- To finish without walking. (I usually never walk during a run. It throws off my pace.)
- To not be the last one to finish.
- To finish without requiring medical attention.
So there it was, a few hours before the race and we didn't even know if we were going to make it. It was raining on and off although the online weather radar showed the rain clearing. Plus, I had a list of grievances:
- I was tired.
- I had a headache.
- My intestines were bothering me. (Yes, it is quite lovely.)
- I gave birth to triplets two years ago.
I think Rich felt bad so he told me that we didn't have to go. I said, "No, we're going. There will always be a reason to not go. We need to run." So we packed up the girls and headed out. I did try to take some pictures of the girls beforehand. Not exactly what I had in mind but cute enough to share.
Emily, Allie, Anna
Anna has been leading the pack when it comes to photo sessions. She's the first to run over to the "camera corner" but then she announces, "I sit here."
You can see what happens.
Em and Anna waiting for pick up at the gate.
As Rich was setting up the triple stroller in the parking lot (I gotta tell ya, I love that thing but it is a pain to assemble after transporting) and the girls were running around the minivan and unintentionally diving off of the bench seat (Anna), it starting raining again. We threw the girls with their sippies and Elmo, Lion and Snoopy into the stroller and headed off looking for cover.
Now, I fully admit to abusing the whole triplet thing. There was a little tent set up by a man and woman promoting their personal training gym. Because of the weather, there weren't many people there at all so I slid the stroller up behind them under the tent to keep the girls dry. When they saw what I was doing, I apologized for hijacking their tent. They actually didn't care and we talked about their gym for a few minutes. Of course, they asked about the girls and I was happy to chat with them. I was, after all, using their tent.
I should have mentioned earlier that Rich and I bought these t-shirts a few weeks ago with "End Stillbirth" on them to wear at races. I feel like I need to do something to make this known. The woman running the tent actually asked me about our shirts. She knows of someone whose baby was stillborn. I need to figure out a way to bring more attention to stillbirth and what it means. I need to do my part to end this.
The rain stopped right before the race was to start and Rich and I took our place at the very back to avoid bothering other runners with our stroller. So, yes, we started out in last place. As soon as we started to run, I began looking for others to "take out" or pass. We had to run for a bit in a parking lot before hitting the main road and we came up behind two moms with three pre-teen girls. One of the girls asked the other two, "Are you tired yet?" They responded, "YES." As we passed them, I called out to the moms, "Looks like we won't be coming in last." We then took out an older gentlemen with bands on his knees. Turns out he has twin girls named Alison and Emily.
Okay, this is turning into a really long post but it might be funny to read it in a few years when all the details will be lost in the mush of my brain.
I have to point out that Rich never says anything mean about runners who are obviously not runners. He did, however, point out that there would be a few others dropping out. He meant the runners who were obviously not runners would have to slow down. And they did. And we passed them. There probably would have been more if the weather had been nicer.
Most races have splits, or someone at each mile mark calling out the official time. When we reached what felt like a mile, there were some girls handing out paper cups of water. No one calling time. I yelled, "Time?" to Rich, who was wearing his stopwatch.
"Did we just do a 10 minute mile? DID WE?"
We passed a few more runners including a woman in her sixties, who was in awesome shape. I couldn't help myself and I told Rich that I wanted to finish in under 36 minutes. At what felt like two miles, we came across some women handing out water and yelling out the time. "20:42" Yes, we were running 10 minute miles.
Rich asked me if I had anything left. In other words, he wanted to step it up. I did have some left but I wanted to get a little bit closer to the end. And then the road started sloping upwards. Not really a hill but enough to slow me down. And then I started gagging on the allergy phlegm draining down my throat. And then the man pushing 80 passed us.
We finished strong with a small pack around us. I told Rich that I'm ignoring the official time as I have no confidence in the teenager with a clipboard squinting at our numbers as we crossed the finish line. I made note of the time when we crossed the finish - 32:39. I am subtracting 9 seconds due to the fact that we started in the back and saying that our time was 32:30.
Most importantly, the girls did great. We only had to slow down a few times for dropped sippies and once for Allie's hat. There was no crying or fussing.
And because I haven't posted it yet, here's my running journal for last week:
Running journal for the week of May 10, 2009
Sunday: 2 miles, outside
Tuesday: 2.25 miles, treadmill
Thursday: 2.5 miles, treadmill