Sunday, August 23, 2015

I still got it....just a little bit of it....

Today I did something I haven't done in over 8 years....

I ran in a race...

I'm not sure when that Hogeye Marathon Relay was exactly, but I do remember it was prior to baby number 5, so I technically haven't done much of ANYTHING in the last 8 years- ok, minus having three babies, moving above the Mason Dixon line, and running a house-hold of nine people.... I haven't done much ATHLETICALLY in 8 years....

So I ran in a race today.   I'm getting ahead of myself, as usual.  Almost 5 weeks ago, my awesome hubster and my boy were going to do the Dunkirk Triathlon.  Unfortunately, my son decided the 6.2 running part was a tad out of his reach.

So I offered my services....  (insert a very big eyed emoji here...)

Thank you....
It was one of those moments that sometimes you wonder what the heck you were thinking when you said you'd do something?   yes.  So I was running the 6.2 mile part of the triathlon.

Each week I added a mile to the training.  First week I did 3 miles.  Second week was 4 miles.  Third week was 5 miles.  I had to lower my mileage this last week since the race was this morning so I never made it to six miles.  Which isn't good because I'm the kind of runner who needs to see what 6 miles feels like, and I never got to.  The farthest I got was 5.4 miles and it was SLOW!!!

But I set a goal of one hour to complete the race.  It was a lofty goal, but one nonetheless.  I was determined to NOT WALK.

So this morning we awoke at 4:15 and got ready to leave.  I woke up the little peanut and fed and got her ready to go and we brought two other minions with us to help out during the transitions.

Emil & Gi... 

 We got to Dunkirk at o'dark thirty and the hubs and I immediately headed to pick up our race packet.  As we walked up to the table there was a strange sign-

Ok, it didn't quite look like this- it actually said, "Swim cancelled."  Well, the look on my husband's face was priceless.  Utter disbelief.  And actually, we had a discussion in the car on the way down about Lake Erie possibly being contaminated with E Coli and would he PLEASE be careful and try not to swallow any water????   So seeing this sign was surreal because my hubs is a phe-NOM-enal swimmer.  I'm talking, the first triathlon I ever went to watch him do, he came out of the water in like second place!!!  He's a swimmer.  So this little "kink" in our race wasn't taken lightly.

Perfect, Barney!!
So the alternative plan was for the athletes to run one mile since the lake was un-swimmable.  My husband was getting worried.  He hadn't run since LONG before his knee surgery in June. At one point, he jokingly asked if I wanted to run it.  Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. That was funny, honey.  Really, truly funny.  I mean, I haven't even run over 5.4 miles, but let's make this a 7.2 mile race, shall we?   Ummmm, no.  Thank you, though.  If you want to finish in some semblance of appropriate and competitive time, you may want to just suck it up, big guy- because even IF you need to have knee surgery on your bad knee and even IF you just had surgery on your "good" knee two months ago, you still stand a better chance of performing better than I could!!

Before our race

My little triathlon partner...

My two real minions....

It actually was GREAT that he ran because he ran an EIGHT MINUTE MILE!!!   Can you believe that?  I'm serious.  Knee surgery two months ago, and a bum other knee and he still managed an eight minute mile.  I was beaming when he came in the transition area.  He jumped on his bike and took off.  I began to get nervous....

The hubs getting ready for his mile run!

Taking his bike out of transition area!

He had originally told me to expect it to take 1 1/2 hours to get back.   Well, about an hour after the first people left the transition area, bikers started coming back in!!!  I was really getting nervous because I was seeing guys who had left just a little bit prior to the hubster and that meant either they were getting some incredible mph on their bikes, or he was just going to be really slow....I was kinda hoping for the latter, because I had already taken about 5 trips to the port a potty and was fairly certain I needed to make at least two more before he got there.... (hey- I HAVE had 7 children...)

The other relay guy was in the relay transition with me when his dad got back on his bike.  Now, I was getting nervous because this biker was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY slower than my hubs and my hubs was NO WHERE in site- where WAS HE??

I was to get the answer when the relay bike guy came over.  Apparently, the hubster had a flat tire.  Oh NO!!!  This was not good, because not only did I have NO IDEA of when he would be coming back, remember I had to use the bathroom, but who KNEW if he was actually able to get the flat replaced- he had been having tire issues this past week so I was getting nervous!!!

One by one, more riders came back and FINALLY!!!!   The hubs came around the corner.  I was both thrilled and terrified at the same time.  He got his bike into the slot and came over to take the ankle chip off and pass it to me.  I was shaking and nervous and he gave me a big ole smooch and told me to do my best (hey- you wouldn't pass up a smooch from your smoofee, and you know it!!!)

So there I was....just me, and the open road.....

Ok.  Not really.  My route took me down the edge of Lake Erie (yes, ole nasty, E coli filled, Lake Erie) and through a neighborhood, to the marina, and onto a pier and back again, TWICE.

Did you catch that?


Yea.  I knew it, too. But for some reason, my mental part of me, tends to forget IMPORTANT things, like, THIS ISN'T SIX MILES, CRAZYCATHOLICMOMMA-it's only gotta do this TWICE...

So in true fashion for me- I darted off like the hare.  Passing a few people along the way and feeling pretty.darn.good about myself.

Until the realization that I was actually having to run the same course TWICE hit me.  My awesome hubs said we all do it.  We get our heart rates up and we run fast until the brick wall hits- in my case, the monkey.  Monkeys jump on my back.   If you ask my 10 year old, she'll tell you she believed me that an actual monkey jumped on my back...

So the second time around and I started dragging.  I mean d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g....  I had to stop twice and walk, but it was literally just for about 3/10ths of a mile and it was definitely after I had run 5 miles because I didn't have much left to go.

It was so very hard.  It was so very, incredibly, painfully hard.  I can tell you that my knees actually behaved during the race (most days I trained, they were like 90 year old knees), but my Plantar Fasciatis was really, really, bothering me.

I try to always start out praying when I run. Not only does it helps pass the time while I chit chat with the Lord in my head, but when I exercise, it's really one of the best times for me to sort through all my crazy.   And you KNOW I have crazy.  Seven kids?   Yea, there's a little bit o crazy at times in my life.  So praying while I run is actually so productive for me.

Something I realized when I finished was that I felt a very strong connection to something when I ran today.  Almost as soon as I started, I had an overwhelming emotional moment.  I was overcome with a sense of gratitude.  Gratitude for so many things.  My amazing husband who actually looked forward to his wife participating in the race with him.  My faith in Jesus.  My love of my Mother Mary.  It was crazy powerful.  I immediately thanked Him for the blessing of being able to even do this race, to have the health and ability (despite the aches and pains) and the blessing of living in a part of the world that is really just beautiful.

The view this morning of Lake Erie.   Looks like the ocean, doesn't it?
As I ran, I began to try to focus my thoughts on several friends of mine who are struggling with so much.  Breast cancer, marriage issues, money problems, children problems, other health issues, you name it.  I prayed for them.  I really wanted to devote and dedicate this race to so much.  It's what kept me putting one foot in front of the other.   Every time I felt like I needed to just quit- I just thought of those people I know who are struggling.   I am never gonna say when you offer up your own pains, problems, and issues, it certainly doesn't take any of them away, ease them, or anything, but it does, I PROMISE, give you a sense of peace about it.  That our struggles are not in vain.  God can make good out of all things.

So I will post some pictures of me running.  Which is VERY embarrassing because I do NOT like how I look when I run- even when I'm in better shape, which I'm not, but I am proud of my running.  I finished the race in 1 hour 4 minutes.  Not a great time for 6.2 miles, but I can't complain.  It can only get better from here!!

ok, there's only going to be one... :) 
I still got just a little bit of it!!!!

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