Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day is Upon Us!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here's a pic of my tiny Mom holding up a bottle of Riesling she purchased while we were in Sam's Club yesterday. Of course, she's serving this at dinner tonight, she doesn't ordinarily buy bottles of Riesling the size of her torso (though they're not far off-as you can see, she's tiny but you can't win em all!).

Yesterday, Connie (Mom) and I did the shopping and I felt fairly ill, really, so I went to bed early. While the rest of the fam had Chinese food for dinner, I had a tasty sandwich, some mixed Indian veggies and water before hitting the sack. I didn't know if my brother Amit was really interested in doing this morning's Turkey Trot 5k with me or whether he'd just said that to be nice two weeks ago on the phone when we talked about it. When he didn't mention it after he arrived yesterday, I was pretty sure he'd, perhaps, changed his mind. So before I went to bed last night, I casually mentioned I'd be getting up rather early for coffee and oatmeal before heading over to the race.

Immediately, Mom and Amit said they wanted to come and expressed surprise that I was still planning to run it for two reasons 1-I'm kind of sick and 2-I haven't really run much since I injured my knee in the Xtreme Run nearly two weeks ago. I knew I wanted to do it no matter what. I didn't expect to run well or even close to my best time so my expectations were realistic and I figured I'd take it easy on the knee and stop if I needed to walk...etc. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I was deadset on making this Thanksgiving something other than sad recollection of family members who have passed on this year. The week has already been riddled with tears on my mom's part. I imagine if my mother had passed away just a few months ago, I, too, would feel fairly heart stricken. Especially since Grandma always spent the holidays with us.

I wouldn't have been surprised if my mom wanted to stay in bed and if Amit decided he didn't feel up to it-after all, I don't know how he's not sick when his entire strand of the family is! But, this morning, he and I rose at 5:30am. I made coffee for us, had a bowl of high fiber cinnamon swirl oatmeal, changed and we headed out to the race.

Amit and I before the race

This was the first race Amit's ever run outside of high school track and warm-ups for other sports he played all those years ago. He's six-years older than me and hurt both of his knees sometime in his 16-year-old timeframe. So badly, in fact, he had reconstructive surgery...etc...many times. Since then, clearly, he's been careful and never overdone it and only does what he feels confident he can accomplish with no qualms about walking if he feels it's necessary. Today was no exception.

When we arrived, we got our registration packets, numbers and shoelace chips (he was excited about the long sleeved t-shirt-but aren't we all excited about the t-shirts we get??? I still get excited about them!). I strung his time chip onto his shoe for him since he really had no idea what the hell it was for while he pinned on his number. When we started out, we ran together, but he made it very clear he wanted me to go on ahead so he could take his time and not feel like he was holding me back (I did this, although ordinarily I stay back with Fi when he asks me to do it, only because I was afraid Amit would push himself beyond what he should do because I was right there with him-it's a family trait. We'll overexert even if we know better sometimes and I did not want this to be one of those times considering it was his first).

The problem with this race was-I had to keep my car keys on me since they didn't have a place to store our bags. This, ordinarily, wouldn't be a problem except that I stuck them in a pouch in the front of my running shirt (like a hoodie pocket) and every time it slapped against my bladder it weakened it just THAT much more. Before I was even an entire mile into the race I had to pee like I'd never gone before. Unfortunately, when I ran off course to a little building beside the golf course that ran parallel to our course, the door was locked and I was S.O.L. I ran the rest of the race having to pee so badly I nearly considered just going in my pants. When I finally hit the one mile marker I couldn't have been happier.

Mom was supposed to be at the finish line (she wanted to come later than we were getting there and I don't blame her), but I had my doubts as I sped up the last half mile. I took the last turn and got on my horse for the finish line when I heard mom yelling and saw her right next to the clock taking pictures. It was awesome! Mom has never seen me run anywhere since high school, either, so it was pretty great to get her out there and have her waiting for us at the end.

We waited a bit for Amit and when she got a little nervous as nearly ten minutes had gone by since I crossed, (remember, he has bad knees!), I jogged back and found him-a little limpy on the right knee, but still on track. He had paused just a moment before I got to him to walk a few feet. When he saw me coming back, he said, immediately, "I want to run the rest of the way" so I jumped in alongside him, assured him the finish line was near and we rounded the final turn together with him ahead of me and me shouting to my mom and pointing at him so she could get a pic. Needless to say, that elicited some laughter from the crowd, but Mom said she couldn't have been prouder of us both-especially Amit.

It was a big deal to have my brother run with me and, later, he told me he was really proud of himself. He'd never pushed himself to do a 5k race before and didn't even know if he could do it, but was so proud of himself for being able to run nearly the whole way in around 40 minutes. I have to say, I was incredibly proud of him, too. Mom was touched he wanted so badly to do the run with me and, honestly, I felt that, as well. I asked my whole family if they wanted to come and do it or the Fun Walk and none of them did. When Amit said he would, I was surprised, but didn't want to get too excited for fear he might change his mind.

But, he didn't change his mind and he completed the whole race. At the same time, he understood why I love running races like this so much now (thanks to Fi for showing me how great they are, especially with someone you love!) and felt a whole new sense of pride and accomplishment for himself. I was glad to be a part of that and am thankful, this morning/afternoon, for my brother who came to run with me and my Mom who came to cheer!

And, I'm thankful, all the people I love around the world are safe from harm and, relatively, happy and healthy!

More later

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