Allison and I both started running a long time ago. I started running when she was in law school and she started running when we lived in Lexington. We have both continued to run consistently ever since, and really enjoy running together. When she was pregnant with Cooper she took a break from running, but picked up back up after he was born. We have increased the amount we run and have both ran several half marathons.
One of the best investments we made in preparation for having a baby was the purchase of a good jogging stroller. We have taken Cooper running in the stroller since he was born. I can't begin to count the number of miles that our stroller has on it. It has held up well and we continue to use it today. Over the last several months, however, Cooper has become more and more interested in running. When we take him on a run in the stroller he often objects and says he wants to run along with us. Usually we can convince him to ride for most of the run and get out and run occasionally. I have the feeling that those days are numbered.
A few months ago Cooper brought home a sheet to sign up for the ING Kids Rock Nashville. One day while talking about the race Cooper told us that he wanted to participate. We explained to him that he would have to run several times prior to the race and then the race would be the day after "mom's race." He seemed really excited and reminded me several times that he wanted to do the race and made sure that I signed him up.
Sunday afternoon we went on our first run together. Cooper and I stretched and took off running. I had determined we would run a half mile and then stop to see how he felt. We did that, he rested for a few minutes and declared that he was ready to go again. We talked a little about how long a marathon was and I explained to him that he has to run 25.7 miles prior to his race and that he will run the remaining half mile on race day. Upon hearing this he told me that he thought he could run all 25 miles at once! We had a great time and I was really proud of him. Not only did he run the entire half mile to begin, he rested for about 5 minutes and then ran the second half mile faster than he ran the first.
It appears to me that one of the potential benefits to consistently exercising is that your children may grow up to enjoy and engage in regular exercise. We all know about the childhood obesity problem that exists in America today. I am hoping that by exposing Cooper to running and exercise generally at a young age will encourage him to live an active, healthy lifestyle. We are starting to see some of this in Cooper, especially over the last several months.