Saturday, August 1, 2009

Intermountain Healthcare 5k Run/Walk - Splenda's first race!

Intermountain Healthcare's 6th Annual Cardiovascular/Pulmonary 5k Run/Walk

This event was a free offering to employee's, patients, and their families. Seeing as how our oldest son C works in that department, and Splenda is a patient, we decided this would be a fun one to do together.

Now for me, a 5k is, well, a quick run that allows me to train sprinting. For Splenda, it's a different story. Splenda, Splenda, Splenda. Can eat whatever he wants and ALWAYS looks hawt! Doesn't need to do a stitch of exercise, yet his body is rockin. If he were a girl, I would hate him!

I kept reminding him that he better start doing some training of some sort for this. Oh, I don't know, maybe a little running? Maybe a little more than walking the dogs in the neighborhood or a few miles on his bike? Every so often for the past couple of months, I've been nagging, er....reminding him that he ought to start working towards this.

Don't get me wrong. He was thinking about it all right. But you kind of have to understand something. Splenda no likey exercise. Specifically, running. Splenda only likes exercise if he happens to be doing something that doesn't seem like exercise. Like playing racquetball, or basketball, or pedaling around leisurely on his bike. I know, I don't get it. But whatever.

So his training amounted to basically just that. Some dog walking. Some bike riding. I think he actually ran around the corner once to the neighbor's about some scout stuff, but really, that's about it. I gave up nagging, er....reminding, and figured, he's a big boy, he'll work it out. Truth be told. I figured he would get halfway around the park the first loop, have some lung pain, lose his air and he would be done. BUT..... I was really excited we were doing something together! That was truly enough for me.

I started off the morning with a quick 20 mile bike ride with the Shark and her buddy R. 3.2 miles is not enough of a work out, and we have a BIG bike ride next weekend, so getting some cycling miles in was a good plan. Of course, we could have been quicker if it wasn't for the flat tire the Shark had. And to make it even more interesting, while she and R worked on changing it, we all smelled pot. Yep. POT. WTC? Who smokes pot at 6am on Saturday morning???

When I got home, I woke up Splenda and we got ready to go. We headed to Sugarhouse park in his beautiful pony and while he drove, I offered some very unsolicited tips. How to run downhill, how to warm up and stretch. He humored me and made eye contact every once in awhile to appear that he was listening. I get that. It's our M.O.

We checked in, got our sticky name badges with a number and then headed to the start line with everyone else. We had some time to stretch, warm up, and loosen a bit, before the horn finally sounded.

I, of course, was right at the start line. We all know how I feel about that. Splenda chose to stay in the back. He was "afraid of being trampled by people getting past him."

We start off down hill, level out, then back up. Level out, then back down, level out. And then repeat the entire loop again. On the second loop, you take it down the first hill and then turn into the finish line. As I turned in, I kicked it up and sprinted. Felt fantastic for about 90 seconds. Ruh Ro!! The finish line is further away than I thought! Started the final sprint too quick. Dying. Sputtering. Gasping. cross and am given my time.

I have watched ahead of me and knew I was the 3rd woman in. The first two were 20-somethings that totally kicked my trash. I threw my name badge in the box for the raffle and headed back out in reverse order to find Splenda.

I slowly trot the course backwards, and begin wondering what has happened. I should see him by now. Where is he? Finally at the top of the hill, I spot him! He is walking and not walking normal. CRAP! I meet up with him and he tells me his frickin knees are killing him! He shows me where the pain is, describes it, we discuss it at length, while still moving, and wouldn't you know it! IT band issue for the Splenda! Double crap!!

He's no quitter though. He had barely let up when I found him and while he was in terrible pain, he picked it back up and we ran the rest of the way in. OMGosh!! I can't even tell you how fun it was to run with him! I so wish he could learn to love it. But, I understand it's not for everyone. I also knew that I will never get him back out on a race course, so I was soaking it in and enjoying every step with him.

We cross the finish line and they give him his time. WTC?!?!?! Splenda!! You are amazing! I am so proud of you!

We head to the pavilion for breakfast, water, stretching, raffle give away's (we are losers) and then finally back to the pony for the ride home. NGL - he was regretting for a nanosecond having to drive a stick shift. That dang clutch!

Final stats?

Time: 38:02 Yes! No typo there kids, he kicked it!

Time: 25:32 Not my fastest, but faster than this same event last year. I'll take it.
Roadkills: I refused to count.

Let me explain why.......this event is personal. It is held primarily for cardio/pulmonary patients. Every single person running or walking has a story. Whether it is a family member dealing with a disease or condition, or they are caretakers in the professional realm, or they are patients themselves. They might be struggling with heart disease, be a heart transplant recipient or donor. It might be on the pulmonary side. Pulmonary Fibrosis, Emphysema, Lung transplant or recipient, Cystic Fibrosis. There are so many conditions that are life altering and/or unfortunately life ending. Every person there is touched in some way with some facet of the heart and/or lungs and the different diseases and conditions they can present with. My own Splenda has been diagnosed with early onset Emphysema.

As I watched the runners and walkers come in, I could not help but be touched. I watched an elderly gentleman who was clearly a patient himself, walk his way around that park for the full 5k. It was hard for him. I could see it in his face, I could hear it in his breath. But he did it. That inspires me.

I saw an entire family with matching T-shirts that had a picture of their father/grandpa that said "We love Doyle." I don't know their story, but I was touched at their show of love, support and family solidarity.

I watched my Splenda, who we really thought would struggle with his lungs, battle his damn knees and NOT.QUIT. That, my friends, is why I refuse to count road kills in the event. Instead I wished I would have counted all the living, breathing, heartbeating folks who inspired me.

All that is left is a few questions........

Will Intermountain continue to sponsor this great event? I sure hope so.
Will Splenda ever do another running event? Doubtful
Will I cherish the fun we had this morning together? For the rest of my life and beyond.

**For the record. Splenda is not moving well. Not well at all. Wish I could video tape it. Picture Frankenstein lumbering along not bending his knees! I only laugh WITH HIM cause I know 'zactly how he feels!**


veronica said...

Way to go Splenda!

Pedaling said...

so there's the splenda man, i don't think i've seen him before.
nice looking, you two. and way to kick it, splenda daddy!

tammy said...

Awesome that you did it together! And the story of that elderly man brought the tears out.

Kado! said...

That is So Super Awesome!!! I love two are so cute together!!

Becca said...

So jealous! I've been trying to convince Craig to do one with me forever. I almost had him on my last 10K, but he changed his mind at the last minute! One day I will get him there and I will totally love that race!

tiburon said...

Tell Spenda I want to race him.