Winning Results–”Run Like a Mother”
By Kate G.
Woops! I’m a day late announcing the winner of Run Like a Mother !
Using Random.org and putting in numbers 1-16, the winner of the book is commenter number 7, Laurie!
My race on Saturday was awful. I hit a wall at mile 8 and only made it to mile 10 on pace, without walking, because I bumped into an old work colleague at the starting line and our goal times were similiar. Running with him for the first ten miles was a gift from the running gods. But by the tenth mile I was completely out of gas and lost all interest in finishing the race. I told him to go ahead without me because I’d need to walk for a minute or so at the next water station. If I had stuck with him, I would have finished at my goal time.
Instead, from our split, I struggled mightily. Usually I can suck up fatigue in the last few miles of a race; I can “push the turbo boost button” as my son puts it, and kick it into high gear to JUST FINISH IT. Not on Saturday. My legs felt like lead and my lungs felt like they were breathing water. Every cliche about overcoming obstacles came to mind.
This is where the tough get going.
Mind over body.
Every person holding a sign on the sidewalk made a difference to me running another step instead of walking. Every group of kids holding out their hands for high-fives kept me moving forwards. Over and over again, I made myself run from one street sign to another before I let myself walk for twenty seconds. I took a porta-potty break just to sit for a little bit. And at the end, I walked in the last half mile instead of attempting any sprint to the end–that’s how empty my tank was.
I finished about 7 minutes slower than I was on pace to finish at the 10K mark, and I attribute that to approximatly 5 minutes of walking interspered over the last 3 miles. When I ran I wasn’t terribly slow, but I walked a lot. The thing is, I don’t even care. What I care about is that I finished at all when all I wanted to do was sit on the side of the road and curl up in a little ball.
By the time I was in my car headed home, the race, which included a full marathon, had been going on for almost two and half hours. My driving route out of the city included a piece alonside the last mile of the race. As I sat in the race traffic to head home, I watched both the last string of half marathoners agonize over their final steps of the race while the earliest marathoners sprinted past.
As I saw what appeared to be the first female marathoner fly across the asphalt toward me, I rolled down my window and clapped and screamed for her. And I cried. I cried for my own struggle and the beauty of all of the runners out there–all of us trained, woke up in the cold dark that morning, and pushed our bodies, spirit with and against physicality. It was a gorgeous thing to witness and experience.
Not every race is a good one. But I’ll keep trying.
At mile nine, Saturday’s course passed by a retirement home. Two elderly women sat in their wheelchairs at the big glass windows and waved us on. Someday I expect to be in their place and I will be proud, knowing that I ran when I could. Let’s all do this while we can.