Last weekend my parents stopped here on their way back to NY from Montana to babysit our kids while Lincoln and I headed north to run our first races. You may recall that I've been preparing for a 5K since July. Now, I know, most people could prepare for a half or full marathon in that amount of time, but for me, this was a huge step.
Lincoln got out of work early on Friday so we could drive the 6 hours north to Ashland, WI.
The funniest sign ever. We saw this in Hurley, WI at a restaurant:(Lincoln's favorite joke about the sign, Once you get married you just don't get ho-made meals anymore!)
Ashland is right on Lake Superior. We met up with the rest of our group at the cabin. Jo and Kevin Busby, Spencer and Michelle Prows, and Kym and Jeff Howell.
Our little cabin in the big woods, and the view of the lake:
After a night of restless sleep, we awoke at 5:45 to throw our clothes on and head out to the start line. We stepped outside into a winter wonderland. It had snowed in the night and it was still coming down.
The wind was blustery and cold and I wondered what on earth I was thinking. I don't even like to run! But I sure like to sleep in my cozy bed or read a good book by the fire. We drove the 20 minutes into town, parked, and then hopped on our buses to our start lines. Jeff and I were the only two from our group doing the 5K. By the time we arrived at our start line, it was light out and the snow had stopped. By the time we started our race the sun was trying to peek through. Standing at the start line, waiting the 1/2 hour for the race to start, reluctant to give up my coat, I continued to ask myself why. Once I got started, my legs felt like lead and within the first 1/4 mile I thought there was no way on earth I would be able to do my 3.1 miles. But, by the time I had finished one mile I wasn't quite so frozen anymore, and by the time I had completed the second mile I was determined to jog the whole thing or die trying. There were a few intense power-walkers who passed me, but I pushed through maintaining my pace and completed it in my usual time. I was worried that my pace was slower, but I guess not. Jeff was at the finish line to cheer me on, which I really appreciated since Lincoln was in the middle of his 10K. After I finished, Jeff headed to the marathon trail to find Kym and I waited for Lincoln's finish. It was so fun to see him come running in and finish up his first race.
We took a quick spectator break at this point, ran to get some breakfast and hot cocoa, then returned to the finish line to see the Busbys,
and our friend Luly
complete the half-marathon. Then we took off to try to find Kym on the full-marathon trail. After waiting near a water station for an hour in the cold wind (it was now only sunny in short spurts), we finally got to see her and cheer her on.
Mile 21.6 She had just downed 3 Aleve in an attempt to dull the pain of her aching knees.
Then we raced to the next spectator spot to see her again. Jeff was at this point and he went down the trail to meet her and run a mile or so with her.
(A little aside, Jeff had been trying to locate Kym most of the day so he had seen many of the marathoners at various points on the trail. He was on a first-name basis with many of them by this point and was high-fiving people left and right. It was pretty cool.) We hurried to the finish line and witnessed Kym's triumphant completion of her first marathon.
The rest of the day everyone was plumb tuckered out. Some of us from running 26 miles, some of us from standing out in the freezing wind for 6 hours. We dragged ourselves out for a late dinner in the evening
and then crashed into bed immediately upon returning to the cabin.
Sunday morning we woke and got on the road right away, arriving home to Mom's boiled dinner and good company.
Did I mention that Saturday, the day of the race, was our 11th anniversary? What a fantastic way to spend our anniversary.
Thanks again, Mom and Dad, for watching the kids for us. We couldn't have done it without you!