Doesn't sound like much.
Well, it is. It is if you haven't actually tried to cover a mile, let alone run one, in about five years.
I know this because my legs still hurt from attempting it three days ago. Carson (the six-year-old) wanted to run the St. Patrick's Day Fun Run last Saturday. Let me just state the obvious: it was fun for him...I wanted to sneak off onto a side street and lay down.
Oh, I thought it would be fun to do the run with him...he's a jackrabbit of sorts but I figured I could stay up with him for at least 100 feet or so before I bid him "go on without me!!!!" But the starting gun cracked and I glanced to my left in time to see a blur of the list of sponsors on the back of his T-shirt, and he was gone. I watched him in the crowd of runners as long as I could and then he disappeared.
I lumbered on without him, running, then walking, then jogging a little, mainly just keeping my head down so as not to see other six-year-olds blowing my doors off. When several minutes had passed and I looked up to see the first of the pack already on their way back, I was thankful to see Carson holding his own among the first fifty or so runners. I called to him as we passed "Keep going! Don't stop!" But he didn't even look at me! Maybe he didn't realize he'd see me on his way back...I don't know, but he must have had the eye of the tiger goin' on because I got no acknowledgment whatsoever.
I'd trudged on. I'd given him strict instructions to wait for me at the end of the race. I told him sit on the curb and don't go anywhere else and don't go with anyone. I hoped he'd be fine for the one or two minutes I'd be away from him.
But as I ached my way through the mile I realized it would be more like seven or eight minutes.
Or more...I really couldn't be sure.
Finally, the finish line in sight, I engaged what little adrenaline I had left and sprinted (read: didn't walk) to the end. Like all good wannabe runners who feel they bitten off more than they could possibly chew, I'd done my walking early so as to keep from looking too disheveled in front of all the cheering people. I'm sure I had them fooled.
At end of the finishing area was a sea of people. I slowly turned in circles trying to see Carson through the crowd and after two or three minutes finally found him sitting calmly on the curb like I'd told him. He was holding an empty water cup and not breathing hard.
"Where were you, Mamma?" he says.
"Trying to catch up with you!" I said between breaths.
Then..."Did you stop to walk?"
"No," he said. "I really wanted to but I decided not to."
We held hands on the way back to the car and I told him I was proud of him for running the whole way.
"Thanks. Next time I want Daddy to run 'cause he can keep up with me."