This weekend my worlds all collided. The results were sometimes beautiful and other times disastrous.
After a carefree few days spending time with great old friends in the Northwoods, we arrived home Saturday afternoon to the first collision. Our fridge and a power outage collided leaving the fridge with no power and full of rotting food. Time for a clean up and throw out of everything. YUCK! Out trusty old window unit air conditioner also collided with the power outage leaving the AC unit clinging to life via life support. It was time to put it out of its misery and I cried.
After a period of mourning, I prepped things for my race the following morning. I laid out my clothes and Body Glide then continued to hydrate. It took Sleep a long time to enter into my zip code but soon my body and sleep collided. Sleep was fitful as I was afraid I would not wake up in time to run. The alarm sounded minutes after I finally fell asleep…or so it seemed. With 3 hours of sleep under my belt I got up and began my race day rituals.
Once all the girls arrived, we buckled up Flat Sarah and we were off in the TMI truck to collide with the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. The ride was filled with laughing and joking around as per the usual. I love that we all ride together and release a little pre race stress with laughter and inappropriate conversation.
We collided with our friends from running group outside the Congress hotel where we used the facilities and said a quick prayer. Soon my Moms running group friends appeared and introductions were made. It always seems to amaze me that runners are so accepting and generous. Runners all get along….no matter your background, if you show up at a race you can find a friend….new or old.
The giant group of us all walked to our start corral together. We chatted and laughed and new friendships were born. We all started the race together but were soon separated by our differences in pace. About mile 3 I could not hold it any more and really had to pee…I collided (really ran into it!) with a Lepre-Can (port a potty) thus I lost my little group. I had told them I would catch up but they sped up after I dropped off and continued at a faster pace. I jumped back on the course and, knowing full well that this stop as well as the heat had slowed me down, gave up any notion of finishing with a PR.
With this in mind I was determined to have fun with this race and make the most of the experience. Time was only a number on a clock and did not matter to me. So, I continued on. I collided with each water stop slowing to a walk and thanking each volunteer I passed. Theirs is not a glamorous job but they do it with a smile and an encouraging word. I collided with each and every band slowing down (not like I was going very fast!!) and stopping to dance. People laughed and cheered and smiled. I read each sign gaining energy from the crowd and soaking up the screams of “Go tutu lady!” like a sponge. When I collided with a hill I just kept repeating “hills make you stronger” as I ran up each and every one.
I collided with an old running friend who told me he had been inspired to lead a group of high school students through training for this race. He was running with a few and I was so honored and proud to join them for a mile. Soon they left me in the dust but I was doing ok and still having fun.
I was so glad to have my running friend, Flat Sarah, with me for these 13.1 miles. I talked to her, danced with her, laughed with her for the whole distance. She was a constant source of inspiration and encouragement as I could hear her voice in my head…”don’t give up!” “You got this” “Run, Bitch, Run”.
See, last week Real Sarah and I ran together. It was not an easy run for me and she kept me moving. I thanked her at the end of that run and she told me she was just paying me back for all the difficult runs I had gotten her through. Well, she did it again….I was almost to the finish.
So together Flat Sarah and I crossed the finish line …tutu and all! I was treated to a cold, wet towel, a smoothie, chocolate milk and water. YUMMY! Sweet Rewards!
I found my friends and we all collided with one another back at the hotel where our adventure had begun. We shared stories of funny signs and funny people along the course. We shared adventure tales of our race experiences…and what an adventure in the heat it was for all of us! We shared sweat with the sidewalk!
Soon we parted ways and one group returned to the hotel as the other group returned to the TMI truck and headed for home…and a shower!
Later in the evening I was lucky enough to collide with 2 of my dear running pals that live out of town. We collided with enough food to feed an army…and the carnage left was not pretty! It was so good to spend time with these ladies. They are such a big part of my life and I am blessed that our paths collided long ago…and even more blessed to call them friends.
Monday I picked up one of these ladies and we went to lunch…yup…more food! I have spent the last week not falling off the weight loss train but taking a running leap and flying off as far as I could go! Time to collide with that train again!
We went down to Taylor Street for pizza strudel and spent much needed time together, chatting about life and catching up. Back into the car and off to the airport we went. It was a sad to watch the last of my friends depart for home. We did not SAY goodbye though…we said see you soon…as in October. We will be together again for the Marathon in October…when worlds will collide again. Peace.