Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Marathon Mishap

Randomly, two Sundays ago, I decided to run a marathon.  Maybe that’s a slight lie…  My Aunt Sally actually asked me to run it with her well over 2 months ago.  I agreed considering she had just walked one.  I figured I would train over the next two months since she decided she was going to have to up her game for the Big D Marathon since it was timed. 
Despite my usually on-target time management skills, I never was able to fit it in.  I am guilty of always putting work and school before myself unfortunately and those runs I so badly wanted (and needed) did not occur.  Plus, we moved during that time too so there were always boxes to pack/unpack instead.  I continued to make excuses and kept putting it off until finally the night before the marathon, I realized my only running had been playing with my precious babies (also known as my dogs).
Morning of the marathon, it was pouring rain.  On the ride to Fair Park, Aunt Sally was vehemently expressing her lack of enthusiasm for having to participate in the rain.  She kept hoping they would postpone, but I already knew that was not going to happen.  We were amateurs (perhaps I was even a little below that but nonetheless…) and most of these people were practically pros.  We suited up in rain jackets and walked to the starting line.
We started off at a great pace, jogging and making the times we would need to gain a leg up if we slowed down a little towards the end.  Then, at around mile 8 or 9, we stopped for the restroom.  All of a sudden, I felt sharp shooting pains in my ankles.  I was sure this was a sign of my lack of training.  I slowed down quite a bit while Aunt Sally kept trucking on.  At about mile 14, I could not stand it anymore and accepted the fact that I was not going to be able to do the full, but took solace knowing I was able to finish more than the half.  The ride back to the starting line was tough knowing that I had given up which is nothing like me.  I was excited for the likelihood of my aunt finishing and beating her previous time.  When the emcee announced her finish, he even said he was going to have to check her birth certificate because he didn’t believe her age.  (Fab at 57).
While she had worried about finishing in the time allotted, Aunt Sally was able to finish with 11 minutes to spare and over an hour better than her last marathon.  Being there to see her cross the finish line was almost as exciting for me as it was for her (granted I had to leave the nice firemen paramedics who had been tending to my ankle for the two hours or so before she finished).  All things aside, my aunt is proof that you can make up your mind to do something and not let anything stop you no matter what your age.  She has walked every single night for as long as I have known her and never had a health issue despite the delicious Cajun fried turkeys her husband makes for the holidays.  Maybe we can all take a note from her and remember that taking care of ourselves should always be a priority.

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