Saturday, June 1, 2013

Daddy & Daughter Running Date

Last Saturday afternoon, Daddy decided to spend some time alone with his older girl as it was becoming apparent to us that her 'language of love' as coined by Dr. Gary Chapman was turning out to be 'quality time'. Mummy was feeling a little under the weather, which made it a good time for Daddy to take A. away from the house for a few hours.

It was a rather last minute decision, being an alternative to doing something together as a family on a lazy Saturday afternoon. However, the good weather beckoned them to join the 'Run To Walk Movement' initiative at Bedok Reservoir (see their website HERE to find out more). The programme is a community service initiated by a group of elite local runners to promote running for enjoyment and as a healthy investment. It combines a free timed run around Bedok Reservoir complete with organized warm-ups and cool downs, together with loyalty perks such as lucky dips, rewards, and most of all, meeting with like minded people who enjoy investing in their fitness through running. You can find them on Facebook HERE.

Daddy and A. had the joy of watching the sun go down over the horizon!

Step one is to register as a participant. Daddy did it quickly for himself but it slipped his mind to register A. as well as they were in a rush. The girls had just gotten up from a nap and it was already late in the afternoon. Anyway, Daddy didn't think she'd make it round the reservoir (she proved him wrong later...).

Step two is to make your own 'barcode', which will come in handy as a form of identification, and 'scanning of attendance' and generating a result / timing. A. and Daddy had some fun with this, as it involved photographing the barcode on your NRIC (birth certificate in A.'s case), printing it out, water-proofing it (or sweat-proofing it). It became a mini craft session, and Daddy found himself repeating countless times what it was for, as A. could not comprehend most of his explanations. Oh well, she'll see for herself at the scanning station...

Water-proofing the barcodes with layers of tape.

A. requested that they take the bus to Bedok Reservoir. Taking the bus has become something she looks forward to. It also means we are not in a rush (we often take a taxi), have the luxury of time, and can enjoy the scenery and company of whoever is taking the bus with us. A double decker bus is counted as a further bonus. Before hitting the bus stop, they stopped by the 'Good News Cafe' at the Simei Care Centre to pick up a snack as it was going to be late before A. got her dinner today.

Off to get a snack at the 'Good News Cafe'.

Good News Café... Not much open on a Saturday evening...

They settle for a London Roll.

What an answer to prayer! We get to enjoy the views on top of the double decker bus!

"Daddy, please hurry up!"

When they got there, they realized we were late for the registration and warm up, and the group had already left for their run. However, the volunteers at the registration table were very welcoming and invited them to carry on anyways. They assured the two of them that the volunteers will wait for the last finisher, when Daddy asked about cut-off timings.

The young lady showed much enthusiasm and pretty good running form for the first ten minutes...

A. was enthusiastic and shot off quickly, often beckoning Daddy to hurry up, or challenging him to race. Daddy explained to her that it was going to be a long run, and in order to finish it, it was better to sustain an even pace that is not too quick.

We took frequent water breaks to hydrate!

As expected she soon got tired and started to take more and more frequent water breaks. Once, she stopped at the side to rest and remove some gravel that had crept into her shoes. Daddy started to wonder if they were going to finish before the sun sets, and if there would be anyone left at the registration table by the time they returned. However, to keep the experience fun, Daddy decided not to rush the girl on their first running date.

Trudging on... looking out for that next distance marker!
Instead, Daddy motivated her to look for the next distance marker. The distance markers around the reservoir are placed 500 metres apart, and they had fun looking out for them and taking 'victory photos' at each marker. In addition, Daddy told her that it was not important how long we took, but that they finished it together.

The little girl has a decent mid-foot running form.

They were pleasantly surprised to see that the volunteers were still at the registration table waiting for them when they finished. Almost all the other participants appeared to have left after their cool down. They got their barcodes scanned to confirm their participation, and someone made the comment that A. might have been the youngest participant to complete the 4.3 km loop to date. However, she had trouble with the barcode as Daddy had forgotten to register her online.

One of the participants had baked fruit and nut bars and A. got back just in time to share the last one with Daddy. What a yummy-licous treat! It also served as a nice way to 'reward' A. for the effort she had put in to finish.

A "Run To Walk" volunteer scanning our barcodes at the finish.

A healthy home-made fruit and nut bar prepared by one of the participants.

The best part about the run thus far was that despite the challenge, A. persevered and when she finished, she had the privilege of enjoying the taste of satisfaction (and endorphins) one could only derive from finishing a run. There's a saying that goes 'no one can give you a mile... only you can go out and take it'. In fact, she pledged to be back next week, if not for anything, for another go at getting a post-run fruit bar. This time, we'll try to make it on time for the warm up.

Since it was a date, Daddy gave A. a bunch of options for dinner. She was more excited by the fact that we get to ride the bus back together. This time however, they did not get the double decker bus we were hoping for.

Enjoying the views on the bus ride back.

They decided to stop by the Subway outlet nearby for a sandwich dinner together. A. opted for some low-fat yoghurt to go with her ham sandwich. It was a great time just chatting, and recounting their experiences of the run.

So perhaps they'll be back to conquer 4.3 km next week, and who knows, perhaps there'll be a new 'youngest participant' should we bring K.. We doubt she will finish the loop on her own two feet, but then again, A. proved us wrong.

We look forward to more running dates!

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