Miles is very athletic, and when the flyer about the school running club came home, Bingo! I knew what he and I would do: We would start training for the Bellin Run together.
And we did. And it was a great idea, if I do say so myself. Miles loved getting out of the house for a run. And by run, I moved/shuffled my feet in a forward manner. Not Miles. He runs. And hops. Skips backwards. Dances. Pretends he is a ninja. Karate chops and roundhouse kicks the air. Counts birds. Stops to pet dogs. Moonwalks. Jumping jacks.
He made it a TON of fun. And the positive effects of the running soon became evident-- the endorphins raised his spirits; the extra physical activity made him fall asleep right away, instead of his usual lying in bed, ruminating on all that is wrong and unfair with his life. He started waking up happier and in a better mood. It was great.
A few weeks into our training, Atticus expressed in joining us. He couldn't run with the school club because of dance and baseball scheduling conflicts. I was hesitant at first, but then went with it because the more time Miles spends with an older boy who can properly handle emotions and family interactions, the better, really.
It was a great time.
Our training wasn't perfect. By the time the weather finally became really decent, we had dance, baseball, soccer and violin schedules to contend with. And having a part-time job where I'm on my feet and active, then running a household, and caring for 5 kids and 5 pets, it was really, really hard for me to find the energy to go out and run. And when I woke up last week and realized that the run was THIS weekend, I felt a bit panicky.
The Bellin Run is a huge weekend of festivities and fun in Green Bay, most of which are held in Astor Park. Up until we moved back to Green Bay from Milwaukee, I had rented a home and then bought my first home in the Astor Park neighborhood. It was so much fun to go back and see many of our old friends and neighbors.
The Bellin kicks off with an All You Can Eat Spaghetti dinner. Well, the plate fee x 7 is pretty hefty, so I held our own Cruz Runner Dinner with pasta carbonara, which is the preferred 5FC pasta.
Boys don't like stopping a chow-down for a photo-op. They'll grin a bit for the camera, but in their eyes you can see it: I'm not amused with you trying to get me to stop eating, lady. It's okay; I choose to take it as a compliment for the chef (moi.)
After mowing down dinner (and seriously, those kids ate through nearly 2 pounds of pasta-- wubba!), we headed over to Astor Park for the fun. While I navigated the registration tent to get our numbers and t-shirts, the kids played in the bounce house village.
Before we knew it, it was time for Keenan and Paloma to run the 1/2 mile Children's Run. Here they are, pre-race, pumped and ready to go!
I love this photo :)
After finishing up the Children's Run, going home for celebratory ice cream sandwiches, and hitting the sack, the big boys and I were up Bright and Early for the Bellin 10K Run.
But, by the time we took out turns in the Port-a-Potty Lines and hit our starting corral, the boys were pumped up and ready to run. With style.
The great thing about the Bellin is that the run goes through Allouez and Astor Park neighborhoods, and tons of spectators come out to watch and cheer. People set up sprinklers for over-heated runners and fun-loving kids to run through. Stereos at different homes blast the Rocky Theme Song; I'm Holding Out for a Hero; The Beach Boys; Jimmy Buffet; and a homeschooling Dad and Mom play the banjo and Tambourine on a corner and sing, "You are Running in the Bellin" to She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain.
Everywhere we ran, people would yell out "Go Mohawks!" and "AWESOME Hair!" The boys LOVED it! It was so energizing and kept us going the entire run.
Atticus and Miles would high five everyone who had their hands out. A little 2-year old was on his Dad's shoulders, waiting for a high five, and Atticus ran over there and gave him a very gentle high five. The kid was thrilled.
It was awesome. Watching Miles and Atticus take it all in was awesome. More than once I found myself tearing up over the entire experience.
And we did it! Imperfect training and all, we ran the whole thing. The Bellin Run is done, and we are feeling mighty proud, very sore, and very committed to doing it all again next year.