Thursday, December 27, 2007

Marathon Kids

Eli 6.4 is in the Marathon Kids program, so he's running thirteen miles at school over a period of a few months, and we're running thirteen miles together--one mile at a time.

We're at mile 25, so we have one more mile to go.

"We have to run one extra lap next time," I said as we ran around the track.

"WHAT? Why?" Eli asked.

"A marathon is 26.2 miles," I said. "We need to run that extra point-two, and it's almost a full lap."

"Dad, come on! They didn't tell us at school."

"No matter," I said. "That's an extra three hundred and fifty-two yards, and we're running it."

We run forwards, but we also run backwards. We speedwalk. We skip. We pretty much do something different every twenty seconds.

"Dad, are we doing The Punishing Last Lap today?" Eli asked.

"Of course!" I said. We always run the last half lap faster, and I started calling it The Punishing Last Lap, sheerly for entertainment purposes. Eli is fast, so we're running at last 200 at 7:30 pace or better, and he always "collapses" when he crosses the finish line.

This time, though, I didn't say anything when we started the last lap, and Eli sped up on his own. He ran the fastest he ever has for the last 220, and while we were throwing the Nerf football around afterwards, he suddenly stopped and went "Dad! We didn't run The Punishing Last Lap!"

"Dude, we did," I said. "I didn't mention it, but you ran really hard anyway."

"I did?" He thought for a minute, then smacked his forehead. "Oh, no! I punished myself!"

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