Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate with me!

"You know what cross country coaches say? You run the first miles on your legs and the last mile on your guts." Pat Loehmer (1959-1999)

Sorry that I haven't finished the story of my trip to Kenya. I am close. In fact, I only have closing remarks and final thoughts to share with you, along with a few random pictures that haven't fit in anywhere else. But that will have to wait.

Here it is the Fourth of July back in the States. When my kids were little, we would do the parade and whatever else we had to in town. Run back in at dark for the fireworks. Now that my kids are over that, and my husband works this year, I didn't have to go to town for anything. I planned on just spending all day being lazy at home.

Then something crazy happened. It all started earlier this spring when a coworker saw a picture of her daughter and grandson in the local paper. The picture was promoting the upcoming Fun Run in town on June 18. They had run in it the year before. My coworker thought the picture was great (their own little claim to fame), and from that she got the crazy idea that she and I should run in this race this year.

I have never run before in my life. In high school I would have been voted in the top 5% of the least athletic students. What was I thinking?

I looked over the details. Five kilometers. That's just over three miles. I could do that. So I started running. The first night after running one-tenth of a mile, I thought my lungs were going to explode. My legs had turned to Jello

It didn't get easier very quickly. I stuck with it though, spending more time on the treadmill or just running laps in my basement as winter dragged through all of April. But suddenly I was close to running a full mile.

Then other plans popped up for June 18. Good thing, too, as there is no way I could have even walked three miles by then. My coworker had backed out by then too. But now I had a dream. I wanted to run a 5K.

They have one here in my hometown every Fourth of July. When the first coworker chickened out, I begged two others to take up the challenge with me.

I knew I wouldn't be able to run the full way, but everyone told me that a run-walk-run-walk pace was ok. As long as I was able to jog around that last corner and cross that finish line!

Something happened though as I was a block from that last corner. My sister Pat popped into my head. "You run the last mile on your guts." Get out of my head, I said to myself, I don't need to start crying now. What I needed was the kick. And I got it. And I finished at a sprint - oh, yeah, right. Like I could sprint at the beginning even! But I finished.
Don't we look all fresh and ready to go? For the three of us on the right it was our first 5K ever. The guy, my boss, runs marathons. I think he just ran the 5K to mock us - just kidding, he's been very supportive of us. The gal on the far left also runs marathons and has started training for triathlons. She ran the 10K and did pretty good. 

Why do I already look like I am in pain? We are just starting out!
Coming around that last corner and getting my kick on! 
Running the race for my sister Pat.

1 comment:

Susan Marlene Kinney said...

Ha ha!! You make me chuckle! You are braver and braver in my eyes! Nice post. We have something else in common...we both have a sister Pat! Blessings!