Last April, I ran my first (and so far, only) half marathon.
On January 1st 2012, I went online, found a training program for beginners for a half marathon, printed it out, and followed it religiously.
I was totally focused on finishing that race. It was my number 1 priority for 3 months.
And then about 2 weeks before the race, I developed a pretty significant hip injury.
But I was determined to run that race.
A sore hip was not going to stop me from running.
I would have crawled the whole thing if I had to.
So anyway, I was literally limping through the beginning of the race.
Somewhere around the 5th mile my adrenaline must have kicked in, because my hip totally stopped bothering me.
And I ended up finishing faster than I thought I would.
Trust me, it wasn’t fast, but it took me about 15 minutes less than I thought it was going to take.
All throughout January, February, and March, I had envisioned myself crossing the finish line over and over in my head.
I pictured my family there cheering me on. My parents. My husband. My kids jumping up and down…
They would swallow me up with hugs and kisses.
I would have the biggest fan club there.
People would look at me in awe…
Did you see that woman?
Did you see all those kids?
That little one is only 6 months old!
Can you believe she just ran a half marathon?
I was in the zone when I turned the corner for the last 200 yards.
Totally focused. Blinders on.
And as soon as soon as I crossed the finish line, I started bawling.
I knew it would only be seconds before my family was surrounding me.
I knew it would only be a few more seconds before my family was there, surrounding me…
A few minutes?
Where the fuck was my family?
As far as I was concerned, I had just accomplished something pretty major.
And my family knew it was a big deal to me.
So there I was, bawling like an idiot, holding onto the medal around my neck, and wandering around like a lost 2-year-old at the mall.
Not a family member in sight.
Because they were all at Dunkin Donuts.
Apparently they underestimated me.
And so my finish was rather anticlimactic.
My entourage showed up about 12 minutes after I had crossed the finish line.
So anyway, now when I run a race, or do a triathalon, I make sure I give my cheering squad ample time to get to the finish.
Which brings me to yesterday, when I ran a New Year’s Day race here in town.
It starts and finishes at the high school.
There is a good sledding hill there, so my husband took the five older kids and their sleds to the race. My parents stayed home with the two littlest ones.
As I started the race, my cheering squad of six was there to send me off, and then they all went to sled.
I told my husband what time to be at the finish.
I gave him plenty of extra time.
I hadn’t run, or done any form of exercise in about 2 1/2 weeks, so I wasn’t sure how long it was going to take me to finish.
I crossed the line in my usual fashion.
Focused, and in the zone.
And right in the middle of the window I had given my husband.
I looked for my cheering section.
But they weren’t there.
There wasn’t any Dunkin Donuts nearby, so I knew that wasn’t the problem.
I went inside the school and got some water. Maybe Number 5 had a pee pee emergency…
So I headed toward the car.
And that’s when Number 1 came sprinting around the side of the high school.
He was a little frazzled. Unable to communicate in complete sentences…
Blood… Number 3… car…Dad… swearing…
The sledding hill is pretty far across the high school campus.
There is a separate road and entrance to that section of the school.
I guess my race wasn’t quite over yet.
So I sprinted to the car and drove around to the back of the school.
In the Ultimate Sledding Championships, Number 4’s knee defeated Number 3’s nose via unanimous decision.
So I spent the remainder of my New Year’s Day in the Emergency Room with Number 3.
Both sides of his nose are broken.
Today I need to call the plastic surgeon.
Hopefully he won’t need to do anything…
I was told there’s a good chance that Number 3’s nose would “migrate back to it’s original location.”
And I thought only geese were migrating at this time of year.
I suppose it could have been worse.
But the next race I compete in, I think I’ll just leave my family at home…
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