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I couldn't stay away

Ok, I know I promised to stay away from the races this year - to make room for emerging interests in my life - the teaching and the new business.   The first temptation was Drake Relays - and so I buried my energies in my garden and kids and tried to avoid the headlines the next day when it gushed about Alan Webb setting a new record this year.   (ugh - insult to injury).

Temptation #2 to conquer was the temptation to run in Dam to Dam!   This is a traditional milestone in my running year.   This race tells me how good/bad the rest of of the running season will be.  It tells me if I really did pack on too many pounds/not enough muscle over the long Iowa winter and if I skimped to much on my spring training.   And, it also reignites my desire to get out there and run.   Which is good - because the other thing the race signals is to switch over to triathlon training (Go Big!) for 3 months.   Yes, this day is always a critical point in my running world.

About two days before Dam to Dam, I couldn't bare to stay away altogether (the Drake memory was too fresh).  I knew I shouldn't do the 20K - but I could easily squeak out a 5K.   And then, thank goodness, my kids reminded me that they MUST run the kids run.  Dscn1003_3 It was all I needed.  Surely, it wouldn't be a crime to add in a little 5K before the kids race.  I found a friend (thanks Tom!) to watch the kids for the 31.5 minutes needed to run the race - off I went.

It felt so good to be part of 100's and 1000's of runners- all out there for different reasons  and loving it!  It didn't give me that all over feeling of proud exhaustion as the 20K, but I did meet some new friends, and as always, came away inspired by the people I met.  In case you need a little inspiration, here are a few from the race today:

  • Thanks to the huge contingent of Wellmark runners in their neon green shirts that stated, "Courage to Start, Determination to Finish".   And especially because the runners came in all sizes and speeds, and most looked like they were having a ball!
  • Thanks to the two young girls of 11 who ran together and talked about "stuff".   It gave me hope that young girls are finding the power of running and friends at early ages (instead of the 25+ age like I did).
  • Thanks to the older man who had lost his perfect form and the casual swing of his right arm due to a stroke last year, but was out there running because he could and he wanted to.  (this one will keep me going for a long time - and I promise not to complain of the little things)
  • Thanks to all the moms out there running who were herding kids until a minute before the run and jumped right back into mom mode the minute they left the finish shute.  It tells me I can do it too.
  • Thanks to the two running friends who I passed as I ran and celebrated because you were out there running and I hadn't recruited/harassed you to come out and run - you were doing it because you really wanted to. 
  • Thanks to all the amazing 20K finishers.   I watched in amazement of your spirit and joy - and plan to you join you next year!
  • Thanks to all the kids - ages 1 - 9 - who ran "full out" in the kids races.   I soaked up all the energy you threw out as you sped by.   (And thanks for my kids for insisting we go - it was great to see you run.)

And last but not least, the highlight of my day was from my son.   As we trekked back the 8 blocks to our car, hand in hand, my son stopped, looked up at me and said - "Mom, next year, I am doing the 5K with you."   My heart flipped!  Since the day he was born, I have waited to hear those words.   The running high hit him - he felt that joy of one race under the belt and couldn't wait to try another.   This will really keep me going for a while.   3 miles might be just right for me afterall - at least for a while.



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