Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mommies, Daddies and Half Marathons

The other day Quin and I were sitting down for lunch, and I was telling him how I had just met my coach for a run.

“You run on the track, Mama?”

“No. I ran on the roads. I have a big race coming up on the roads.”

Quin was silent for a moment, and then asked, “You get hit by a car, Mama?”

“No, thankfully, the cars aren’t allowed on the road while we are racing.”

Again, I could tell the wheels were turning inside his brain. He asked, “Other mommies running?”

“Yep,” I said, “and daddies too.”

He got quiet again, and I waited for another question about next week’s Big Sur Half Marathon. But then he giggled.

“Hee hee,” he said, smiling “I tooted.”

Great. Boys will be boys.

Last year I remember the Big Sur Half Marathon announcer saying that 60 percent of the runners were women, which no doubt included a whole bunch of mommies. In Quin’s eyes, I may be a runner, but I am his mommy first. Our little conversation made me remember a similar talk I had with a co-worker years ago.

My friend, Janice, was not an avid runner, but had decided to enter a local 5K for fun. Her husband and two daughters were out there near the end to cheer her on. As she crested a final hill, her family spotted her and she could see her daughters jumping up and down, getting pretty excited.

Just as she got close, her youngest shouted, “ Mom!

Mom! . . . What’s for dinner!” Caught up in the excitement she had just shouted the first thing that popped in her head. I am not sure what my running friend said, but hopefully, it was a “Ask your father!”

Though Quin has been to many races, he hasn’t seen my husband Jon or me run much (so many more interesting things tug at his short-attention span). He will be traveling to Houston for the Olympic Trials, but I don’t plan on seeing Jon or Quin until after the race, so I can concentrate Next weekend for the half marathon, I think my mom and her husband will watch Quin as Jon and I run. Quin might have his first sleep-over at grandma’s house since the race starts so early.

This year I am happy to be on the starting line of the half marathon as a runner rather than the official starter as I was last year when I was coming off an injury. Though, I admit I did enjoy sitting in McDonalds eating pancakes with Quin while Jon was huffing and puffing along the streets of Monterey and Pacific Grove. Thankfully, this year I am healthy and excited to run.

It’s the first time I’ve run the Big Sur Half. I run along Ocean Boulevard almost ever day, so I’m interested to see how it feels to race on it.

It’s a nice rolling course, and there are usually pretty good crowds of spectators around Lovers Point.

I will be in good company with the returning champion and course record-holder Belainesh Gebre and my Olympic marathon teammate Magdalena Lewy Boulet from Oakland. Both are coming off a great 2011 seasons with personal bests set at many distances.

Boulet, like myself, will be coming in off heavy
marathon training with the Olympic trials looming in January. The timing of the race is perfect and allows us both to race and practice drinking water in preparation for the full marathon. The Big Sur Half will be my last race before the Trails in January. I am just looking for a solid race and am not expecting anything spectacular since I cannot afford to back down training now.

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