The night I got back to Juneau, I crept into the girl’s room and draped my finisher’s medal over Lena’s bedpost. It was the first thing she set her eyes on upon waking up. She shot up out of bed, grabbed the medal, widened her eyes and happily said, “So you did win the race! See mom, I told you that you could do it!”
The night before I left for my race, Lena asked me if I was going to win. I told her it was highly doubtful and that I was just running to run- not to win. She wasn’t convinced and went about taking me on training laps around the living room, proving to me that I could indeed run fast.
As she clutched my medal up to her chest, I explained to her that everyone who completed the run got a medal and no, I did not win and I was okay with that. She assured me that coming in 2nd was just as good. (How about somewhere in the 13,000th range?) Then Lena noticed the small icon of the castle on the ribbon. “Did you go to Disneyland?” It was not the Donald Duck Medal, it was not the words, “DISNEYWORLD”, it was the ½” castle logo that got her attention. I dodged this question once and I didn’t want to dodge it again so I admitted that yes, I did go to Disneyland. The next question out of her mouth was whether or not I saw any princesses. I truthfully answered no because I didn’t. Upon hearing that I did not see princesses, she dropped the Disneyland topic and moved on to other questions about the run. Did I wear pink shorts? Did I run fast? How far did I run? And then she asked the mother of all questions:
“Mommy? At any point during the run did you just stop and think: this is absolutely ridiculous?”
Amazed this question came out of a four year old mouth, I sat on the edge of her bed stunned. I thought about it for a second and answered, “Yes. When I was outside freezing for two hours wearing nothing but a garbage bag, I wondered why I was doing it.” Lena seemed satisfied with my answer and asked if she could have cereal for breakfast.
Lena took my medal to school where she told the story of my race, which was upstaged by her story of how I caught fire to our kitchen and melted my shoe on the floor while putting out the fire. Apparently it’s more exciting to talk about your mother setting fire to the kitchen stove and floor than telling about her running 13 miles, yawn. But the kids seemed pleased with the medal nonetheless. After the kids passed it around, it was left at the “polishing station” and the kids took turns polishing it. Got to love that Montessori slave labor!
Later in the week I received the link to the official race photos. In my previous post I mentioned that I smiled throughout the entire run. Yeah, let me take that back. These pictures are proof that I did not. Yes, some are showing toothy grins, but others, well, others look like someone is sticking a hot iron to me, especially the one with Epcot in the background at mile 12. Seriously horrific. I did break down and buy a couple of the good ones. It’s not every day that you get to run through Snow White’s castle with 27,000 other people.
So, the answer remains, am I going to continue running now that I don’t have to train? Yes.
I ran this summer and fall because I had to train for my race. But I will keep running just because I want to. I don’t know if I’ll participate in more races of this magnitude. After all, I did find it absolutely ridiculous I had to stand 2 hours in the cold just so I could run 13.1 miles with a bunch of other people. Nevertheless, I am glad I experienced it.
My first week back in Juneau I went to the gym and discovered every treadmill was being used. I stood there perturbed with my brow knit, wondering how long I’d have to wait for one to free up, when I came to the sudden realization that I can now consider myself a real runner. If I am annoyed that I can’t go running on a treadmill, that really speaks volumes.
Here are a few shots where I’m not looking as though someone is torturing me. I also feel obliged to point out that even though I run very slowly, I ran faster than the 3 hours 4 minutes projected on the clock! That time measures the time the race began, and the first corral of runners crossed the start line. I was in the 4th corral, so shave about 30 minutes off that time.
|Running through the castle|
|This is my "Game-Face"|
|There are still smiles to be had around mile 10|
|I am so talented, I can run 13.1 miles with |
my eyes closed
|Don't stop moving when you cross |
the finish line...I crashed into her.