Sunday, November 11, 2007

Red Rocket Memories...

This morning, on my long run, I was energized with some of the best memories of training for the Honolulu Marathon last year. When I "surprisingly" got pregnant the Kona Aquatics swim team threw this HUGE baby shower and one of the gifts was the "red rocket" or baby jogger!

As soon as Kainoa was born I put him in it. I was so excited to take him for a run. I began by just letting him lay in it. As he got a few weeks older & I started to recover we began to take walks. By the time he was 2 months old I was starting to run again and train for the marathon.

Kainoa LOVED the red rocket! He knew exactly what we were doing when he got in. He would stare at the people we would pass, he would take naps during long runs, and as he got older he started to point and wave. He really grew up in the red rocket. He loved riding in it so much he would cry when we stopped. Long runs became our special bonding time. Me running, him along for the ride.

He ran a few 18-20 milers with me. He loved to hold gels and pass me water bottles. On lookers would stare in amazement as we would pass. Kainoa would cheer when we passed other runners (most runners disliked being passed by a red rocket). Kainoa and I even raced in the Mother's Day biathlon this year. We easily posted sub 7 minute miles for the 5k... together we were the best team!

I really feel it was the red rocket that helped me bond with Kainoa & become the mother I am today. I was not ready to be a mom... I was scared, unprepared, & I didn't feel like I had accomplished all the things I wanted to do in life prior to motherhood. Kainoa's love for running with me helped me grow close to him. I soon began to look forward to running with him. After pushing him over 30 miles a week I fell in love with my son and new life as a mom.

Back to this morning... I was running without Kainoa but WISHING I was pushing him. In fact, I missed him. I was lonely without my little running partner. Every flower and dog I passed would remind me of him pointing and laughing. Every jogger I ran by I would hear his little voice cheering and giggling. This morning I felt really alone... it made me run faster and harder...I felt like I had to be extra fast for him.

Why was I without Kainoa if I missed him so much... pretty funny story actually... about 6 weeks prior to Ironman I loaded all 27 pounds of Kainoa into the jogging stroller and we headed out for a nice little 10 miler. Things started out quite normal. But then within an instant the back right wheel rolled completely off the red rocket! I am not joking!!! It rolled into the bushes and the red rocket holding Kainoa fell on its side. I had to laugh. I could not believe what had happened! Of course the boys at the bike shop told me the red rocket was on it's last ends and my husband told me the spokes are all about to pop... but I refused to listen...

So there we were. Me laughing out loud, Kainoa laughing, and the red rocket dead. I did what any mom would do. I got Kainoa out, shoved the red rocket into the bushes, and we walked back to the car... it was a pretty sad day for me and Kainoa. Reflecting on the miles that thing had I can easily calculate 30-40 miles a week for 3 months during last marathon, about 15 miles a week during off season, and during base training roughly 15-25 miles a week for a few months. Then into the 1/2 Ironman it picked up the miles... literally...
WE RAN THE WHEELS OFF the red rocket!


No Wetsuit Girl said...

That's such a beautiful story, and inspiring too! I hope you get new wheels soon so that you and your little hand-held running buddy can be back on the roads soon!

Akari Ueoka said...

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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.-Helen Keller

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.-Eleanor Roosevelt

ShirleyPerly said...

Great story! A year or so ago I ran with a woman in Colorado Springs who was pushing a double stroller with probably 70# of kids and putting me to shame. She later was a top-3 finisher of the Pike's Peak Ascent. I think there is something to that stroller-pushing training!