It’s been a mild winter and an exceptional pre-spring. We have had sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s just this week. The forecast for race time? 43 degrees and rain. I wake up and it’s 43 degrees. I’m hopeful it might be a little warmer than forecast. An hour later the temperature has fallen four degrees and the rain is coming down.
Ty’s family is here. Her brother and his high school senior son. Her sister and her college freshman and high school senior sons. Now of us are runners. But, no one says anything about not participating. We meet with my brother and his high school son and daughter and his wife. Race time is approaching and the rain is coming down harder. All I can think is “Let’s get this done.” Finally, they start the race and we’re off.
I dream of being able to keep up with my high school nephews, but while the ego is more than willing, the body says “Are you kidding me?” I’ve never been a runner and now I’m 54 years old. Ironically I’ve been training to run for the last year or so more to relieve stress than anything and I had gotten to the point where I could run/jog three miles, but I haven’t run in two months since I started T25 again. As the boys pull ahead of me at the beginning as we approach the one mile marker, I release any hope of keeping pace with them and set my sites on others in the pack to pace me. I have my internal goal of 35 minutes. Thank goodness for my walking app which lets me know I’m on the pace I can maintain for 3.2 miles I stick with the internal goal rather than relying on trying to keep up with others.
I reach the end of the race in 33 minutes. The boys are there. They’ve been there for nearly ten minutes. Oh well. The others come in at various times later. It’s been a lot of fun. And just the fact that we all got up on this cold rainy day, started something and finished makes us all feel good.
As I run of course all I can think of is Shayna. A couple passes me. Young people. Twenty or thirty somethings. On the back of their t-shirts is a name and “In Memory Of 2008-2015”. I hold back the tears. I am not alone. Tragedy has struck many in 2015. I just never believed it would happen to me.
Shayna was in this race with us, but like my nephews, including the one who ran the timed 5k and finished in 21 minutes, Shayna sprinted ahead. Shayna crossed the finish line at 15 while I’m still plodding along at 54. But, no matter. She’s there at the line waiting for me. Head down, music blasting I keep putting one foot in front of the other in this cold rain, hands numb, feet wet knowing every step is one step closer.