Oh my! What a day! I don’t even know where to start, except to say, “We did it!” Zachary and I finished the 10K in 1:17! Even though Zachary has participated in many races, this was my first official 10K!
So many things went great yesterday. When Zachary showed up, he was ready to go and clearly excited – and so was I! I even had trouble sleeping the night before. I woke up at 1:30 and thought it was time to get up and get ready! My legs were achy and wanted to MOVE! Then I woke up again at 4:58, just before my alarm. It sort of made me feel like a kiddo again… anticipation before a big track meet (discus thrower, not runner) or the night before skiing! I always had trouble sleeping the night before skiing!
I dropped my friend Jen off at the half marathon bus at 5:30(ish) and then killed some time before the 10K. Jen did a great job, by the way! Improved her PR in the half by about 30 minutes! Round of applause!
Friends and family were there to support us, just adding to my excitement! Zachary’s mom Sandy was there, several of my friends were running, and two even offered to give up their bibs when I was worried we might not have one… they knew how much this meant to us! I love my people! Hubby Andrew was there to take pictures, not just at the end, but at FOUR locations! He’s lucky we weren’t going faster or he might have missed us!
I hate to admit it, but my trusty Garmin failed me. Operator error? Perhaps. Regardless, when I realized it wasn’t working and my battery was low, I nearly panicked! What’s our pace? Do we need to go faster? Ahhh! Help!
Luckily, we ended up keeping pace with a great guy (we’ll call him the Human Garmin, or “HG” for short) who was kind enough to give me updates on our pace and distance! HG told me that he had been training for the marathon when he hurt his back. His doc had just given him a release to run again. He said, “This is an incredible thing you’re doing.” But you know, it works both ways; I’m getting something out of this, too! I told HG that – I hope he was listening!
That just goes to show, when the timer starts each of us runs our own race! One of my greatest realizations the past couple of years is that people of all ages and shapes and abilities compete in races, marathons, triathlons. It’s amazing! So why not me with my uncooperative hips or creaky-knee-du-jour? I can train within reason. I don’t have to be an elite athlete to challenge myself and share my love of fitness and being outside with Zachary and others. Oh, the freedom that came with that realization! Why not US?
Sharing the things that Zachary was checking out during the race was awesome – the yellow caution tape along the road, which he tried to touch the entire time we ran by, the beautiful Poudre River (I like to think of it as MY river), the water station folks who cheered for him and knew his name (he’s famous, by the way) and the runners who were running along with us, cheering him on. That was inspiring, too!
In fact, the entire last mile of the Poudre Trail, I heard nothing but happy sounds from my friend. Zachary and I were so noisy; we even caused a few runners to turn around to see what was going on as we came up behind them! Then we passed them! Are you getting the picture? If not, here’s one smiley photo taken by Hubby.
OK, maybe I look like I was crying, but I really wasn’t! I promise! Also notice Zachary holding our race bib! He grabbed onto it right after I pinned it on his shirt and held it most of the way.
With about 200 yards to go, I was pooped, but HG was there to encourage us and lead us to the finish line! I wish I would have gotten his name because I wanted to thank him in my blog. I wanted to tell him more about Athletes in Tandem! I want to tell everyone about AiT!
I looked for HG after the race, but to no avail. Maybe, by some small chance he will read this – Thanks, HG! Keep up the great work and I hope your back is all better soon! Maybe we will see you at the Horsetooth Half or the CO Marathon next year!
I may have been pushing Zachary, but the truth of the matter is that HE pushes ME! I like to think it is a mutually rewarding partnership!