Special note: this Thanksgiving also happened to be Slin's 13th birthday. In 1995, after a huge dinner and much dessert, labor pains kicked in immediately. In the middle of a snowstorm (both boys were born during snowstorms), and without a 4 wheel drive, Mr. Nuk drove me to the hospital....slowly.....while contractions quickly moved from 5 minutes apart to 2. We got to the hospital. The doctor asked if I'd eaten anything, and I gave him that "what planet are you from?" look.
They rushed me to the room and short while later, Slin was born.
On Thanksgiving day, he became a teenager.
My youngest is now a young man. No more little kids in the house.
Because of that, we had a special day planned. Mr. Nuk, Googs, Slin, and my thista were all planning on running, walking or crawling the 4 mile turkey trot.
But first, there was breakfast. We started the day out right with pancakes and belgian waffles, and coffee, and juice, and just about everything you could imagine.
We head to the race. This year we left muchas later....and ended up parking over a mile away from the finish. Not an issue for me. But, come to find out....it was a BIG issue for the rest of the family who was getting ready to do the longest race (and first race) in their lives.
The costumes were off the chart this year. We had a guy on stilts. A guy dressed like pocahontas, a team of women running in turkey feet. Doggies wearing pilgrim hats. Several turkey costumes...and a guy dress as a Moose, who I got to high five several times.
I bet YOU didn't get to high five a moose on Thanksgiving day...
We picked up our t-shirts and race numbers when my thista said she had to use the porta potty. I had to give her a quick run down on porta potty ettiquette, how to hold her breath and still get oxygen, and how to do the shake....if....well....if....um....necessary.
As I was waiting for her to exit the porta potty, the runners started. When she came out, I made sure she didn't have any other questions. She was so nervous. She was really worried about finishing the distance. We had gotten her up to one hour of walking. She was walking with Slin, and I told her she'd do great. then I said, "Well, umm...I gotta go....I'll come back for you."
If you're familiar with the movie Romancing the Stone.....the conversation went as:
I'll come back for you.
and I was off.
I took off fast. Did I mention it was really cold? Well, it always is.
I stuck my garmin in the zippered pant legs and didn't look at it once. I've gotten really good at knowing my heart rate, and I didn't want my attempt at a PR to make me needlessly disappointed if my heart rate couldn't support the goal. My goal was a 4 minute improvement over last year, but I didn't really care.
I took off (as Mr. Nuk says) like someone lit me on fire. I was in the back of the runners with the slower runners, and there were over 10,000 people at the race. Navigating around people wasn't easy.
I kept looking for Googs and Mr. Nuk thinking that they had to be ahead of me. If so, I would have to catch them at some point.
I yo-yo'd for awhile with the women with the turkey feet. then I thought this is silly....they have TURKEY FEET just leave them in the dust.
So, I did.
I felt great. I knew I was moving at a pretty good clip. People lined the streets handing out goodies, water, hot chocolate and even volunteering their houses up for potty use.
As I got to 3.5 miles, I just happened to look to my right, and I saw Mr. Nuk at about the 2.5 marker. I yelled to him. Somehow, he heard me........all the way across the park....and he started waving....then he started running again.
I never saw Googs or Slin or my Thista.
I round the corner and saw the finish line. JAM PACKED. It took me 5 minutes to get to the finish then another 3 to get my chip cut off.
Not only did I PR, but I beat my goal time by 2:30, for an overall PR of 6:30.
He finished only 2minutes and 50 seconds behind me. Not only did he PR, but he beat his goal by :10.
I could believe it. I started yelling at him! He was so happy and completely wiped out.
I told him that I was going to run back and look for Mr. Nuk. He decided to go with me.
About .5 miles down to road, we caught up with Mr. Nuk. Googs decided to finish with him.
I kept running, knowing that I should catch Thista and Slin at around 2.5-3 mile marker. Sure enough, I caught them right at the 3 mile marker.
We walked to the finish together. Slin took pictures during the entire course.
The best part was seeing how happy Thista was. She just kept saying over and over, "Two months ago, when I had my accident, I didn't think this could be possible. I never thought I would be able to walk 4 miles."
The she turned to me with this look of amazement and said, "It gives me a whole new appreciation for how far you go."
Slin....well....that was HIS first race too, and I've never seen him so happy.
As we all met up 50 meters from the finish, everyone was talking about how sore, tired, and hungry they were. BUT, they were all smiling the biggest smiles I've ever seen.
For me....I logged a total of 7.5 miles....but a million miles worth of smiles.