::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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.