Tuesday, September 18, 2012

cape ann 25 k photo finish

When the kids and I were waiting at the finish line for Emily, I told Bruce that he should race her to the end. As she rounded the corner of the block, he hopped into the race and ran the last 400 m. Photo credits to David B. Cox.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Random Raymond Update

 This post is going to be so quick and random, it is going to need bullet points.
  • School started! The day before it began, I asked Bruce if he was excited. "Not really," he said. Then he walked into school on the first day, high-fived about 50 kids and a dozen teachers, and decided that he missed it so much he wants to have school during the summer. That's what he said.
  • School started for Phoebe too! A few moms and I teamed up to do "joy school" twice a week. I am not a fan of the really cheesy songs with terrible rhymes, but the activities are pretty fun and educational. It does not matter what I think though: Phoebe loves it. 
  • Hello injured list. That dreaded hip injury is haunting me again. My hips were really tired after the 25K - maybe something to do with 1) not enough mileage for such a long race, and 2) being lazy about stretching and doing my physical therapy exercises - and after a week of shorter, slower runs, my right hip was still much sorer than it should be. I don't think I've re-torn my labrum yet, but I am in that critical early stage of an injury that will determine whether I'm injured for a few weeks or a few months. So far I have gone three full days without running and already feel like a slug, but I still have hopes of catching the end of the cross country season. 
  • Scott is on surgery this month. He loves loves loves it. Just this week he has removed an appendix, a few toes and legs, and inserted catheters and ports. When he is home, he practices tying knots so he can stitch one-handed or no-handed or with-his-eyes-closed or whatever. 
  • Scott had a birthday! We celebrated by going out to dinner with the other interns at the hospital and then eating carrot cake with the kids afterward. Scott got a belt (I always get boring, practical stuff since I can't quite afford what he really wants) and an E-Z Pass so we can speed past all those tollbooths on I-90 next time we go to Ohio (and now we can sing "Happy Birthday" as we go by). 
  • Block party! Our neighborhood throws a fantastic block party every year complete with music, bounce houses, pony rides, face painting, crafts, and exhibits from neighborhood businesses and agencies. Phoebe has been talking about riding the ponies ever since last year's block party, so she took two pony rides. Bruce and Phoebe picked out free books from a literacy exhibit. Bruce sat in the bounce house and read an entire Captain Underpants book, then went back to the booth and traded it for another book.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Patience is a virtue.

Patience is a virtue that I needed on Labor Day. I ran the Cape Ann 25K, my longest race (or run, for that matter) since the Boston Marathon in April. I have had less time to train and more miles on the treadmill than I care for, so my training has been geared more for the 5K-10K distance.

But I ran this race a few years ago and loved the course; it runs around the perimeter of a peninsula with cute seaside towns, beaches, quaint homes, etc. And despite being close to the shore, it is notoriously hilly. Scott had the day off, which sealed the deal: I was going to race.

The race began and within a mile, I was packed tightly with three other women. We hauled along, patiently for the first mile and then quicker the next mile and quicker the next. I didn't want to chance running 13 miles by myself, so I hung with the quick ladies and hoped for the best.

At mile 4, one lady slowed down and lost contact with the pack. At mile 7, one lady stepped to the side of the road and dropped out. That left me leading and one other woman shadowing me. Way. Too. Close.

She kept clipping my heels, throwing out apologies occasionally. I understand a few clips of the heel, but I thought she would adjust her stride and give me more room. After all, we had the whole road to ourselves now.

The heel-clipping continued and I envisioned myself falling into the pavement and being unable to get up. I had been running hard for more than an hour, was feeling tired, my legs were tightening up, and the frequent stumbling was getting to me.

I moved to the side so she could go around me. She tucked herself behind me again. I slowed down. She stayed behind. I was annoyed.

In most long races, polite runners will take turns leading because it is more work than the "drafting" position. I was annoyed that she refused to lead, but it is a race and I respect that strategy too.

I do not, however, respect the trying-to-trip-your-opponent strategy.

Somewhere between miles 11-12, she clipped my heels for the umpteenth time and I lost my temper: "GET AHEAD OR GET OFF ME!"

I have never yelled at someone during a race and I rarely lose my temper, so I might have surprised myself more than her. As soon as it came out of my mouth, I thought about what a bad idea it is to make your opponent mad mid-race; she can use this against me!

I picked up the pace abruptly and opened a gap between us. I could hear people cheering her on in the last few miles, but still pulled out the victory in 1:42:38. The runner that slowed at mile 4 had a late surge and finished in second behind me, so the heel-clipper ended up in third. I scored some sweet prizes: a framed fine art photo of a sunset on Cape Ann, and supposedly some money will come in the mail.

My patient pace paid off, but I have some work to do with that virtue.

Thanks, Gloucester Times, for the photo.

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