Monday, October 19, 2009

Race Day!

This weekend we enjoyed one of our annual family traditions: the Marathon.  Every year--with the exception of last year--some of us run in the races.  This year, all of us ran in the races.  None of us are marathoners, but some of us are half marathoners.  The location for this race venue is really beautiful, especially with the fall colors. 

B always runs the half marathon, and this year I had trained for it, too.  (I ran my first half marathon in the spring.)  However, 10 days of head cold/stomach flu combo leading up to the half marathon made me chicken out.  I switched my entry over to the 5K, along with J and our friend Banks.  E,S, and E's friend K entered the Kids' Marathon (1 mile).  We start helping the kids train once school starts.  This was J's first 5K, but he'd been doing really well in training.  He was excited.

Having the stomach flu before the race didn't stop B!  (I tell you, the man is pioneer stock.  Total Spartan.  I honestly think I married the Bionic Man.)  He was determined to follow through and run the half Marathon.  He didn't get his best time, but he still got a better time than I would have!  Here he his after he finished.

Before you make fun of our crazy outfits, let me tell you, IT WAS FRIGID!!!  As I mentioned, we've come to this race before, but we've never experience such cold temperatures.  We were dressed in multiple layers, and I didn't even shed a layer when I was running.  Oh, I guess I took off my scarf.  But that was it.  It was really that cold.  Here is a picture of the girls, trying to stay warm.

Brrrr!  It is making me cold just remembering!  But I get warm as my heart swells with motherly pride.....because J took first place in his division of the 5K.  Way to go J!  Here he is, proudly displaying his "trophy".

Yes, that is a mug.  I'd like to know who came up with that bright idea.  For heaven's sake, the child earns his first big win, and all he has to show for it is a MUG?  Well, as J explained to me upon our return, it is actually not a mug, it is a trophy, and he does not intend to use it for hot chocolate or other beverages.

Here is another picture of J, the athlete.  I gave birth to him!  And picked out the polarfleece he's wearing.  And he totally beat me in the 5K.

Our friend, Banks, who has been running with B, was also running in the 5K.  His first one.  His assignment was to run ahead of J, while I would run behind him.  I was somewhat concerned about J's safety, since he is only 8 years old, and this was a 3.1 mile course.  What really happened was that it took Banks the first half mile of the race just to catch up with J, and then next half mile just to get ahead of him.  And I was waaaayyyy behind both of them.  Pushing S in the jogging stroller, who announced to me at the half mile mark that she had to go potty.  The story of my life!  Banks said that he crossed the finish time and looked behind him for J.  J was weaving between the legs of big, tall men, who were surprised to be beaten by such a little dude!  By the way, I just looked at the results online and discovered that, not only did J beat everyone in his age category, he beat everyone in the 11-14 year old category, too!

This is a picture of Banks and J stretching after the race.  Banks got an excellent time, as well.  Way to go, Banks!  And here is a picture of my handsome husband and son.  You can tell B has had some time to recover and change into dry clothing, in this one.

K and E are veteran runners, but this was S's very first race.  Look at these awesome pictures of S and her good friend, B, stretching out before the 1 mile Kids' Marathon.

S is in the black track pants, and B is the little girl with pom-poms on her hat.  Aren't they hilarious?  What is even funnier is what happened to B's parents on race day.  B's father trained for the half marathon, and ran it that morning.  Her mother was there, close to the finish line, ready to take pictures as her husband ran past.  She was excited about his accomplishment, and was trying to get good pictures, so she jumped off the sidelines and ran alongside him for the last few yards of the race.  The crazy thing is, the girl was 38 weeks pregnant!  Note that I use the past tense, because her water broke as she was running!!!  Luckily, Grandma was there to help with the girls, because our friends had to head to the hospital immediately.  Their new baby girl was born less than five hours after Daddy crossed the finish line.  Is that the best birth story ever, or what?

Anyway, S ran in her first race, and we were very proud.  We are pretty sure that if there had been a category for runners with artificial heart valves, S would have won!  She had to stop and take a few rests along the way, but she was determined to run--not walk.  So after each brief rest, she would take off again.  She's an excellent sprinter.
Look at her go!  The kids marathon course goes around this lovely village green, surrounded by historic homes built for the officers back when this area was a large army base.  One of the homes was showing lots of Halloween spirit, with an extensively decorated front yard and porch.  S hates scary Halloween decorations.  She really does.  It makes it difficult to take her shopping during the month of October, because she gets so worried that we will see scary things when we are in stores.  She cowers in the bottom of the shopping cart, whimpering, while the other shoppers Wonder About Us.  So S stopped short when she saw the spooky house ahead.  She sat down on the curb, and hid her head between her knees.  J and I, who were running alongside her, tried to give her some encouragement.  S thought it would be better to turn back than run past the scary house.  We gave her a few minutes to think about it, during which time a worried B called me on the cell phone, wondering if S was in respiratory distress.  (No, just Halloween distress.)

At last, S leaped to her feet, covered one eye with one hand, and one ear with the other, and declared, "I CAN DO THIS!"  She sprinted past the spooky house, and as she did, she yelled, "YOU CAN'T SCARE ME!  NOTHING CAN SCARE ME WHILE I AM RUNNING!"  I was impressed.  I'm not that brave, or that strong.

Last but not least, a picture of E approaching the finish line.  Look at that form.  She looks so graceful.

So, we all had a good time.  Some of us had a better good time than others, but we can honestly say that good times were had by all.  Personally, my favorite thing about running is not running.  Guess what my favorite thing about running is?  This will be easy for you to guess if you have seen me in person in the past five years.  My favorite part about running is:

Eating lots of pasta the night before a race!  Eat lots of carbs, everybody, we're running them off in the morning!

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