Thousands of people!
Not a world record, but one for me.
I can now officially check off this accomplishment from my list of five goals for 2010.
* * *
6 a.m. came earlier than usual, it seemed. But I was motivated. Following through is – well – hard work for me and today I was determined to finish what I started three months ago when I put this run/walk for charity on my list.
Also, one of my sons needed a good breakfast before he took the SAT.
My husband and I proudly donned our blue shirts, pinned on our numbers, tied our shoes and pried our eyes open long enough to see where we were going and to creep along in the miles-long carline that spanned the Hart Bridge.
Serious runners. Teams of runners. Runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. While they filed themselves into gated areas by their pace times, us “5Kers” plodded up to the start line in front of it all, were startled by the starting cannon and took off as well-wishers lined the route shouting we could do it.
How could they believe that about me? They don’t even know me. But I chose to believe them. I kept to the right so joggers in the pack could cut loose and get up front.
Mile 1: not bad. 20 minutes.
About what I had expected since doing the Tallahassee Turkey Trot 5K last Thanksgiving. We picked up the pace a little by alternating our impressive jogging form – ok – we’re just glad to be able to jog at all! – with brisk walking. Perfect weather. Sunny. A breeze when you needed it and enough room to be in the crowd – anywhere.
At the half way mark, near our city’s museum of modern art and an open air plaza, track club members greeted us bearing small cups of water.
I knew it would pay off to meet the deadline for having my name put on my race number!
“Come on, Cheryl!” one young man yelled. I went for the cup he held out and then wanting to toss it to the ground like a real runner, held onto it instead and then scored two points by tossing it into the large trash bag held by another track club member.
We rounded another corner to be greeted by the clock at Mile 2. We had gained five minutes. Now it was back the same way we’d come to the finish line.
We kept our pace jogging and walking approach only to find that the finish line appeared sooner than we had thought. As I had passed others on the trek I heard snippets of conversations.
Between a son and his dad: “Where’s mom?”
“She’s back there somewhere,” dad said. “We’ll be in Lake City before she finds us!”
Between two friends:
“And when you buy stock in this company, you can only sell it for the price you paid. It keeps out those who just want to own things and have no real interest in the company.”
And as we trailed behind a dad and his 6-year-old looking daughter:
“There’s the finish line. Are you skipping across or running?”
I smiled and told my husband I wanted to run across.
And we did. In 53:25.
Next time, I might skip across the line.