there she goes again
Sunday morning, I found myself standing on a curb waiting for my mom once again. This has become quite a habit with us. But as usual, I wasn’t alone. There were many other spectators who lined our city streets to greet the runners of the Grand Rapids Marathon and Half Marathon, including the other two Musketeers and Dad. That’s right, I was waiting for Mom to cross the finish line of yet another race.
It was a cool morning, but certainly not as cold as I had expected. Last year, we were bundled in heavy down parkas and had to cheer as loud as we could to just to keep ourselves warm from the inside out, like the Gnome from Nome. This year I didn’t even take a coat! Well, I did but I left it in the car. I was warm enough in my massive wool sweater, which I had over another sweater and a turtleneck, not to mention the additional layers under my jeans. Being comfortably warm was a nice change to the typical race experience.
Rosario, Angelica and I arrived at the race course around Mile Four (a/k/a Starbucks) and five minutes later, Mom ran by with her running buddy, Karen. We cheered, hollered and waved until they passed and then we made a beeline for our morning lattes. As we waited in line, all we could talk about was how amazing Mom and Karen looked and how we were going to tease Dad about missing them whenever he eventually arrived. I had offered him a ride, but no…. Dad was determined to get his walk in and go to the marathon, so he strapped his hiking pack onto his back and walked.
Mom had about nine more miles to go, which meant we had some time on our hands. So we tucked ourselves into a corner at Starbucks to enjoy our lattes and watch the other runners. Dad found us by-and-by, and we teased him as promised. He took it in good humor. He tried to tease us about who knows what, but he didn’t get very far. It’s hard to take the man seriously when it looks like he’s wearing lederhosen thanks to his hiking pack!
We got to the finish line, found ourselves a hunk of curb and waited. It was nearing Mom’s goal finishing time and our anticipation was growing. Runners made their way to the finish line, but there was no sign of Mom or Karen. I started to get nervous: Mom was still recovering from a cold and Karen was running injured. I hoped they would be able to finish…
The next few minutes felt like hours. And then – there they were! Mom and Karen made their way down the final stretch! We went wild with excitement! They laughed and waved at their crazy fans as they ran by with ease.
Mom and Karen finished strong and they finished together. It wasn’t the first race they had run together but it was the first time they finished together! And Mom shaved TEN WHOLE MINUTES off last year’s time! We hugged and congratulated them after they received their medals and collected their finishers’ fare, which consisted of yogurt, string cheese, a banana and water.
My favorite part of the race was helping them stretch afterward. Both Mom and Karen were excited and easily distracted. I could tell they needed to stretch, but neither could concentrate enough to actually do it. I literally held them by the hand and took them through a few stretches.
I had a great morning waiting on the curb for my victorious runner. If Mom keeps up her habit of running, I’ll keep up my habit of waiting on patiently on the curb to cheer her on and to help her stretch afterward!
I love you, Mom! Congrats to you & Karen for a race well run!
(My mom is the one in yellow!)
(And Happy Anniversary to my parents!! 36 years today!! Love you both.)