Sunday, November 06, 2011

Last Place

Today I am thankful for last place.  Yes, that does seem quite the odd thing to say.  But, yes, I am thankful for last place today.
The picture here at the top of the post is of me and Boo at the finish line of the Black Cat 5K.  This race was supposed to be held last Sunday.  But, thanks to the snow it was postponed until today.  The whole reason that  I was signed up for this race is that Steve thought it would be something fun to do one last time before he headed over to Afghanistan.  Of course, I could have said I would do the 1 mile "fun walk", but no, I decide that 1 mile is too easy and that I would rise to the challenge of the 5K.  I mean, I knew there was no way that I was ever going to keep up with Steve, since I can only jog for about a minute or two at a time.  But, Kat was willing to keep to my pace so that way she wouldn't do something too stupid herself.

But, of course the snow changed all that.  The snow canceled the run last week because it was on trails and it just wasn't safe.  The snow brought down all or part of about 3 or 4 trees in Kat's yard and left her without power until Tuesday afternoon.  The snow meant that Steve left for Afghanistan without going on the run.

Therefore, I had to "run" today.  I was bound and determined to do the 5K and complete it and do the best I could, just for Steve.  I didn't care if Kat or Shelby or anyone else was going to make it or not.  I had to do this for me, and for Steve.  I had to make him proud.  You see, the mere fact that he brought this up as something I'd be interested in doing is huge.  Every time we've done something active, or even not so active, over the past year, he's had nothing but wonderful things to say about my weight loss and how active I am now and how I'm being such an awesome example for my boy-o.  Therefore, I couldn't turn down the challenge.

Today was also a cleanup party at Kat's house.  So, I was planning on going to the Black Cat 5K first, which started at 9:30.  I figured I could do it in about 45 minutes or less, since I can walk 2 miles in 30 minutes or so and a 5K is just over 3.1 miles.  Well, that's without having to haul an extra 35 lb or so of heavy boy.  You see, Boo was distraught at the thought that I was going to go on an adventure, especially a "hiking" adventure.  So, I relented and told him he could come.  He was the only little kiddo there not doing the "fun walk" and I was the only person doing the official, timed run that had a passenger.

I probably would have been at the back of the pack without Boo, but I might not have been dead last.  I would have been able to jog a bit more.  I wouldn't have had to stop once to let Boo out of the pack to walk by himself for about 100 yards or so because my arm was going numb and then stop again to put him back in.  I was OK with that thought.  I was a bit disappointed to as far behind as I actually was.
What was really cool was all the compliments and encouragements that the other runners were giving me.  There were plenty who admiringly called me crazy.  There were plenty who would yell over to me to keep going and to keep it up.  That really made me smile.  I even saw my boss on the run.  I knew he is a runner, but I didn't even think that he was going to be competing at this.  I'm sure he did much better than I did.  He was actually running and running well when he passed me on his way back to the start.  (The course was just over 1.5 miles out and turn around and come back, so I got to see all the runners on their way back.)

This is the furthest I've ever had Boo on my back for.  It's not the longest I've walked with him on my back, we did a couple of 2 hour stints orienteering in the spring and early summer, but this is the furthest I've ever clocked.  Normally I think we managed about 2 miles at most before calling it a day.  So, 5K was a good bit further than I've ever really walked with him on my back.  And yes, my back and shoulders know it this evening.

So, while Boo and I may have finished dead last, we lasted it out and did the whole thing and we did finish.  I've walked 5K before.  But it has been a few months since I've walked that far.  I've swum a mile or so several times in the last few weeks and biked 5 or 6 miles at a shot a couple days a week over the summer, but I hadn't been walking much.  I think I need to get back to it.  Like I said, I'm damned proud of that last place.

So, here's to you Steve.  Thank you for pushing me (consciously or not...) to go even further.

(I then spent about an hour or two raking leaves and picking up dead fall from Kat's yard all afternoon... I earned the nice hot shower I'm heading for shortly...)

So, peace to you all and may you complete your challenges and push yourself further than you thought you could.

1 comment:

Autumn Heartsong said...

You and your picture and your story of Steve ... you've made me so incredibly proud and started my morning with the biggest smile. Hooray for you! Hooray for your boy-o and his mama and her fierce love. That's the best kind. :)