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Six Mile Training Bike/Run on th ...

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:00am

Six Mile Training Bike/Run on the "Toad" Path

You've got to love these long holiday weekends. Having a sensible runner husband and children means we have frequent pre-weekend debates over the running schedule since someone has to stay home with the kids. Mike wanted to run this morning and so did I, so suggested that we load the family in the car and the kids can ride their bikes on the "Toad" path, as my daughter affectionately refers to the Towpath. I thought she just mispronounced the word, but she really meant "toad" cause she asked me if we'd be running over toads. I just thought this was really funny, but explained that while the sight of little smashed amphibian carcasses is not a rare site on the path, it's called a Towpath. I smiled and told her I'm putting in the blog. She rolled her eyes and gave me the "ahhhh mom, don't do that!" How can I not put this in the blog? From my perspective, I'm preserving my family history for posterity, but from hers, she might be amassing fodder for the future therapists' couch, which I find difficult to believe will be a part of my sunny dispositioned daughter's future.

I thought this would be a great idea for my son, the reluctant athlete, because he could ride up ahead of us, giving him a mental edge on his struggling from behind parents on foot. We decided to start at Memorial Parkway and run to the Mustill Store and head back to Big Bend and then back to the parkway for a nice six mile stretch. This section of the Towpath doesn't get nearly the traffic that northern sections do, but it is the section that's part of the Road Runner course, so I thought it might have more than usual runner traffic. We haven't done many Towpath bike rides, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach them proper Tow path etiquette so that runners and cyclists can share the winding corridor with minimal exchange of obscenities. Just like highway traffic, you are supposed to run and ride on the right and pass on the left, only you must let the passee know you are passing with a beep or a "passing on the left" verbal signal so the passee doesn't piss their pants in fright at the unexpected imposition or so they don't weave absentmindedly in your path to crash into you. My children don't drive yet, so the rules of the road aren't ingrained into their neural brain pathways, so I worried endlessly that they would weave into the path of a passing cyclist and cause bloody mayhem.

I worry about these things, because I know the rules of the road and still have a hopeless weaving tendency, except it usually impacts the person I'm running next to since I have this tendency to run them off the road. There is no intended malice, only my desire to be close to them and hear them better because I'm going deaf--too much loud music on the treadmill. Anyway, our little Towpath teaching session was going quite well. The kids liked to bike ahead and then wait for Mike and I to catch up.

My sensible runner husband likes to think that I don't like to run with him; true, he doesn't talk as much as I'd like on a run, but it's really he that doesn't like to run with me. He complained, more than once, that I was running too fast. He is much faster than me, but we were doing a long run by his standards today, so my just under 9 minute pace was a little too fast.
What drove him absolutely bonkers were the staged photo opportunities, where I stop and dig the Sony CyberShot out of my running suitcase and make them do stupid stuff. Here's my family riding/running across the bridge near mile 13 of the Road Runner marathon...He said, "Do you do this to your running partners?" "Absolutely," I replied, "They don't mind one bit stopping for a few minutes!" Eye-roll ensued. "It's not cheating to stop every once in awhile and take a picture! It doesn't make me a pussy you know!" He can be such a man sometimes...

Here's a few post run shots:

Mike made a sweat Rorschach in his University of Akron t-shirt. Here's me all happy!
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