February 9, 2015

Lincoln Half-Marathon-Bound … With Kids

I’ve signed up to run the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 3 with Mr. Wonderful, so here is the obligatory pre-race post. Training starts this week – yippee?

I run for a lot of selfish reasons, to be honest here. It keeps me sane, and it offsets my chocolate addiction.

I also do it because I think it sets a good example for my kids. Mr. Wonderful and I talk a good talk, but it helps showing our kids that we actually do work out and eat healthy. I’m hoping they see being active as normal, maybe even fun – be it running in ridiculous outfits with their mom (exhibit A and exhibit B) or a different sport of their choosing.

So I want to get them involved in my half-marathon training. How, you ask? (You don’t take them in a jogging stroller during your long runs, that’s for darn sure).

Race training with kids


  1. Give your cheering squad some dress rehearsals.

It’s ridiculously cold right now, so my cheering squad waves from the window as I leave on my runs. They then quickly forget about me until I stumble back inside, fire engine red in the face and a little stinky.

But, come spring, I hope to bring the cheer section with me sometimes. For longer runs, I’m thinking I take to the trail like at Lake Zorinski, so the kids can play at a playground. Since Mr. Wonderful is training as well, we’ll have to take turns on our runs. If it’s a nice day, we may just plan a picnic and make it an afternoon.


  1. Fit in a fun run and bring the kids along.

Luck of the Irish here: There are some fun St. Patrick’s Day runs near the midway point of training. They’re fun runs, so it’s not really a testing ground to see if you’re on the right track to PR or anything. They’re a lot of fun to do with friends. Friends who are slower than you. (Just kidding)

Here are a few to check out: Shamrock Shuffle 5K (March 14), Blarney Stone 5K (March 14) and not Irish related, but still fun, is the Diva Dash 5K and Lil’ Diva Dash (March 21)

The one I’m familiar with is the Blarney Stone 5K. It has a family-friendly atmosphere (aside from the beer at the end) so it’s not crazy to think you could bring along your kids. Lots of people do it.

The Blarney Stone 5K involves crossing the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The Omaha side is pictured here. Photo courtesy Dan Robinson.

The Blarney Stone 5K involves crossing the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The Omaha side is pictured here. Photo courtesy Dan Robinson.

So, dress your family in crazy green outfits and get a little running in while you’re at it. Don’t want to push a stroller or carry a 40-pound toddler? Ask a relative to cheer on the sidelines while you run – the atmosphere is still a lot of fun, even on the sidelines.

I wrote a recap of Blarney Stone Run on my now-defunct fitness blog if you want to read about it and see more pictures. Read more

  1. Bring them on race day.

I love having people cheer me on from the sidelines. Marathons are killer so if you do one of those, bring like a whole army of cheerleaders and station them throughout the course. With half-marathons, if your family plans it carefully, they can hit you at a couple different points in a race and give you that boost of confidence to keep running.

Your family can help man water stations for nonprofits during a race, or if your children are really young, make a witty sign and have them hold it to entertain runners. (I prefer witty signs, you might like inspirational messages to push the runners forward, whatev).

Me and Farley cheering on runners at the Lincoln Half-Marathon. The funnier the sign you can make, the better. Bonus points if you can get your kid to hold it.


With Lincoln’s route, I’d venture to say your little cheerleaders and their handler(s) could catch you at two or three points on the route (depending on your kids’ mosey-speed). A big race like this is exciting and hopefully shows your kids that real people can accomplish amazing things.


Your turn: What races are you training for this spring and summer?


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