On a typical Sunday morning, Elaine usually asks, “What’s your story about today?” Usually I will answer, “I don’t know, did anything happen in the store last week? How about the twins, did they do anything I need to write about?”
This week is different. I knew what I was going to write about on this Sunday for at least a month. It was over a month ago that Ivy asked me, “Hey, the health club is sponsoring a 5K race, do you want to run?” Now as crazy as that question was, it wasn’t really all that crazy.
The entire family ran in a “fun” run on Thanksgiving Day. I am competitive. I have a history of running. I have never run a distance certified 5K. I’m not getting younger.
We don’t need to chat about me being competitive. Let’s just say that I am, and leave it at that.
My history of running is something we can discuss. I was about ten years old when one day my mother told me not to walk through the mud in her flowerbed. I don’t know why she told me that. Was she daring me? I didn’t even want to walk in the mud, in her flowerbed, until she tempted me. Well, the mud was deep. I left some “good” ten-year-old footprints in the flowerbed. Mom found the footprints; she wasn’t as amused as I was. Mom asked (told) me, “Come here!” I chose to run. Mom didn’t catch me, but an older brother did. It didn’t turn out well for me. I vowed never to let a brother catch me again.
In my late twenties, I read somewhere that running (jogging) relieved stress. I laid out a three-mile course in our neighborhood and started running my course six days a week. I dreamed about running a 5k someday. A neighbor noticed me running and asked if he could join me.
My neighbor told me he went to college on a track scholarship. He was/is a neat guy and fun to run with. One day he suggested we “run” up to the local reservoir. We got to the first big hill and he left me. Well, he needed to. I was shot. I don’t know if that was the last time he ran with me, or that was the last time I ran with him. I do know that was the last of something.
When Ivy suggested we run the 5K, I started thinking. “Hey Monner, you are closer to being 100 years old, than you are your twenties. If not now, when?”
I became nervous when Ivy told me the 5K was at the reservoir, yep, the same reservoir. That wasn’t the end of the bad news. Ivy said, “At the end of the race you get to jump in the reservoir.” It’s January. I don’t even like cold showers. Ivy wasn’t done with the bad news, “It costs an extra twenty five dollars to jump in the reservoir.” I get angry when I run out of warm water at motels. I decided not to run. Ivy told me I could run and not “plunge”.
I would be remiss not to mention, Ivy talked Elaine and Girl Twin to run also. Boy Twin (the only one in the family capable of placing in the race) went to baseball practice. Girl Twin might have placed, but she was weighted down carrying her “smart” phone and “running” next to her friend.
We are especially proud of Elaine. Seven days ago she was spending the night in the hospital. Elaine “ran” the entire distance and finished with her personal best time. OK, it was her worst time also, but she wants to do it again.
I guess it’s time to talk about the race. The runners seemed more serious than the Thanksgiving Day runners did. There were very few runners in costumes. Most of these guys/girls had five hundred dollar shoes and compression clothing on every inch of their bodies. I was wearing my skull and crossbones dew rag. I was hoping to scare a couple runners into staying behind me.
The first fifty yards of the course was flat. The next fifty yards not flat. Not flat at all. Seemed like straight up. I was running next to Ivy when we hit the hill. Ten strides up that hill I thought. "Oh (construction language) I've been here before!' My lungs were burning, my hip was hurting and I was checking the locations of the first aid stations. I told Ivy to leave me behind. Reluctantly, Ivy took off.
Oh, don’t feel sorry for me. I didn’t train very hard for this race. I finished the race. I used a chubby ten-year-old boy to pace myself. I would have used the sixty (+) year old runners, but they were all ahead of me.
In the past 100 yards (+,-) yards of the race, I decided to pick up my pace. That was when a woman in her thirties passed me. No big deal. Except, this woman was wearing an eight foot tall inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex suit. Yep, a Tyrannosaurs Rex BALLOON passed me.
Rest assured, I will never be passed by a balloon again!
Ivy is planning our next race. I’m thinking a YOUR DAILY FIBER team would be cool. Start training.
Our crazy lives!