On Friday night, we met SR's parents at La Quinta in Madison, WI. They drove from Chicago after flying in from Denmark. We had such a fun night and, of course, went to bed late and I hadn't slept well in nights for various reasons. So when we woke up for the run Saturday morning, my body just wasn't in to it.
We somehow convinced SR's dad to run the 10k with us (and actually he seemed pretty excited about it). The step-kids were signed up for a 1 mile kid race. Step-daughter was probably the most nervous of all of us. I remember well being in grade school and being forced to run a mile. That was some sort of cruel torture in my mind. I would lie awake nights beforehand and dread running that mile. So, overall, I was impressed with their good attitudes.
The 10k race was a winding course through a neighborhood and a park. SR and I warmed up a bit. When we warm up, SR insists on running just a little ahead of me. Just close enough so people know I'm there with him, but far enough away so I don't break into his pre-race zone (he's never said this out loud, of course).
We didn't have too much time for a warm-up. We lined up with the 5k and 10k runners. There were all of these super-fast looking women. You know the type. The right clothes, the right pony tail, the right giggle, etc. They all lined up on the 5k side. I breathed a sigh of relief. I needed to win the one to impress SR's parents. The time didn't matter. I just needed to win (that was a big enough task since I've only won one race before).
So we started off and it was very cold and surprisingly hard to breathe. Then almost immediately there was a big hill. There were no females around me that I could see, though. But then, someone with long hair showed up in the corner of my eye. Ah, it was all over. But then, no, either this was the most androgynous and muscular female I'd ever seen or it was just another guy. A guy it was. Another sigh.
I listened to the same song over and over as we wound through and up and down in this neighborhood. That was "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga. An annoying song that makes me feel like running quickly. There was just no passing by me or other guys around me.
I looked at my watch at the mile markers and each one was about 6:45. I wasn't overly happy with that, but I wanted to keep another gear ready in case a feminine creature crept up behind me.
I passed one guy I had run with the entire time. Then there was a really big hill. I got embarrassingly winded.
With one mile left, there were still no females behind me (how could this be with nearly 100 10k runners?). Oh well, I turned it up a small notch and saw SR, his mom, the kids and The Lorax before I crossed the finish line. First female, time of 42:02. Not too bad, but not my best effort either.
SR also came in first with a time of just under 35 minutes. Wow! With all the hills and everything. SR later told me that after we had both come in, his mom started crying. I guess she's happy that two crazy people like us have found each other. You must understand that I don't really know SR's parents that well, so nothing was more important to me that day.
We watched SR's dad come in, winning the 60+ category. And, as he crossed the finish line, we accidentally missed the start of the kids 1 mile race. So we raced up to the start with the kids. Step-daughter and I ran together. She kept a really even pace, passing one kid after another. She only briefly stopped twice. SR later commented that she had seen us run so many races and heard us talk strategy so she knew what to do by osmosis. Step son on the other hand alternated between sprinting and stopping for various distractions and walking off the course. Oh, well. They were both so proud at the finish.
So we all got our award plaques and the announcer called it a family "clean sweep." What a fun morning.
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin