And we’re done! One of the most difficult and yet fulfilling weekends of the year. Yesterday, Ray and I got up before the crack of dawn, but not before Papa… We were up and
ready one of us was ready to run but not before making sure there were donuts, chocolate milk and lots of coffee for Nana and Papa. Arleigh was texting us well wishes as we joined 25,000 people downtown to run for St. Jude’s.
See us there one Beale Street? Just kidding… this is a stock photo from last year.
We ran the half marathon…13.1 miles. I’m still not sure you can consider what I do running. Plus, it’s an early morning run and I don’t do mornings. I may or may not have been lapped by some power walkers. My sweet husband ran with me or maybe drug me over the finish line. I had fun, even though somewhere around mile 8 which happened to be the back side of the zoo a gorilla may have jumped on my back making it difficult to take another step.
In the days leading up to this race… you know because this is all of the second time I’ve done it… I wonder why on earth I signed up. Then you’re running. You see the faces of the little patients as you run through St. Jude’s. You see the t-shirts dedicated to children who are either fighting for their lives or already lost their battle. More than once, I was nearly in tears in the middle of the run. Of course, it didn’t help that just as we headed into St. Jude’s with all those little faces holding out their hands for high fives, The Reason for the World by Matthew West popped up on my iPod. That pretty much ensures the steamy tears hitting your eyes.
We had fun too. Even though I couldn’t talk through all that moaning and groaning and huffing and puffing, Ray made it go by so much faster. We actually crossed the finish line hand in hand. Arleigh was quick to point out that the website said I crossed one second faster. Ray said it must have been my boobs. Trouble is, the number was attached to my gut… I guess I have some belly work in my future.
This time we saw more Elvises than you could shake a stick at. We ran next to a banana for a while. We were offered more than one beer. Some of my favorite signs were, “World’s Worst Parade,” and “Gooooo Daddy! Don’t Trip!” Then there are the other shirts… the funny ones. My favorite this year was, “Run? I Thought You Said Rum!” A close second was, “Dear God, Please Let There Be Somebody Behind Me To Read This.” I also liked, “If I Collapse, Please Pause My Garmin.”
It should also be noted that I only had about an hour at home before I started the rounds to pick up girls for Pom Pom and then took them to the Arlington Christmas Parade where I walked the entire parade route. Now, while I may sound like I am whining… the fact that I walked last night apparently kept me from lying in a fetal position all day today because my legs are sore. It seems that two weeks in China and bringing a three-year old home tends to put a damper on your training.
Yes as I finished I said never, ever again. This is so stupid after 6 miles I really don’t enjoy it. Still, I’m glad I did it. If we were still going to be in Memphis next year, I’d probably do it again. Lucky for me, we won’t be in Memphis this time next year.
I owe Ray a big thank you. He was pushy but not too pushy. I really didn’t train this year like I did last year. Still, almost one minute off of every mile since last year is good enough to take it. I would love to be one of those speed demons, realistically I don’t have it any me right now… maybe when I get everyone in school but I’ll be too dang old by then.
Thanks to Nana and Papa too. They were just in South Carolina at Uncle Mike’s for Thanksgiving but still came to help herd children through a marathon and a holiday parade. I’m pretty sure they left feeling like they’d been put through their own version of an Iron Man.
Then there’s Arleigh… Arleigh who gets frustrated that I don’t talk about her much. She really stepped up to help Nana out while we were out of pocket for a couple of hours. She apparently changed a pretty nasty diaper, made sure Jack’s oatmeal was just how he likes it, fed him and made sure he was happy. Hanan worked hard too as the big sister’s able bodied assistant fetching pull ups and taking the nasty stuff out to the trash. Thanks girls for being there when Mama needed you!
And now I’m ready for the Christmas rush. If I can get through this weekend, I’m pretty sure I can get through anything.