(Me, Shiloh, Khrys, Kim)


This is the 3rd year for WE RUN THIS TOWN, and it was my turn to run the 4th leg…to finish with the big boys and girls.  5.7 miles?  That’s nothin, I thought.  You can read the 2010 report here, and the 2009 report, here.

Kim and I drove late to the Marathon exchange stations, because we simply didn’t have to be there at the start of the relay…However, we missed one important key.  We love getting our team in the morning, the friendship, the coffee..and we wait together at the hotel for the busses to take each person to their leg, one by one.  This year, we noticed the absence of that, and it was…different.

Shiloh and Khyrs were at the start, and Shiloh ended up running the first two legs since Khrys had a pulled hamstring.  I got a text at around 9:20 that Shiloh made the exchange with Kim at the station.  I had leisurely parked at SaveMart right in front of the 4th station, and had to wait and wait…went to the restroom 3 times…and then finally got on the starting line waiting for Kim.

I saw her finally…that gorgeous face, that sweet gal that I’ve been running with (or not) all these years…the familiar blue t-shirt and shorts she is wearing in 35 degree weather.  I hug.  I get the strap, and away I go…making sure to leave her the car key.

I am at Mile 20.  Something is really wrong about this.  As I embark on my next marathon training cycle, I realize I’m running with the people at the end of the marathon.  Where the devil lives.  Where you want to crawl off the course.  I tried not to make eye contact …they must absolutely hate relayers who have only been on the course a few minutes.  I started with a 9:40 pace, and of course that is way too fast for me…but I ran side by side some super fast people.

At only Mile 21, I realized that the last time I had anything to drink was at 6am, and I was VERY thirsty.  Off came my fake arm warmers and dollar store gloves, the hat and the shirt.  At 40 degrees, I was running near naked and in the cold sun.  I had to sip at each aid station.  I never stopped and finished at 1:08, with an 11:47 pace.  Not near what I have been used to doing prior to this year.

But.  This is a new year.  I’m older.  I’m tired.  And, I’m enjoying running just for running.  As I ran, I pondered everything that’s going on in my life.  New changes, that I’m not really talking about yet. A house that continues to foreclose, but never does.  A job that is just above poverty level.  Good friends and strong coffee.  I spent one whole mile sad about a recent situation.  A goodbye to the old Ms. V., who no longer lives in me.  A hello to a kinder, softer girl of about 53 years old.

And then.  Just as I was plodding along, there came the 4:30 pacer.  I ran with them for about 8 minutes.  4:30. What I would need to get into Boston as a 60 year old.  A dream that is becoming dimmer and dimmer.  I lost them, but came in under a clock that said 4:34:xx, even though it was a marathon time.  I laughed, as I imagined me someday doing that…

Kim and I just had food.  Denny’s Belgian Grand Slam, which is 23 points, so no more food for me!  The spa is hot.  My dogs are at my feet.  I have the new Runner’s World, and the evening to myself.

Another day of toeing the line.

And I’m good.

2 thoughts on “CIM Marathon Relay

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