recently i got clearance from my orthopedist to resume running.  being the stubborn soul that i am, i went about recovering from a torn (nearly severed) ligament in my ankle "non-invasively"~ i refused surgery and demanded other treatment options.  oh, i got them, all right.  and they hurt.  and i sucked it up and did what was ordered to avoid the "knife" for almost 2 years.  and yay! i can run again.  i did have to go out and buy a fantastic little black neoprene brace that involves confusing elastic straps and Velcro tabs that makes my left foot and ankle disgustingly sweaty, but the yucky feeling of my foot swimming in my shoe is a sacrifice i am willing to make to be in my "zone" again. 

i have lost count of the laps and miles i have run at the gym.  i have walked and (carefully!) jogged untold miles through my unpaved subdivision; from the house to the mailbox and back, just to get some air, to the lake a mile away and back home, just to get the kids off the couch and away from the Idiot Box. 

i made the insane commitment to myself that june 21, 2009, i will run the 5-mile leg of the mayor's midnight sun marathon in anchorage.  athletes from around the world come to compete in the midnight sun marathon.  i have this terror that i'll be clawing and panting my way across the 5-mile line...the last person across.  why do i think i can do this?  and yet i must try. 

today i "ran" (walked, ran, skipped, jogged backwards) my first "real" timed event~a 5K.  i have no idea what my time was.  i know it was nowhere close to what i'd have liked.  i should find out tomorrow in the local Sunday paper. 

i will say in defense of my snail's pace that i was slowed down by my oldest daughter.  she wanted to run with me.  "great!" i said to her.  "don't expect conversation; i plug in to the iPod and zone out."  so she brought hers, too.  "we can do this!" i said to her.  "we can!" she said back.  we did a cheesy high-5.  we let the "pack" of serious runners get ahead.  we broke away from my mother-in-law and her friend, leaving the youngest child with grandma "to keep them company".  we walked.  we ran.  she pretended to have to tie her shoe.  i took advantage of that time to take off my sweatshirt and tie it around my waist.  we ran.  we walked.  we ran.  she walked.  i jogged backwards.  she said, "mom, you look like an idiot."  i said, "i don't care.  you look like a kid whose mom is beating you."  she ran.  we ran.  i peeled off my t-shirt and tucked it under the tied arms of my sweatshirt.  my child was thoroughly embarrassed to be seen with her 33-year-old mother in workout pants and an elasticy-keeps-things-in-place tank top.  "everyone can see your sports bra straps!"  tough cookies.  i was hot.  she quit running.  i skipped.  she said, "i give up.  i'm walking."  i said, "see ya!" i ran.  i walked.  i ran.  i thought my appendix was rupturing.  i thought i was going to die on Church Road.  i was waiting for the ambulance to scrape me up.  i set goals.  "ok, you're going to run as far as the intersection."  "now you're going to run to the crack in the pavement."  "you're not dying.  your appendix is fine."  and i looked up from the crack in the pavement...and there-THERE! at the bottom of the hill! was The End.  i just had to run down one more hill.  i crossed the finish line with Sixx A.M. pounding in my ears, "you can't quit until you try...."  a volunteer took my tag.  i did it.  and i didn't die.

i circled back and walked until i found my oldest daughter.  i made her run with me to the finish.  i broke off while she walked through the chute.  we got bottles of water.  we circled back and walked until we found my youngest, my mother-in-law, and her friend.  i asked my youngest if she wanted to run the rest of the way.  so i chased her down the hill, shrieking, "your old mom's gonna get you!"  i broke left; she ran through the chute like a pro.  the Governor was at the finish line.  she asked me, "didn't you already go through twice?"  "yes ma'am.  but i had to go back for my kids."  our Governor is a runner.  she laughed.

i can do the mayor's marathon 5-miler next june.  i can.  i will.  i'm insane.  i know, because my mom told me so.

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Comments:

heyih...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 6:20 AM Tell us what your time was when you find out- Trent wants to know! 

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gab15th
Jun. 1, 2008 at 8:09 AM *Applauds*

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just_...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 10:00 AM I am so proud of you!!! You did it and did NOT die!!! You can so do the run next June!!!!

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cjaw1018
Jun. 1, 2008 at 10:18 AM Damn you crossed the finish line 3 times. You rock!!

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sweet...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 10:27 AM Experience has taught me how important it is to just keep going, focusing on running and staying relaxed. Eventually it passes and the flow returns. It's part of racing. Slow and Steady wins the race....I love the fact that you encouraged your girls to run thru the finish line with you..I'm sure it's a day they will always remember...uh of course feeling a little sore today... =) June 21st...YEAH...you'll be ready....

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Sarah...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 10:31 AM *claps*

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jodi3
Jun. 1, 2008 at 10:58 AM I love the fact that you went back for your girls!! Your a great mom!!

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PLCL
Jun. 1, 2008 at 2:01 PM That's so awesome! And Sixx A.M. is quite appropriate for the finish line! You go, girl! (and keep goin')

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Alask...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM Clapping...Whistling...Great job!!!!

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sweet...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 3:24 PM You've got more commitment than I do! Way to go!

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