Motivation: Everyone struggles with it. You know what is harder than normal adult I-don’t-want-to-peel-myself-off-the-couch motivation troubles? Getting fourteen 8 – 10 year olds to run a 5K. In 50 minutes or less.
If there’s one thing I know about motivation – for adults and kids alike – is that there should always be something to look forward to at the end, whether that prize is a long, hot shower; a pat on the back; a post-race massage; or an adhesive handlebar mustache.
Yes. A mustache.
Today was the Practice 5K event at Girls on the Run. Although some coaches take a more relaxed attitude about the trial run, I’ve always firmly believed that every girl should finish the entire 3.1 miles. After all, the purpose of a Practice 5K is to make the girls feel confident for the actual event (which is in mid-May). I don’t want them to be scared at the starting line – I want them to be excited!
So, every season, I make a big deal about the Practice 5K, turning it into a massive party with prizes and treats.
We do a real water station!
The girls are encouraged to crush the cups and slam them onto the ground, just like they’ll do at the real race.
And we do orange slices. You know… because runners fuel up during their workouts. I don’t know what it is about orange slices, but kids will do anything for orange slices. I sliced 35 oranges this morning – 280 slices!
3.1 miles is 19 laps around our oddly measured track. Every mile, the girls got a ‘power ring’ (a plastic gem and diamond ring that I swore up and down gave them super running strength). And on the 19th lap, they got to break the tape.
The 5K is not a race – there’s no winner and loser – so everyone gets to run through their very own finishing line.
And then, it was time for bubbles, cupcakes, party hats (excuse me – unicorn horns), and mustaches.
I don’t know what it is with the girls, but they are really into mustaches this year. I actually SCREAMED in Party City when I stumbled upon the colorful, furry mustaches because I instantly knew they’d be a hit.
Practice 5K – done and done! Some finished in 30 minutes, some in 50 minutes, but we all had a very, very good time indeed.
Side note: I totally want an colorful mustache. I felt like a Lorax. Save the trees!
And now, I really mustache to bed. Yawn.