards were fun and silly, things like the "hamburger award," where you do a cheer about something being "well done."
Lindsey's friend Ava, her mother, Lindsey and I started the run out together, with Lindsey and Ava constantly yelling back to us to "hurry it up." We kept telling them to just go on ahead, even though a parent is supposed to be a "running buddy." It was clear neither Jennifer or I were going to be able to keep up at the pace those two were going.
She and I kept our eye out for the two girls as they kept getting farther and farther away from us. Finally by 1.5 miles in we couldn't see them anymore. Nice running buddies, right?
We (meaning us moms) had a great run, a first for her and the fastest for me, and had both Lindsey and Ava cheering for us near the finish line. Lindsey had completed the run in 29 minutes and 31 seconds, and was the 2nd girl to cross the finish line. Jennifer and I, on the other hand, finished a full four minutes after our girls.
We watched and cheered for other runners who was coming up to the finish, then gathered our things and got ready to go. Lindsey said good-bye to her coaches,as their time together was done. As a parent you don't always realize the impact that others have on your child's life. She clearly bonded with these ladies and was sad to say good-bye, but hoping to see them in the spring.
Then Ava, Jennifer, Lindsey and I all went out to Perkin's for brunch, which was utterly enjoyable and fun to see the two girls entertain each other over pancakes and eggs.
Lindsey and I had so much fun that we signed up for the Reindeer Run on December 1. This time I plan on trying to keep up with that little peanut.