Friday, May 6, 2011

A Dream Come True

Nashville Rock and Roll Marathon
April 30, 2011
A Dream Come True
Racing with my biggest boy.
This mama's heart is so happy!!

In 2001, I entered the world of running and racing.  I have completed 4 marathons over the years, and with each marathon, trained diligently for 6 months to prepare my body to compete and to finish the 26.2 mile races.  After each race I distrinctly remember the moment, "WOW, I just ran 26 miles! That is unbelieveable."

In 2005 I had my third knee surgery, and the orthopedic uncerimoniously told me "You are no longer a runner, get a bike."  He of course was not a runner or competitor.  If he was, he would have been more sypathetic and understanding.  Now my general practioner is not only a runner, but a cyclist and a competitor also and she understands the feeling of not being able to run.

So I got a road bike.  Not the same.  I enjoy riding, have only participated in one road race. Haven't really gotten serious about cycling yet.

But I did take up power walking, which is almost running.  And, I decided to compete in a half marathon and test my legs.  I mentioned it to my oldest son and he jumped on board to run the half marathon and participate with me.  He was a cross country runner in high school.    He's graceful and athletic and determined.  He has great running form, and a great attitude.  I've always wanted to race with him, but the opportunity just never came about.  I've been blessed with being able to race with my younger boy.  During the time I was training with Team In Training preparing for the marathons, my youngest and I ran a few 5ks together.  That was always fun, he always kicked my tail.  Just being out there participating together was awesome.  So, having my big boy say he'd do it with me was in fact a dream come true.

We registered for the Nashville Rock and Roll Marathon.  The marathon was this past Saturday. We flew into Nashville on Friday afternoon and immediately headed over to the convention center to sign in and pick up our race packets. 

OH MY GOODNESS!  The amount of people there was incredible.  The energy was unreal.  IT ROCKED!

Saturday our day started at 330 a.m., we left the farm at 415 a.m. and got to LP Field,  the Tennessee Titans stadium, by 530 am.  This was the finish line for the marathon and half marathon.  We jumped on a shuttle and headed over to the start line.  Start time was 7 a.m.  We got in line for the port a potties.  We waited.  We waited. We waited.  There were so many runners there it took 40 minutes to reach the head of the line we were in. And there was something like 100 potties! By this time the race had already started. We headed out to find our corrals and wished each other well.  I am much slower than he is, and it took my starting corral 48 minutes to reach the start line after the race had already started!  It is a good thing for timing chips on our shoes, once we cross the start line our time officially starts.

The weather turned our to be perfect for race day.  It had stormed and flooded most of the week, but Saturday turned out to be incedible weather for a race.  The atmosphere and people along the course were so encouraging and friendly. The bands and cheerleaders made it all so much easier, especially once you got to those last couple of miles. 

But what I love most of all about competing is the sincrere friendliness of the other runners and spectators.  It doesn't matter how fast you are,  how slow you are, if you are an elite runner or a power walker.  Everyone is so nice, so friendly, and we're all out there for different reasons, some raise money for non profits, others are trying to qualify for other races, others are walking/running in memory of loved ones and the one reason we are all out there...because we love it.

My boy beat me by almost an hour.  But, I did better than I had planned by 4 minutes!  And, I even saw a girlfriend along the way at mile 10 and stopped and hugged her.  Sherri says I get to deduct a minute from my time for stopping and saying hello!

It was great having quality time with my big boy.  We toured the Winstead Hill, and the
Carter  and Lotz Houses in Franklin, TN and got a crash course on the Battle of Franklin.  Enjoyed Cracker Barrel, and fellowshipped together.

I love the man-child of mine.  Thank you Jesus for blessing me by lettimg me be his mama.