Today I woke up at 4 a.m. My alarm was set for 6:30 a.m. but my mind had other plans. Lily and I ate a healthy breakfast, got dressed, and waited for the race. Then I got super nervous….nausea, hands numb, heart pounding nervous. I felt stupid. Why in the world was I on the verge of a panic attack over a race?? I don’t have an answer other than I really wanted this to be a positive experience for Lily and I was afraid I would let her down. She’s only 9. I’ve never run over 1.5 miles without stopping. I didn’t want my friends to know I was having trouble breathing an hour before the dang race even started.
Stephen drove us to our meeting spot. Lily and I were running with other members of the gym that Stephen and I belong to and I decided to just come clean. My friend Maria took my hand and said, “Come on. We will go run around the parking lot and you will calm down.” Bless her for helping me snap out of my nerves.
Around 200 people were at the start line and we all started out at different speeds. Lily and I chose slow and steady and I’m so proud to say that we ran THE ENTIRE RACE WITHOUT WALKING!! That’s 3.1 miles folks. It hurt. I was tired and my left knee was pounding. We crossed the finish line together at around 36 minutes. I cried. I really could have used some bacon and a donut but instead had a banana and some water.
So many people encouraged us along the way. Here are a few highlights…1. My friend Shawn is obviously on performance enhancers. She ran with a stroller that contained her two children. That was around 90 extra pounds. I considered asking her 4 year old to hop out and let me take a turn. 2. Around the halfway mark Lily raised an arm pit and proclaimed, “I still smell like a rose!” 3. My friend Greg offered me a cigarette and frappacinno and even thought I’ve never had either, I was leaning toward accepting. 4. Lily won first place in her age group.
I fully expect Lily to keep her race number forever and even though I’m not a hoarder like she is, I think I’ll keep mine too. Today, my friends, was truly a great one.
If you have seen the movie “McFarland USA” you know that Danny Diaz was the slowest runner on his cross country team. McFarland is a great family movie about a group of Mexican/American kids who defy the stereotypes and challenges they face to make history. Danny is consistent and his team counts on him to never quit. There’s even a scene where he surprises everyone with his running ability.
I won’t surprise anyone on Saturday. Lily and I have been joking that “WE are Danny Diaz.” We set a slowish pace and then I pray that we make it to our goal. So far that strategy is working. Our longest run has been 1.5 miles so we may not make it to 3.1 by the end of the week and that’s okay.
We will channel our inner Danny Diaz and maybe, just maybe, Lily and I will surprise the two most important people possible….each other.
The race is one week from tomorrow. We’ve hit a rough patch in the training phase. Lily started cross country practice this week so she’s gotten in some great exercise. Unfortunately some of the hottest weather of the season also started this week. I don’t appreciate 90 degrees in September.
I had a really tough leg workout at BBR Strength Fitness yesterday (local privately owned awesome gym) and can barely walk today. I’ve heard rumor of a “runner’s high” but I would actually need to BE high in order to hit the pavement this evening. Tomorrow morning Lily and I HAVE TO RUN and we need to make it 1.5 miles.
So if you see me this weekend any encouragement is appreciated. Or if you see me running with my kid, offer a ride just in case.
Today is one of those days I had to hit head on with all cylinders firing…so I started last night. Here is what had to be done BEFORE I backed the minivan out of the garage at 7:40 a.m.
-Pack three lunches: Bailey must have a lunch from home due to her food allergy, Lily is basically Rain Man (4 items only and they are usually the same. If there will be a fifth item, she needs to know in advance), and Riley didn’t want school lunch. Bailey forgot her lunch box at school and I don’t have a spare anymore. Her lunch is in a Ziploc freezer bag because our brown paper bags are in the back of my van. You know, the logical place to keep them. Her lunch may or may not have survived.
-Pack two after school snacks: Riley has a basketball game an hour away and eats lunch at 10:50 a.m. so she is starving after school. Lily has cross country practice and it’s really hot today so she will need a quick snack and some water. Her water bottle is currently sitting on the kitchen counter. I will take it to her when I pick Bailey up from school (which is code for “It will still be on the counter at 10 p.m.”).
-Pack two sports bags: Refer to the above mentioned basketball game and cross country meet.
-Today was school picture day for Lily and Bailey: This is the one day of the year Lily allows me to smooth her very thick hair with a curling iron. You know what? I’m over it. She can wear dreadlocks next year if she wants. Bailey then wanted her hair curled. She was convinced I would burn her. She is burn free. In your face six year old!!
Everyone made it to school with their backpacks, extra food, and picture worthy hair. I worked picture day for three hours and then came home to do laundry, prep some dinner for tonight since I won’t have time to cook later, and watch some Food Network. The Food Network wasn’t essential but I like to pretend I will make something I see on TV today.
Carry on friends. It’s only Tuesday. We can do this.
Lily (age 9) and I are going to run a 5K in less than two weeks. We’ve been training for 11 days. This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever had. I wanted to help her get in shape for cross country and forgot that I’m 38 and hate to run. But it’s too late to turn back. I can’t disappoint my kid and I paid $40 for the race registration and $30 for matching tank tops. Cute tank tops go a long way when you feel like your ankles will fall off. I’ll write more about this journey later in the week. Right now I need a Pepsi.