Run Eat Travel

This morning I woke up dreading my long run. (Okay technically I went to sleep last night already dreading it.) Yesterday I confessed that I’ve reached that part in marathon training where I want to quit.

IMG_6796 (800x600)

My marathon training plan said to do a “Half Marathon” this weekend. But I’m going out of town and  had originally planned on doing 18 today and doing 13.1 as a step back the weekend of the 19th (when I’m going out of town again!).

But, I only ended up doing 14 miles. Technically this is okay since my plan called for 13.1, but this means I have to do 19 next weekend and 20 the Thursday before I go to HLS! No excuses.

IMG_6798 (800x600)

I may want to quit marathon training right now, but I already signed up for this one so I’m telling myself this may be my last one ever. I have to keep going. I don’t have to do another one after this though.

Before my run I had PB&J toast on the new mini-sandwich thins. I still eat the same amount of calories because I have 2 mini-pairs, but I love that I can have 4 different toppings!IMG_6790 (600x800)

I packed GU and gatorade and ended up forgetting about the Gu?! My brain is elsewhere today.IMG_6793 (600x800)

Someone asked what sunblock I use when running. Okay, I am totally busted to admit this but I don’t use sunblock on shorter runs during the week, only long runs. The fact that I have to admit that means I feel like a tonta and will now be wearing it every day.

Anyways, these are the blocks I’m using right now:IMG_6794 (600x800)

I do at least remember to spray the sunblock on my part when I do braids Smile

 IMG_6295 (600x800)

Post-run I threw my disgusting clothes in the wash and made a smoothie in my “shower clothes” Winking smile IMG_4337 (800x533)

I’m headed to San Diego for Blogher 2011 today!!!image

American Express Prepaid is sponsoring me to attend and I’m super excited to be working with them (my regular credit card is an AmEx and I already love the company).IMG_6800 (800x600)

I’m also excited because Ben and I have been trying to stay on budget and a pre-paid card really helps control spending without having to worry about carrying cash all the time.

Help me out…

I run a certain route around my neighborhood twice a week, sometimes 3 times. I have seen an older man on a bike with 2 kids he is having run. It’s a girl (I’m guessing) around 3-4th grade and a boy maybe 6th grade?

I see them running a lot (often and length of time). They don’t seem happy (but most people aren’t exactly smiling as they go along, right?).

Today as I was headed out around mile 2 I saw the boy running. His shirt was already very sweaty. He was limping a bit and as I caught up to him he stopped. I asked if he was okay and he said his knee hurt. I told him to be careful and stretch it out before he started again and I ran off. The dad/grand dad was not around right then. I didn’t want to say too much because he shouldn’t  really be talking to strangers (read: sweaty red-head blogger).

As I came back at least 90 minutes later he was still running! I passed him up and saw his grand dad around the bend watching. He yelled something to him in another language and the kid turned around to do another lap.

I feel weird about this. I stopped a couple I always see on the path and asked them if they noticed the running kids too. The lady said she thinks the boy may run with a local high school cross country team, but the little girl is obviously still in elementary. They agreed that it was odd and a bit much.

Even if he is in cross country – running for 2 hours and saying his knee hurts – isn’t there something wrong with that? I could have just caught them on a long run day like I was doing, I don’t know the whole story. I’m sure I’ll see them again.

What would you do? Nothing? Say something? Blog about it because you’re not sure what to do??


  1. says

    I’d call CPS and tell them what you’ve seen and what the neighbor told you. I’m the “call the police if you see a dog in a parked car” kind of person though (well, only in the summer)

  2. says

    That’s a tough one! I’d probably have done what you did and checked on the boy, and maybe next time the “opportunity” arises, meaning, if it happens again and the grandfather is there, I’d say something to him. It would probably be awkward, but you never know when John Quinones is watching. Oh, and it’s probably the right thing to do, too. 😉

    Have fun at Blogher!

  3. says

    That is a little weird. I mean, I am in high school and run Cross Country and Track but a 2 hour run is a little much. Does his grandfather/father know that most high school races are only 5K-length? 😉
    I’d suggest talking to the boy and getting a little more info before you call the cops or anything.

  4. says

    Ugh those are the worst situations, all you want to do is tell that kid to go put some ice on his knee and stretch, but it doesn’t feel like your place. Honestly, I probably would have done exactly what you did. Though if it continues, it probably would be best to let someone know …

    Have fun at BlogHer!

  5. says

    I would probably call the police and just mention it to them so they could keep their eye out. Kids that age should not be running that long or hard as it is not good for them because they are still growing. Obviously their (grand)dad is not looking out for them so someone has to!

  6. says

    I’m not the most brilliant at ‘what would you do’ stuff but I know my dad is so I try to think about what he’d do in the situation. I think in this case, he’d introduce himself to the man (being a friendly neighbor) and ask about the kids running. He’d take a friendly, interested approach to figure out what’s going on. Definitely do something. Be encouraging and tell how you’re a runner too and a personal trainer and ask what the kids are up to. In this heat, kids really shouldn’t be out for so long, even if they’re training… this is sad. Good luck!

    • Christin says

      I completely agree…try to find out a little more by talking to the boy and his grandad/father…see what he’s training for in a friendly way…I think since you are a CPT you could use that as a platform for your interest in the situation, and also offer advice in a helpful and knowledgeable way.

      I think your safety radar is going off for a reason…don’t be afraid to follow your intuition, but DON’T rush to conclusions…find out more and if you are met with anger, rudeness, etc that would be a good cue to call CPS, but I wouldn’t at this point because you don’t know enough about the situation yet. I think one conversation with them will let you know either way, and will offer you more peace of mind about the appropriate course of action.

    • says

      I agree – take a friendly approach towards the dad/granddad, you know about running, training – so you won’t just come across as a nosey neighbor. I would not contact CPS yet… see how the friendly approach works and go from there.
      At the same time though, if your gut tells you there might be abuse of some kind going on – trust that.

      • says

        I agree with Christin and Holly. Try the friendly approach, offer guidance since you are a runner and personal trainer. Then reach out to CPS, you definitely don’t want to jump the gun on the CPS call but that may be your only choice.

        Please let us know what you decide to do about it.

  7. says

    I agree with the CPS suggestion. If there is a “situation” it’s best to let the professionals handle it. Chances are the dad/granddad wouldn’t listen to you either way.

  8. says

    I have no idea what I would do. Honestly I would probably let it go, but feel badly that I didn’t speak up or do anything proactive about it. I think the other commenters ideas about calling CPS might be a good one.

    Also – running 14 miles is BAD ASS & you should be proud of that! I can’t imagine running 14 miles, so be proud that you got a lot of miles in and didn’t just call today off because you weren’t feeling it :)

  9. Is says

    Unfortunately, lots of parents/guardians push their children too much. As a teacher I see it A LOT. It is not something you usually see with negligent/abusive parents though. Parents that push their children to the extreme usually think they are helping their children succeed. I wouldn’t call CPS first. If you feel that something is wrong and want to get involved- try approaching the grandfather first. Maybe mention you are a certified trainer and are a bit concerned. How the grandfather responds will be very telling and then you can proceed to contact CPS if you feel this is an abusive situation. **I’ve observed CPS tear apart good families based on wrong information

    • Anne says

      I agree with the above – as uncomfortable as it might be, it is probably best to speak with the adult first. Think of it not just as “helping” the child, but as building relationships that will lead to a healthier community.

      It seems like a good idea to mention your professional background, that might help keep this less personal, and therefore, less potentially offensive.

      Good luck!

  10. Hannah says

    Last summer in my grandparents’ neighborhood, we watched a pre-teen girl (chubby) jogging almost every night on the sidewalk with her mom following her in her pickup truck, yelling at her out the window. It makes me sick that we never did anything about it. I am all for giving families privacy (especially if they’re foreign and might have different… values..) but you don’t want to regret not doing anything and then think “I wonder what happened to that boy” down the road :/ Just a thought!

  11. says

    I would do what hippierunner suggested, either talk with the grandfather or with the kid directly in a friendly, interested way. Like, ‘wow, you sure run a lot, kid, do you run races?’ and see if you can get any info out of them.

  12. says

    How bizarre!!! I would keep your eye out on the family and take notes. Usually if something like this is going on, there may be a lot more.
    Also 14 miles is awesome. Remember that running needs to be fun! It isn’t a chore girlie! Keep kickin booty :)

  13. says

    I’m looking for someone to sponsor me for a very small conference locally that I want to go to. How did you get your AmEx sponsorship? Did they approach you, or did you approach them? I’m not sure where to even start.

  14. Sara Kent says

    I agree with calling CPS. At the very least make them aware of what you’ve witnessed and they can decide whether it warrants a visit with the parent/grandparents or not. I’m a huge believer in “if your gut tells you something is not right, it’s probably true”. So call CPS at the very least.

    Additionally, if CPS does visit with the family and there is nothing to hide then they will explain the situation and go along their day. If they take offense or act shady, that would definitely be a sign.

    It’s up to you, but I’m not the kind of person that would confront them myself. Especially if the grandfather seems angry to begin with.

  15. says

    Keep it up! You’re doing awesome with training! And just think, once you run that 20 it’s pretty much downhill from there. At least that’s how my training is- the longest distance I’m running before the race is 20.

    As for the kid, his dad’s probably pushing him way too hard for something. Maybe track? Which is ridiculous. But as for what you should do..I’m not sure there really is anything you can do. I mean, you can talk to the parents but they’re going to do what they want in the long run, you know?

  16. Ida says

    What a weird situation! I like the idea of taking a friendly interest in the kid’s running and trying to get more insight into what is going on. Calling CPS seems a bit extreme at this point.

    • says

      i agree w/ above. don’t jump to conclusions. i’d play it sneaky and express interest to the dad/g’dad. like “wow, those are some talented kids there… are they training for something?” knowing that he could possibly be a crazy, treading lightly (and false-flattery, to glean info) is the best bet. THEN, if you actually know that something is crazy, go to the next level.

  17. monica says

    reading that made me a little sick to my stomach. you have noticed this family a lot so it was not just a one time thing. my heart hurts for that boy. i would call the cops and let them know. i mean they will keep an eye out at least.
    good luck <3

  18. Tristan says

    Hey Monica! I read your blog daily, but I’m the stalker-type that rarely comments. I had to comment on this because I have also seen this family while I’ve been running (they are Asian, right?). I always see the grandfather (or father?) kneeling in the dirt with his stopwatch while the teenage boy runs back and forth. I will have run 3 miles out and still see him running on the same area of the trail when I return. I have also seen the young girl running, but the grandfather really seems to pay attention to the boy. Often times my husband will ride his bike with me while I run. I always say good morning to the grandfather. He does not acknowledge me, but will say hello to my husband. I wouldn’t suggest confronting him. He seems to not respect women and would likely become angry and you probably wouldn’t get anywhere with it. I’m also not sure how much English he speaks. I really don’t think it’s anything that warrants calling CPS. If the boy is on the track team (which I think he is), his coach will notice that he is injured and might be able to have a discussion with the parents or grandfather. I’ll keep my eye out for them the next time I’m on that trail.

  19. says

    Sheesh! That’s a tough one – it’s never fun to deal with touchy things like this. I’d say talk to the adult next time you see the kid(s) running & mention your background/profession just to get the low down on what’s actually going on. Then if you’re still concerned talk to CPS or the police.

  20. says

    That’s a tricky situation! I would definitely keep an eye on the situation. If the opportunity comes up to talk to the kid again without the older guy around, maybe ask him if he likes running? Tell him you’re a fitness writer and trainer and your are impressed that he is so into running at such a young age, that should get a reaction from him whether or not it’s something he wants to be pushed at, you know?

  21. says

    I really don’t think the police would do anything about this (in response to all the people who told you to call)…this is more of a Social Services issue. I would probably try to talk to the boy again or ask neighbors if they’ve noticed anything else suspicious, before I took any action.

  22. says

    hrm, that’s a little odd. i mean, i ran xc in high school and i never ran a run like that. i would definitely try to talk to the kid more and even the grandfather…and if it comes to it make a call to someone.

  23. says

    This is some type of a tiger-dad! Pushing his kids to be athletes from early age. I would probably do nothing. The kid has to learn to stand up for himself. We can’t choose our families and what they try to make us do, but we can choose what we end up doing with our lives. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but some nice red-haired lady won’t always be around to give advice about a sore knee 😉

  24. Katie M. says

    I agree with others. Just talk to the parent/grandparent and act impressed with the kids commitment and explain your backround. And put it in terms that it appears the child is really trying to please him but point out the limp and tell him to slow down and treat the injury now before he ends up halting the kids progress. You don’t know the kid might be determined to enter and run a distance race that ISN’T correlated to high school track. I mean if it appears that the guy isn’t demeaning or intimidating the child into doing this or the child doesn’t appear to be afraid…however if you feel this and after talking to the adult it’s confirmed than do something. I too have seen a family stressed because someone misunderstood a situation and called CPS instead of simply asking the parent what the situation was.

  25. says

    Wow, that is quite odd. I can’t believe the grand dad would be pushing his grandson like that, especially being so young. Just goes to show how ignorant parents can be sometimes. It’s like when I see a mom telling her young daughter that she needs to loose weight. Makes me want to throw up.

  26. says

    ~Be careful on jumping to conclusions~ The last thing in the world you would want for YOURSELF is to have CPS come stomping into your life. Talk with the dad/granddad and voice your concerns. Have the hubster with you if need be but talk first!

  27. says

    I would try to strike up a convo with the man. Maybe, if he doesn’t see anything wrong with whats going on he will tell you. You could just say, something about how you see the kids running on they on a team? I wouldn’t bring up concerns until after you get his story or attempt to. Then you can reassess the sitch and decide if further action is necessary.

    Yay for AM/EX, that’s so helpful!!! Woot Woot! Have fun, I am so jealous!!!

  28. says

    Poor little boy :(
    I would say something to the dad/grand dad, but make it friendly so he doesn’t automatically go on the defense.
    Have a great weekend!!!

  29. VanessaG says

    First, congrats on the run. I had many sat long runs that I didn’t want to do while training for a marathon. Just push threw it and the closer it gets to the race, the more excited you will be. Now, about the kids you saw. That’s a toug situation. I know that sometimes people may be thinking I’m running for 2+ hrs at our park sometimes. But I’m not. I am doing mile repeats with rest. But everytime someone saw me I could be ruunning, so to them I was running continuously. If the boy is in hs and a good runner he could be running for 2hrs. I know if I was you, I would just plain ask him. Do you run for your H.S team? I’ve noticed you have talent. Not sure about the little girl. Maybe she just wants to be like her brother. Keep us updated on what you find out! :)

  30. says

    A similar thing happened to me. Was a pace leader for beginner half marathon program and leading the slowest group. Came upon a grandma and her grandson who had been running with the group ahead of us but were dropped when they couldn’t keep up. Boy was about 10 (not sure why they let him in program), dripping sweat, panting, limping. I asked if he was ok and grandma snarls “he’s fine” and tells him to keep running. Finally a couple miles later he comes to a stop and bursts into tears saying “it hurts” and “I can’t do this anymore”. She is telling him to suck it up and keep going because she “needs” to get her long run done. Finally I tell her she needs to let him walk back and cut the run short. Later she complains that I’m a terrible pace leader. Jerk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *