The Finish Line

::cue theme song from Rocky::

There are two version to the story of this weekend’s adventure. Here is the short version:

Office Mouse is great! Here is the video of BH and I crossing the finish line. Can you hear them say our names?

In a nutshell: we ran the Lake Placid Half-Marathon, we had a blast, we finished.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Driving through the Adirondacks, we passed a diner named Darcy’s. We were running the race in honor of my cousin, Darcy Skinner, who is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so we took that as a sign, and stopped for lunch.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Lake Placid is a beautiful village. This made us feel like athletes.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Gorgeous views of the lake and mountains. It didn’t hurt that the weather was near perfect too: not a lot of humidity, sunshine, and a breeze.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Paid a visit to the independent bookstore in town, The Bookstore Plus where I met the good people who work there (and a local English teacher) and signed a couple books for them.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic We had a pasta party dinner with the several hundred other fundraisers from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

I fell asleep easier than I thought I would. We woke up at 4am, as planned, wolfed down a bagel and banana (to ensure proper fueling of the body and good timing of trips to the potty), then went back to sleep, as planned. Up at 6am for good and I was a nervous wreck. Drove the family crazy. They were very happy to send me to the

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Team In Training team picture. This is the Central New York chapter.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The mascot was there, too.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I was already in an excitable mood and the coffee made me dance.

BH and I posed under the Olympic rings (which is a great photo that is refusing to upload), then made our way to the start. John Connolly, one of my favorite English teachers, found me in the crowd to say hello. He and I have been corresponding for years – he is one of the great teachers who cares enough about his students to give them literature that connects to their experience. He was running in the race, Too. (We have photos of me and John on the other camera, but I don’t know where it is and everybody else in my house is sleeping right now.)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Twenty weeks of training, more the four hundred miles, 2 pairs of sneakers, over five thousand dollars donated to cancer research by generous readers and friends, and lots of ibuprofen and ice had brought us here. When the horn sounded to start the race, I could barely contain myself.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The OfficeMouse took this picture of us at Mile 3. The first 5 miles just flew by. BH is a much faster runner than me, but despite repeated urgings, would not run ahead. He’s sweet like that.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The course took us around Mirror Lake, past the ski jumps (seen in the distance in this photo if you squint), out River Road, and back into town.

The race organizers did an outstanding job. There were water stops every mile (and we took advantage of them!) Some water stops had Gatorade, too, and gu packets, fig newtons and cookies. (If you run longer than an hour, you burn through your glycogen reserve and many people like to fuel up on stuff like that.) We had heard there was a big hill at the end of the race, and we trained for it on the Rt. 3 hill that leads out of Mexico. They weren’t kidding – that hill was a monster. But I made it to the top, and I could hear the cheering crowd.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic They didn’t tell me about the even steeper hill we had to surmount to get up to the speedskating oval where the race finished. It was the toughest part of the race and required a little soul-searching to get up it. I would have been muttering and cursing, but I didn’t have the breath or the energy. I am grinning in this picture because the top of the hill is in sight and the pain is almost over.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I didn’t think I had enough gas in my tank to finish strong, but as we made our way around the last turn of the track/oval, I looked at BH and said “You ready?” He grinned. We took off at a dead sprint, passed the two people in front of us and crossed the finish line together.

32 Replies to “The Finish Line”

  1. I typically only run when chased. So, needless to say, admiration looms large in my office this morning.

    Congratulations! A fantastic accomplishment.

  2. Big congrats! I ran the NYC marathon in 2003 and have since degenerated into a big pudding-like writerly mass. I’m proud of myself when I run a mile, these days.

  3. Your race was a beautiful metaphor for what a marriage should be. Two people embarking on a journey. There will be easy times and hard times, long roads ahead with up and downs. One could lead and one could follow, one could leave the other behind to try to catch up on his/her own. But not you two, you stuck it out and stayed with one another and crossed the finish line holding hands! That was simply one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Congratulations Laurie and Scott!!!!

  4. You are incredible! Here’s yet another way in which you inspire the world. I love your energy crossing the finish line. Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment!

  5. Beautiful all around!

    Or all an oval.. The photos are gorgeous– what a place and an omen! You and your BH are inspirational on quite a few levels! And love and healing to your Darcy!

  6. Congratulations!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story in such detail; I felt like I was there. Congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment, and such a strong finish (impressive!)!

    🙂 Sarah

  7. The RACE!

    Congrats Laurie & Scott!!! I am so happy and proud of the two of you! I love the fact you ate at Darcy’s – that sure was a great sign. You look so peaceful in all your photos – you are just glowing!!! Keep that glow girl – some people never experience it. xxxo Monica G.

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