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I am Not a Pumpkin

Last night my dad, my sister and I did a 5k.  Notice my wording.  We did it.  We did not run it, we never intended to run it.  We walked it.  Not all that impressive, I know, but walking three miles in 94 degree heat is no small thing, either.  Anyway, our town had a fun 5k planned at night.  It was the Cinderella dash, starting at 11pm.  Since we’re in the throes of a heat wave producing record-high temps, 11pm is the only sensible time to be outside.  Plus, we got crowns.  Who can resist crowns?

And so we gathered, with almost a hundred other loonies, to dash through the streets at midnight-ish.  Our primary goal was twofold.  Number one:  Do not die, faint or otherwise shame ourselves.  Number two:  Do not be last.  We worried quite a lot about that last part, because we were the rear guard for a bit somewhere around the one mile mark.  Since I ran a few 5ks last year, I knew that around the middle, some people would start slowing down and we’d be able to catch up.  I knew this because I was one of the slower-downs in every 5k I’ve ever run.  I started feeling a little better about things once we got a few people behind us.

Now, for a little info about my dad.  He’s not what I would call an old man, but he is my father and I am sneaking up on forty (I’m the youngest, too.  I won’t reveal my sister’s age, though, because you’re never too old for your big sister to kick your ass).  So, he’s got a few years on most of the participants.  He’s also got bad wheels, so I knew his feet had to be killing him.  I took the role of pace-setter at the beginning and was accused of trying to kill him throughout the first half of the course.  But let me tell you what he did shortly after we started up the hill at mile two.  He started runningRunning.  There was nothing for it but for my sis and I to run, too.  Uphill.  Lest you start to be too impressed with us, allow me to assure you that our sprint was short-lived and was accompanied by an old Army chant that mostly consisted of “I’m gonna die.”  My sister and I altered it slightly closer to the end when we started moaning, “I’m dying.”  If you’re tempted to believe that we were being dramatic, I would urge you to allow yourself to fall somewhat (or completely, in my case) out of shape, then walk a 5k that is literally uphill both ways in ninety plus degree weather.  Our hands were swollen and every toe on my right foot had been numb for a mile and a half.  Oh and yes, we couldn’t breathe.  Yes, in that moment, we were dying.

Long story longer, we made it and we crossed the finish line before midnight, so there was nary a pumpkin among us.  And while we were still close to last, we didn’t display any feats of impressive fitness and we didn’t win any trophies, I’m pretty darn proud of us.  We even shaved fourteen minutes off of our  “training” walk times.  Maybe in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t much and compared to the people who finished in twenty-something minutes or the people who ran the course twice it really is very little, but it’s something.  It’s always empowering to do something, when it’s so much easier to do nothing.  So, mad props to us.   The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  And so does the journey of 3.1 miles for a dad and his daughters.

  1. crabbymommy
    July 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Wow! That’s great. It is quite something to have done this. Kudos! Your dad looks proud, as he should be. It’s something for him to have finished it! The heat can be killing, though, let me tell you while we’re on the subject (and maybe this will make you feel better about the heat) that New Delhi is 108 degrees right now. Yep, you heard me 108 and sometimes higher. It’s blazing outside and the rains are nowhere in sight!!

    Anyway, not to take away from your moment. Congratulations again on your achievement!!

    • July 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Oh my goodness, 108!!! That’s crazy. I think we’ve been hitting 102 or so, but we’re getting a lot of storms, so it’s cooling off at night a bit. Thanks for the props and try to stay cool!

  2. Barb Strimple
    July 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Well said Shel, I am so proud of my girls and hubby!!! I was happy to stand by taking pics and saying, “That’s my family”!

    • July 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks, Mom. Start training for next year, you’re coming with us! 🙂

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