Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Tough Turkey

I really should know better than to write a blog post when I am feeling so rueful. Especially on Thanksgiving. Sometimes I wonder about this holiday with its diffuse "thankfulness" that is used as an excuse to stuff ourselves with generally unhealthy food. I don't want to say we shouldn't appreciate life, but maybe that we should think more about who we are thanking more than exactly how great our lives are. 

I was sitting in the sauna yesterday with two women with notably darker skin than myself and when they asked me what my favorite holiday was, I said, almost feeling guilty, Martin Luther King Jr. day. I like holidays that make us think about history (especially civil rights) and how the world could be better and how we as humans can make that change.

For months I have had the Tough Turkey 1 miler and Gobble Gallop 5k on our family running schedule. The plan was, I was going to run the 1 miler while Nanna watched the boys, then we would all run the 5k, me with the boys and she would go for a placing (and a pie).

The race is put on by Duluth Running Company. This store has held a very special place in the hearts of SR and myself ever since we deposited my unborn fetus in the trashcan outside of their store after my miscarriage between the two boys. We will always look at that trashcan and think of "Freja" in there. 

Ok, so the race. We ran with the babyjogger 1.5 miles in the deep snow and, with both boys in it, and a strong headwind, it took ages. My race was in just 20 minutes, so I went out to warm up and in the meantime, the boys and Nanna got colder. I knew this was happening so I encouraged Christian to run the 1/4 mile kids race as a warmup. That didn't go great and he gave up because it was too cold. I really felt I had dressed them well, but all of us had freezing toes syndrome. despite wool socks.

So 5 minutes to the 1 mile start and I hadn't really warmed up. It was so cold that the startline balloon deflated and fell on those of us closest to the front. I could not make these things up. So we froze while the balloon was emergently reinflated.

Ready -go! Of course there were 50 guys ahead of me at the start, but after about 400 meters, I took the lead for the men and women! It was such a weird experience to be behind the lead bike! I felt good until we were supposed to turn around and my legs were so frozen that I felt like I was stuck in place around the cone. Well, I got my momentum up again and was in the lead on the home stretch (super cool feeling!)

Tough Turkey 1 mile, in the lead (!), photo by Nanna Olesen.
 Gradually my feet became more and more numb until it felt like I was running on peg legs. (I always had trouble with my circulation playing piano where I would have to stop in the winter and warm up my fingers on the heater to keep going --- I am sad this same problem is affecting my running... silly me to think wool socks would help!)

With 200 meters to go, I slowed a bit and about 4 guys passed me at once. I crossed the finish right after them in unknown time.

By the time I found Nanna with the boys before the 5k, both boys were both screaming and crying at the top of their lungs. We retreated to the Duluth Running Company. None of them wanted to run the 5k.
I may appear here to be a decent mom, but shouldn't I have been baking a turkey or something rather than forcing my kids into the cold? Mattias looks exasperated and will one day need thousands of dollars of orthodontic work because I force him into these situations and give him a nuk to calm him.
After the 5k was done, we ran into friends and life was good and I knew I had won a pie for winning the 1 miler, but when they called up the top 5 women, they didn't even say my name. Ok, I was leading the whole way until the last couple hundred meters and they didn't even notice me? Darn chip timing system! Seriously, this is why I like small races and ultras because if you win, people aren't inclined to believe an electronic timer over their own eyes. Anyway, I went up in utter abashment, and said I was actually the winner. They got it all straightened out and Christian got to pick out our pie (apple).

Christian and I ran home. I had run to get the car for Nanna and Mattias while we were waiting for the awards.
 And I started thinking. All the goodness in life revolves around people. And today (and she does read this blog) I want to thank this amazing woman who has worked her way into my heart and the heart of my family and has made our life of constant change manageable. Maybe we as humans underestimate our powers, how much good we can do. Well, Nanna, you are a superhuman with constant positive energy and we are so, so fortunate to have met you.

I'll leave you all with a couple pictures.

Storm and cold coming from the north over Lake Superior.

Reunited after 4 weeks in Lester Park. I don't want to say "I am thankful" because to me it sounds like I am bragging about having a good life. Instead I will say, I love you, SR.


Anonymous said...

Tracy, you crack me up. I'm thankful that I know you.


Olga King said...

You are one crazy mama. Your kids either hate you or love you later for that. Mine kind of split.