Well, I’m home. Home and tired, as Pink Floyd once said. When I said last week that I might be too tired to post Sunday I was kidding but MAN was I exhausted. I had no idea. Honestly, that wasn’t the actual race. I was barely tired after that, it was just the whole weekend and way too little sleep and lots of travel. But my team was beyond fantastic and I only wish I had had more time with them.
So what was it like? Did I run the whole thing? Did my life flash before my eyes? Must I ask myself so many questions?
In short, great, no, yes, yes of course. In long (why is that not an expression?), it was kind of like my almost-daily run in Riverside Park, except not in a circle and with people running with me, not towards me so much. Also, no bicycles or scary dogs. It went so fast! I wore my Nike+ device (I can’t run without Muse!) and before I knew it, I was at 2.5 miles. Whoa! I don’t know if you know anything about shin splints, which I’ve been having, but here’s how they work. You are in agonizing pain for a while, then it totally goes away, only to re-start after your exercise is over. So what I did was, run a mile in excruciating torture (ow, statues! ow, Trader Joe’s!). Then I stopped, stretched on a tree-planter, and walked it out till the pain lessened. I lost a lot of time there but maybe I saved my shin muscles so it was worth it. Then I started running again and wouldn’t let myself stop till at least past 30th Street Station, where I spent so much of my youth that I used to be able to give people directions from there. I would have felt embarrassed in front of the station had I been walking. Also, two (at least!) exciting movie murder scenes have taken place there. Who wants to just stroll?
I was able to run a ways past that but then there was a hilly area so I walked that part and ran into one of my teammates. Fancy meeting you here! So we walked together a bit and then ran our separate ways as we made the turn onto the final 3/4 of a mile. I needed to run that last bit – people I knew were looking! And then it was over. I raised my arms in triumph. Sadly, unlike the NY Marathon, there are no cameras. Who cares! I passed Trader Joe’s without stopping to look at the specials. Also, I finished my first 5k with only two short walking breaks. So I hugged my loved ones, found the port-o-john (I think I may have paid too much attention to that “keep hydrated” thing), and ate two donuts at the WaWa tent. Awesome.
Maybe I forgot to mention this, but Philly has always been special to me. You tell your “3 lanes in, 4 lanes out” and “first prize: one week in Philly, second prize: two weeks in Philly” jokes, I love the place and have had many connections with it. Once, I thought I would live there, but the universe had other plans. So running through it for my very first race was sublime and meaningful. You hear that, Ben Franklin? Becca loves you!
The race started at the art museum. It has a lot of meaning both for me and Rocky.
By the way, I almost didn’t run the race. See, The Cure were in Philly right as we were racing. So I wondered if they really needed me. But then I remembered poor Fat Bob and his smeared lipstick and I knew what I had to do.
Although The Cure didn’t appear, lots of people did turn out, and did I mention it was Mothers Day? You can tell from all the strollers.
In all seriousness, I want to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported me both financially and with encouragement, spirit, and good vibes. I couldn’t have done it without you. And we raised nearly $700 (more if you count the whole team!) as of this writing to help poor women facing cancer and to help find a cure. Happy Mothers Day indeed.
Please enjoy this. It is the only Springsteen song you will ever hear on this site.
Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia