I love this event. I love the atmosphere, the people, the purpose, the mission. I love everything about it!
This year........I wasn't feelin the love so much
When I registered, I thought of Chloee who has been at more of my finish lines than I can count, who frequently talks about being a runner and who LOVED the Dirty Dash last year. I thought this would be the perfect race for her. The money goes to a good cause, my friend had invited us to register with her team in support of her Mom who is currently WINNING her battle with cancer, so it seemed to be just the right thing.
I asked Chloee about it, she said sure, I registered and then we talked about it every so often. She was enthusiastic every time. When our shirts and race bibs came in the mail she was even more excited!
We talked about it, mapped out our plan, our race day strategy, and we carb loaded last night. Everything was in place.
And then we woke up.
First off, I got up late and missed my early morning long run. Oh well.
Chloee woke up grouchy. She had been to bed late the night before, spent most of the night coughing and was tired when she woke up earlier than usual. Not a good sign.
Then she said she had a headache. Next bad sign.
I decided to go ahead and shower and get ready for the day since I doubted I would break a sweat running with her, she laid in bed and watched cartoons and wouldn't eat any breakfast. Signs not getting any more positive are they?
However, I did don my tiara in response to a triple dog dare from Tauna
Chloee was ticked I was wearing her "crown" so then she needed to have it and have a picture taken too.
(She got bored with it as soon as we walked out the door)
We got our running gear on, she perked up for a minute so we headed downtown. Splenda let us off a block or so away from the start line which was great, but because we were running late, and I didn't have time to make it over to Gateway to make my "Running in memory of" and "Running in Celebration of" cards. MAJOR disappointment for me, but I thought we could get them afterwords for my keepsakes.
Chloee and I walked towards the start line and she was happy and chattering and asking questions about all the people and fun outfits we were seeing. I love to see the creativity of the runners and walkers
"Saving second base"
"I'm only here for the boobs"
"Busting for boobies"
"Save the ta-ta's"
Just to name a few
We made our way to the front of the pack, and Chloee loved watching the cheerleaders, remarking that she would like to do that. She's a girl that just wants to DO!
We had some time to wait, so I people watched and she got bored. As more and more people packed in, she got more and more irritated. Soon, I was holding her and trying to show her fun stuff to take her mind of the boredom that was overtaking her.
Poppa made it to the start line, found us and took a pic before the start
She looks thrilled doesn't she?
The race got started and I put her down and told her it was time to start running.
Okay, let's go - see everyone running love? Time to run!
She held my hand and walked as slooooowwwwwwwlllllllly as she could. Seriously, it was like she was TRYING to be as slow as possible.
Okay I think, I want this to be a positive experience, I will do whatever pace she wants.
Walking. Shuffling. Walking. Sloooooowly walking. Oh look there is a raised concrete barrier in the road, let's walk up on that. Yeah, and let's tick off a whole lot of people that were using it to pass up the slower folks.
More walking, but now with a whining sound from the direction of her face. Hold you. Hold you Mimi. Hold you. Hold you Mimi. Over and over and over again.
Lover, I can't hold you. You're four remember, you're a big girl and Mimi can't carry you, you can walk like a big girl. Wanna try running?
Oh look baby, there's the turn around. Do you want to go the whole way or do you want to turn at the mile walker's turn?
She turns around and starts going backwards.
Wait, no sister, we keep going forward, but do you want to walk 3 miles or 1 mile.
I'll take that as just the mile then, okay, follow the balloons. No, you don't have to touch them. You don't have to have a balloon love, just walk past them.
Walking, shuffling, walking, shuffling, WHINING.
Hold you. Hold you Mimi. Hold you. Hold you Mimi.
Same conversation we had about 100 feet ago.
I draw her attention to the West High paw prints on the sidewalk.
That looks fun, I can run from paw to paw.
And then stop. Done. Bored with the paw prints.
Back to holding my right hand and now pulling on it as she walks and whines.
Feeling pain in my neck. Love, you can't pull on my arm like that it's hurting my neck, let's trade hands.
We make the hand trade. Walking, shuffling, whining.
Oh look sis, there's the 5k runners coming in - wow they run so fast! Wanna try running for a second?
Walking, shuffling, whining.
Lover, Mimi can't hear you. My ears don't hear whine. Talk to me in a nice voice.
She lets go of my hand.
I keep slowly walking....... I lose her out of my peripheral vision so I stop and turn around.
She is standing in the middle of the road. Arms crossed and hip cocked.
C'mon Chloee. The sooner we get to the finish line, the sooner we can get in the car and go home.
No, I can't carry you. You are four and a big girl. You know if we ran, we would get done sooner and then we could get a treat at the finish line and then go home.
She finally starts to move. Sloooooowwwwwwly.
I'm done now. My patience is through. My phone rings. It's Splenda.
How's it going? (really?)
Let me guess, you turned at the mile marker (ya think?)
Where you guys at? (not close enough)
Chloee now sees rocks in the road and feels it necessary to kick every single one of them into the gutter.
Hey sis, let's leave the rocks alone because Poppa just called and he's really excited for us to cross the finish line so we need to hurry. Wanna try running for a second?
Walking, shuffling, whining
Hey sis, we need to talk. We stop and I crouch to eye level. Remember when we first talked about this race and I asked you and you said that you wanted to run fast and have Poppa cheer you and take your picture running with Mimi? Do you remember that?
Well, THIS is that race, and you are clearly not having any fun and the whining is making it miserable for Mimi too. You certainly don't have to run if you don't want to. We can walk, but what we CAN'T do is whine. We signed up for this race which means we ARE going to finish it. We don't quit in the middle of it, and we are NOT going to be whining the rest of the way. Do you understand what I'm telling you?
I stand up, consider the crankiness is too far gone and resolve myself to the fact that I will have to walk, shuffle and whine with her all the way to the finish line.
We FINALLY turn the corner to the finish chute and if you can believe it, she slowed.....down......even......more. I think the potato bugs were moving faster than she was.
Poppa is up ahead and cheering her but now wondering what has happened. He calls her over to the side. I don't catch their conversation, but I think he told her he saw some treats at the finish line but only for people who RAN across the finish line. He asked her if she could run just enough to get a picture.
She ran just long enough for him to snap a picture - barely
We crossed the line and she went right to Poppa who gladly now carried her. She was once again happy and the world was back in balance. We got our free bottle of water, slice of bread and made our way over to the vendor tents. I looked around for the tables where I could make my memory and celebration cards, but they were gone. So disappointed.
The vendor tents had a plethora of crap and we got our share. They also had some bouncy games and face painting. The Chloee that had, not 30 minute before been miserable, was now all smiles and giggles
She even liked some of the stuff they were giving out. The foam hats were a hit with her.
And that is how Race for the Cure 2011 went down.
Not one for the record books but we did learn some valuable lessons.
We don't quit. Ever. We might whine, we might give it less than our best effort, we might even stop in the middle of it all and strike a ridiculous looking pouty pose, but we DON'T QUIT.
It is possible to feel runner's envy - even during a dinky 5k that isn't even timed.
Chloee is as strong willed or more so than her father was at that age, and I adore her for it.
I have more patience than I thought possible.
I CAN wear a tiara and not crumble to dust
**although Tauna, this wasn't fair. Everyone was in get up's. To be honest, I will wear the tiara in a "real" event.