Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving trophies

I don't think we give enough recognition to the important things in our life. Tangible recognition. I'm thankful that someone I knew peripherally sought me out, struck up a partnership, and has become a close and dear friend, all the while motivating and inspiring me to try harder. The morning before we left for our Thanksgiving trip, she gave me a "good luck" gift for my upcoming race. It was a trophy. Of a runner. With my name, the year and "Runner" inscribed on the front. What a wonderfully thoughtful and awesome gift! She said, "Because this year, you've BECOME a runner."

And so we flew here to California where we have had a fabulous time relaxing and laughing and eating and running and laughing some more. Thanksgiving morning dawned early and I found myself unable to sleep past 5:30 thanks to a combination of a wakeful Gemma and nervous excitement. By 7:15 we were on our way and for some reason Becca decided to drink a gallon of water on the drive down. You're not going to an ultrasound! Geez. So when we met some traffic congestion, she had to find a facility so desperately she was now sweating. And maybe crying. As we got out of the car, I felt my legs go crazy, bucking bronco-style, in that pre-race adrenaline rush. As we neared the start line, we had the odd experience of watching the gun go off and the beginning people take off. We had timing chips on our shoes, so it didn't affect us and we were able to use the port-a-potties and hop the fence and begin our race. (note: it's a little tough to relax while copping a squat while hearing thousands of racers squeal and chat while knowing you're about to accomplish your goal for the year. I might have peed on myself a little.)

And it was awesome. There are very few things in life as exhilirating as running in a giant crowd, surrounded by some of your favorite people, laughing at the fun of it all. Joel peeled off at almost the 3-mile mark while my dad, my brother Dave, my sisters Laura and Becca, and I sallied forth. Actually, at about this time my brother took off. He was determined to beat us since we had been joking about him dying at some point since he hasn't trained. Well, he went out for a run once. It was 2 miles. But, he does play soccer regularly. And, perhaps most importantly, he's 17.

Around mile 4.5 I was not feeling great. About that point my dad joined me and we were able to chat and I announced to everyone that THIS IS MY DAD! HE STARTED RUNNING 6 WEEKS AGO! CHECK HIM OUT! Surprisingly, he kind of dropped back a little. Huh. As we hit the final straightaway, with "The Final Countdown" now singing me home, I felt that rush of what little adrenaline still remained in my system. I am pleased to report that I finished my 10k in 55:16, averaging about 8:55 min/mile. Most importantly, I had a blast, cheering with my siblings, waving to the spectators, giving high-5s to the kids on the side, and enjoying a fabulous San Jose mid-60s morning. I could have done without the smell of turkey roasting at 9 am.

The always-fabulous Aunt Nancy brought Ainsleigh and Donovan down for their races and they thought it was pretty awesome. Gold medals! Shirts! Water bottles! Hand santizer! Good times for everyone.

And then we got to return home, eat a most delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and bask in family and pie and the hot tub and togetherness. There doesn't seem to be a trophy good enough to recognize that. So I'll stop typing and just show the pictures:

more fabulous

proof that I did it

proud to be his daughter

Laura, prancing in

Becca, finishing strong



the whole gang


janine said...

that picture of donovan is totally priceless!!!! well done!!!

Alice said...

OK SO WEIRD! In the "proof that I did it" photo I actually know that semi balding guy in the picture. I used to work with him. His name is Jason. HA HA.

PaloAltoCougar said...

OK, I know I shouldn't care, but the photo of me shows me coming in behind a couple of ladies (the two to the right) whose bearing, apparent speed and, let's be candid here, body mass index, cast considerable doubt on whatever level of fitness I can claim to have attained. Let the record show that we 10K'ers finished at the same place as the 5K'ers (who had started the same time we did and thus were half as fast). Not that I'm overly defensive or anything.


wanda said...

I love the photo of you 10K-ers. Sarah's legs are the same tan color as Dave's!