New Year’s Resolutions are my Jam!

Every year at this time I like to stop reflect and make some loose plans for the future. I also like looking back at each post to see what I accomplished and still need to work on.

Last year I really wanted a new job. That happened twice this past year and both were improvements. I’m ready to relax into my new position and stay for awhile. That’s the cool thing about nursing though, there’s always opportunities and it’s possible to find a job that’s a good fit. I finally got into psych nursing and I think this is my place. At least for awhile.

Last year I wanted to try a new hobby and I did. I took several photography classes and really learned to use my DSLR camera. I like it. I’m not super good at it yet but that part doesn’t matter. It’s enjoyable and that’s the part the counts.

Now to get to the point, resolutions for this year:

My favorite, constant challenge, to lose some weight. Cliche, I know, but also necessary.

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Next, to try new things. I really have enjoyed photography and now I want to try some more new hobbies. Maybe take a language. Maybe learn to sew or quilt. Maybe connect to resolution #1 and try some yoga.

Further, read more. We just put together our library and there are so many good books in there that I haven’t read yet. I definitely need to make more time to read.

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And, last but not least, start the next part of renovations. Maybe the bedroom, probably the basement but either way it needs to begin again.

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Constantly Adapting Expectations

“New goal” I said to my boyfriend as we ran through the forest “make it through this race without falling.”

(Yeah, boyfriend. I have a boyfriend now. Not sure if I’ve mentioned that here yet. ūüôā )

We had started the race thirty minutes after the gun went off; the person who was supposed to cover the tail end of my overnight shift showed up (half an hour) late. Initially the goal was to run the 15k Viking themed trail race without walking but that ship had done sailed. Within the first three miles I was huffing and puffing like an asthmatic smoker (Thank you, night shift work.) and had to walk… so I could adjust my sagging ponytail (any excuse would do at that point). Seeing both of us had stumbled more than once on the rocks and tree roots that littered the rough terrain of the trail that wound its way up, down, and all around the Michigan woods, not falling was an appropriate goal albeit it a different sort of accomplishment than the original. It required luck, balance, and intuition instead of the grit, stamina, and determination demanded by the first.

Moments after deeming Not Falling to be our new race goal we ran down a hill lavishly coated with the loose, medium sized rocks that seemed to dominate the surface of these trails. As we hit the bottom of the hill and tilted to make a sharp left I lost my footing and hit the ground (lightly though, I’m getting pretty good at falling while running). There went that goal.

Even without meeting the initial goals this race could be considered a success. We ran 15 kilometers (that’s about 9.3 miles) over hills and crazy footing, in my case after working all night, and still managed to pass a few people. Our chip times put both my guy and me second in our age divisions. On top of that my son who was also running won the race.

That’s right, he won the whole freakin thing, my eighteen year old boy.

viking dash win.jpg

I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture but he’s super proud of himself.

He reluctantly committed to the 15k instead of the five even though he hadn’t done much running since cross country season ended over nine months ago. My son’s fifth and senior year of cross country season came to a crashing and disappointing premature halt last October. At the beginning of the season I had high hopes for him. While I’ve always been proud of my son’s running, it’s long been apparent that there is untapped potential teeming just beneath the surface of this somewhat distant and detached teen. When he began conditioning for his last season it looked like some of that running potential would finally be tapped into. Until academia caught up with him.

First was the failed class from the year before. We didn’t know it made him ineligible to run until the first week of August. I found an accelerated online make-up class that still counted as summer school as long as it was done before school started. It was. Just barely. Well, sort of.

In typical avoidant teenager fashion, my son thought he could pass the class with the required 80% without doing the “speaking assignments” (it was a Spanish class). Technically he had enough points to pass but the fine print dictated that every assignment be completed. At any rate, he missed the first meet of the season.

By the second and third meets he was eligible to compete but his race times didn’t reflect the stats he was achieving in practice. When he was running the first two miles of a race in under twelve minutes but finishing close to twenty we realized this might be a nutritional issue. Unlike previous seasons, there was no significant increase in appetite when his running mileage increased. Instead a general malaise took its place. I was concerned about depression.

As October approached my son has posted a couple PR’s (personal record race times) but nothing close to his early season projections. My boy was struggling and not just physically.

The last two meets of the season are big ones: the “small school” regional meet (not sanctioned by the state’s high school athletics association) and the actual regional meet that would hopefully qualify my son and a few other kids on the team for the state championship meet. It being my son’s last year of high school running made them that much more important…and the disappointment when he found himself on the academic ineligibility list that much more intense.

That’s right, academia reared its ugly head again.

At this point one might think that my son is a little dull or that he was taking a very difficult course load his senior year. Neither is true. However, that malaise that was apparent in his appetite was also showing its effects on his schoolwork. He did rally and attempt to bring his grades up to passing before the regional meet but by that time the hole had been dug too deep. Both my son and his good friend were academically ineligible for what should have been the crowning event of their senior seasons. Instead of racing at the regional meet we watched his team falter without their leaders.

As is often the case, running is a metaphor for life. Well, in this case it was foreshadowing.

The rest of my son’s last year of school continued in the same fashion. He failed the college math class he was taking because he didn’t believe me, his teachers, and everyone else who told him homework is important. At one point he was suspended for being at the store before the school day started. (Yes, it was as stupid as it sounds. Basically he was penalized for being a teenager in public.) In the spring we had multiple meetings with the principal of the school about whether or not my kid would pull it together and finish his senior presentation, a graduation requirement at the school, in time. And then there was another independent study make-up class. Clearly his senior year was not the commemorative occasion it should have been.

Still I encouraged my brilliant but troubled boy to apply for colleges; to aim high and to be optimistic about his future.

Not only did I encourage, I cajoled, pestered, begged and pleaded.

All to no avail. My son refused to even follow through with a college application. The closest I got was an “I would go there¬†if¬†I was going to go to a university.” after an especially cool campus visit (a six hour drive from home). The farthest was when he asked me to consent to him moving out before turning 18. (Umm, hell to the no, kid!)

So what is my point here???  Well, that (once again) running mimics life.

Much like the 15k trail race, I had hopes and goals at the beginning. As it progressed it became clear those goals were just not realistic right now (maybe someday though). Towards the end I was happy to accomplish what I did. Sometimes just getting through a thing¬†is¬†a success and sometimes you need to circle back around and try again under better circumstances. Such is the case for 15k trail runs and for my hopes of my son going to college (or choosing a path that will enable him to “make something of himself” …which to me means finding an engaging and sustainable way to spend his time and efforts).

viking trail 15k viking run duo


Running at 1 mph…

…hour of sleep that is. As in I ran one mile per hour of sleep that I had gotten the day I started thinking about this post. Which is surely at least three days ago now but probably a week considering my recent rate of writing and posting.

Yes, this is from late October but not much has changed with my sleep patterns. I just stopped tracking them as much.

As you can see my Garmin tells me that I ¬†may not be getting enough sleep, that 100% of people in my demographic sleep more than I do. That’s all of them. All the people my age and gender sleep more than I do on average! That can’t possibly be true. I mean, I know I’m exceptional but they don’t know how all the people sleep.

Back around the first of the year I set some running goals. Well, one really: to log 1,000 miles in 2017. I’m sure there will be some races and at least one half marathon in there too but I’ve got nothing ¬†(other than a fun beer run in early May) on the schedule yet for 2017. Mostly I’m just trying to keep up on life and get regular runs in where I can. So far I’ve gotten 120 miles in for 2017. A little more than 10% of my goal. It’s not great but the first couple months usually are lower mile months due to the cold and dark.

Even though this winter has been exceptionally mild with some weeks in the 50’s and even 60’s already we happened to get a little of the white stuff on one of the two days I managed to run last week. I still got 4 miles in…one for each of my 4 hours of sleep that day.

I’m now one of Those runners. ūüôā

I got a Garmin Forerunner 230 back in January. It was a Christmas gift to myself ¬†(and I still had a gift card from my cross country team to use). I’d been wanting some kind of run tracker for a while and decided it was time.

And I’ve got no regrets on this one. I’m probably not using this thing to its full potential but I rather like glancing down mid run and seeing my up to the moment stats. The Garmin app that it syncs with has a lot of features and information too (like the above estimated sleep tracking). I could see myself getting into some super nerdy running stuff later this year, things like cadence and heart rate monitor training.

In the meantime I’m plugging away at those miles as best I can. Some weeks I hit 20 miles and others it’s less than 10. My new rule is that I have to have at least one hour of sleep per mile of running for any given day. With my ever changing crazy work schedule that can be limiting but I really am trying to take care of myself…at least until the end of May when I retake the DAT. After that it’s running time!

By May this crazy Michigan weather should be a little more cooperative.

New Goals

I was all pumped up on endorphins or something in the days following the Cleveland race and I did something that maybe I should not have. I signed up for the Detroit half marathon in October. There was a discount for it in my “virtual race bag” and, despite the terrible weather, I really did enjoy the actual running of this last half especially since I had gotten faster and maintained the average pace I was aiming for. Maybe if I just kept my mileage high between these two races I could get even faster. the allure of running a 2:05 half marathon combined with a ten percent discount was too much to resist.

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a goal oriented person. In the spirit of building on positive momentum and adapting to my typically more relaxed (though maybe for the last year) summer schedule I’ve come up with some new running goals.

Speedwork: I love listening to other runners’ conversations. During the Cleveland race I heard a guy chatting up the woman running next to him. He explained that he hasn’t been a runner for very long and said “I’m only thirty so I should be faster.” (Because being younger should make you inherently faster than that sixty year old dude over there who clearly just runs twenty-four-seven. Yeah, that’s exactly how it works.) Her dry, almost sarcastic response of “Do you do any speedwork?” made me smile. So obvious!

Of course he replied that he did not do speed work; he didn’t know that the only way to get faster is to run faster. Running more helps but unless you practice running faster you won’t just magically race faster. Since I do want to race faster my goal here is to do regular speed work stuff. Once a week. Or maybe once every two weeks…at very least twice a month. I’m not talking about anything crazy, just a few 400’s at the track, some hill repeats, and a pace run here and there.

Long Runs: For two of the three halfs (halves?) I’ve done I ran just over thirteen miles at least once. That made a big difference in how I felt during those races even if the long runs leading up to them felt terrible. Since fall is a busy time for me with all my children and myself getting back into school routines after the less structured summer, building mileage in those long runs gets a little more challenging. To ease that challenge a bit my goal is to maintain my current (sort of…not much running had gone on the past two weeks) level of running. To put that in concrete terms, it’s my goal to do at least two ten or more mile runs a week.

Mileage:¬†Mt running app informed me (the day before my birthday this week) that it was our year anniversary. At least I made it to a year anniversary with someone…even if that someone is an app on my phone. According to Nike Run I’ve logged 802.5 miles this year. I wish it had been 1000 because that just sounds way cooler. So, that’s what I’m aiming for this year. I’ll need and average of 16.46 more miles a month than I had this year to accomplish that. If I am achieving the aforementioned long run goal this should not be a problem.

Races:¬†Aside from the October half marathon I want to get in a couple 10k’s this summer. Ideally I’ll find one a month for June, July, and August on the weeks I have my kids so that my First and Fourth, who both run cross country, can join me. My oldest is the type who can go out and run a 10k in 45 minutes even though he hasn’t run in months. Ugh! I’m so jealous. With it being his senior cross country season this fall I’d like to see him start running over the summer (you know, like most normal runners who have to to get in shape do). My Fourth is in middle school so his school based races are two miles. they run more than three in practices but he’s hesitant to do a 5k. I know he can do it with just a little regular running but he’s not so sure. Getting a couple fun 5k’s in over the summer would give him a great confidence boost before cross country and his second year of middle school starts. ¬†Whether or not this happens will depend on a few things including money (my single mom/student budget is not very forgiving and races are way more expensive than they should be especially when you’re signing up three people).

Coaching:¬†I’ve been wanting to get into coaching cross country for a while now but my life has been a little on the crazy side as far as schedule and responsibilities go. My schedule is still pretty intense but there is a coaching change happening at the school and a couple parents have asked if I was going to either coach the middle school team or be an assistant coach. I’m looking into the logistics of this and am excited that it¬†might¬†work out. There are a few details to work out still so maybe it won’t, but I’m hopeful.

Relaxing:¬†I’ve been told once or twice (maybe more) that I need to slow down and relax once in a while, that I should learn to take it easy. Psh, take it easy, what does that even mean?!? But since more than one person has said something along these lines to me I’m taking it to heart and adding relaxing to my list ¬†of new goals.

coffee & crochet

I took this picture last summer, proof that relaxing does happen on rare and isolated occasions.

Over the summer I’m also working on getting my dental school application complete and submitted, getting my house clean and organized so I can tackle a few smaller home improvement projects (I have a wall that’s begging to be knocked down), crocheting, and reading. I even have a (mental) summer reading list. It’s been so long since I’ve had time to just read for fun and interest, I can’t wait to get started. Hopefully there will be some beaches involved in this summer reading thing. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting back on some dating websites too, it seems to be my summer trend (which I promptly abandon when I remember what my life is really like each fall). Despite the weirdness of online dating, it can be fun and entertaining to engage with so many new people and the thrill and possibility that comes with someone new is exciting. However, my efforts and energy might be better spent fostering the friendships I do have and on introspection and self-improvement…and on running. Unlike online dating, running is always worth the time and rarely disappoints.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve only run once this month and I’m starting to feel symptoms of running deficiency…time to go log some miles.

crazy runner meme

Okay, so maybe that makes me a little crazy…


Long Run Day

Over the past two weeks I’ve had a slight increase in stress. Lucky for me it’s summer and my base line stress level is much lower than it would be at other times of the year. Regardless, there is one upside to this stress: the runs.
No, I’m not talking about diarrhea. Don’t be gross! (Unless it’s funny then, by all means, be gross.) I’m talking about better running; an improvement on my regular runs such as going faster and being more motivated to run on an almost daily basis. And it couldn’t happen at a better time.
After running (and winning my age division) in a 10k two weeks ago I realized it’s time to get my ass in gear & get ready for the half marathon I want plan to run in October.


So I’ve been eating more protein & smoothies and (sadly) fewer pizza rolls and running more purposefully. In the spirit of more disciplined running I picked a day for weekly long runs. I call it Long Run Day….or Wednesday. Whichever you prefer.
Last week I did a seven mile trail run & felt pretty good. There was some walking but it was hot & muggy; that calls for cutting oneself some slack. Or maybe I’m just making excuses. With the intention of adding a mile to the long run each week I planned for an eight mile run this week. As it turns out the loop was a little longer than I thought it was.


Yup, I went almost nine & a quarter¬† and check out that average mile time. It’s way better than my usual. (Which makes me question whether or not my running app might be lying to me.)
It seems the trudging runs of the spring months along with my efforts to increase miles this summer are bearing some fruit. Well, that and the aforementioned stress increase. I might be concerned about how the resolution of that particular stress might lead to regression in my recent running progress buuut school starts soon and with it a whole new increase of stress to motivate my long runs.
I’m not sure if I’ll repeat nine or bump up to ten miles this coming week. Either way I’m on track to run at least fourteen miles at once before Big Race Day.
I don’t know about you but I’m excited about that!

Nailed It!

Back at the beginning of March I set myself a little running goal albeit a vague one. Instead of picking a specific event to train for I decided I would¬†attempt¬† to push myself to run further and faster this year/running season. (It’s Michigan, the months between December and March don’t count for an outdoor runner like me.) Then that thing that typically happens as soon as I set a goal happened: my motivation disappeared. I thought I wanted to hit 50 miles in the month of March…and then I didn’t. There was still too much going on during my last semester for me to muster any kind of running regularity. And then the transmission on my only vehicle died and it was finals week and there was kid/parenting stress and bullshit with the es…and it was just stressful. Yes, I know, excuses (though all¬†very¬†valid ones).

So, I introduced my expectations to reality and just did what I could for the month of March (34.4 miles) and started over in April. Granted I still had all that stuff going on (actually, now that I think about it most that stuff was in April) but at least the weather was nicer and the days longer.

Time to start working on my runner's tan!

Time to start working on my runner’s tan!

...and my runner's hair. You know you ran fast when you have Mall bangs at the end of the run.

…and my runner’s hair. You know you ran fast when you have Mall bangs at the end of the run.

Here’s a few things that happened along the way to reaching my April mileage goal:

Keepin it in the family.

Keepin it in the family.


Post race selfie!

Post race selfie!

One of my sisters did her first 5K. She’s already signed up for another. Score!

And then there was this…NOT!


I’ve never run a five and a half minute mile and probably never will. Strava is lying to all of us here. It wasn’t six miles either, more like 3.5…maybe.

When it occurred to me recently that April was almost over. I looked at my mile count and realized I needed to step up my game if I was going to reach my goal. Not hitting 50 two months in a row would be lame, so lame. I could not allow myself to be so lame. On April 30 I added up my monthly total: 51 miles.
Then I put on my shoes & logged a few more miles just because.
Total miles for April: 54.3
Yeah bitches!

Now I just need to figure out what I’m doing for May.

75 miles   65 miles???

Hello, Spring, Let’s Run!

I haven’t written much about running lately because, well, I haven’t really been doing much running lately. Despite this being a legitimately cold February, the second coldest February Michigan has seen since 1875 actually, I’ve managed to be running slightly more than I was this time last year but that’s still not much. From December to March is like a holding period. I’ve toyed with the idea of joining a gym for these months but that’s just not the same; for me the joy of running is in getting outside and hitting the pavement (or the trail). That is what centers me, what gives me a sense of calm, and restores what little sanity I may have had.

So when the beginning of March rolls around and suddenly (it really does happen overnight) we are waking up to temperatures warmer than ten below zero (on the Fahrenheit scale) and the high for the day is in the double digits. Yeah, bitches, DOUBLE DIGITS!!!¬†The air doesn’t hurt your face quite so much that? Yes. It IS the sun. I’m pretty sure I saw the sun for like ten whole minutes…In a row!

tomtom winter meme

Just when we were getting used to this again…

office space cold

That pretty much sums up March in Michigan. Yeah, we’ll still have cold days and crappy weather but spring is definitely creeping in. Part of me is a little sad, I really do enjoy the snow and playing in it. In fact, this year I found a new way to play in the snow:Snow Shoes. But I only got to use them a couple times. Derg!

It's SOOO fun! Like hiking but on top of the snow.

It’s SOOO fun! Like hiking but on top of the snow.

E snowshoes

I got my little guy a pair too. Passing on my love of the snow. Well, really, he was born that way.

I’m hoping to get another chance in but if it doesn’t happen today it probably won’t…The temperatures are supposed to hit fifty. Yesterday it was in the mid forties. I saw someone wearing shorts at the gas station. No Joke!

Now that the extreme cold, feet of accumulated snow, and sheets of ice covering everything are fading away for another year, it is time to get back into some form of regular running and set some goals. March is like running New Year’s and I’m making some resolutions.

Last year I ran a St. Patrick’s Day 5K this weekend but decided not to sign up for it this year. It got a little more expensive and they decided to give medals to all 5K finishers. That’s bullshit! I don’t want a stupid finishers medal for a 5k just give me my shirt & pint glass. I really want the pint glasses as I’ve broken all three we accumulated over the past couple years. It wasn’t worth almost fifty bucks for one person though. Stupid medals!

Also around this time in 2014 I was toying with the idea of running a half-marathon (which I did!).And ¬†while I do want to run another half this year having the exact same goal two years in a row seemed kind of lame. Initially I thought I might try for two this year, you know, to one-up last year. But I’m just not sure if that’ll be logistically a good choice given my crazy class schedule and life demands. After running my half back in October I took a couple weeks off running to recover from some mild foot pain. Then it was starting to get dark earlier and slightly cold and the busyness of the holidays, the end of the semester, and life in general took hold. I lost my running groove. By late December I was barely running and when I did run I felt like I had hit a funk. It felt a little aimless. There was all this purpose when I was getting ready for the big race but then I did it and was like “Umm, now what?”

That feeling and question has been lingering in the back of my brain for the past couple months but I think I’ve finally figured out Now What.

Farther and Faster. That’s what.

My goal for this running year is to stretch and push myself to run farther and faster.

I got up to 10.5 miles during my half marathon training. I had wanted to get a few more miles on my long run before the race but just didn’t manage. And I felt it! The race wasn’t my best run ever even before the ten mile mark but I definitely felt the deficit in my training in the last 3.1 miles. While I’m happy (well, satisfied might be a better word) with the time from my first half marathon I didn’t run or feel as good as I had hoped I would.

So this year I’d like to plan regular long runs, maybe one each week to week and a half, and creep up the miles. When I start to get up above eight I’ll think about finding another half marathon to do but only if I know I can get to fourteen miles before that.

When I was buying my most recent running shoes a while back I told the guy helping me that I had had some arch pain after the half and couldn’t wear those shoes anymore. I questioned if the shoes were just breaking down at that point. He reminded me that weird things happen when you increase mileage. I need to get through those weird things before the race next time. i want that weird to be my new normal. And while I’m pushing myself to run farther I ¬†might add in some speed workouts…or just set some time goals for each shorter run to try and increase speed.

Running is all about personal challenge. That’s why I love cold weather running; just doing it feels badass. That’s why I wanted to do a half marathon last year: to prove that I could. So now, this year, it’s time to up the ante and master a new challenge.

Look sunshine

Blue skies and sunshine, Hello March!

I'm really going to miss you when you leave, snow!

I’m really going to miss you when you leave, snow!

Wish me luck!

My First Half Marathon Part 1: Pre-Race Stress

If you’ve been following along here you’re probably aware that the half marathon I’d been training for, my first, was fast approaching. Maybe you noticed that it’s been more than eight days since my T-8 Days training post and I’m sure you’re wondering how it went.I bet you want to hear about every excruciating amazing mile…okay, you probably don’t want that level of detail but here goes.

T-1 Day to Race Time
I had wanted to spend the day before the race resting, maybe going for a light jog, eating lots of protein, and getting myself mentally and physically prepared for the big day. I had it all planned out in my head; my kids even had the day off school so I didn’t have to get up early, it was going to be perfect, calm, and relaxing. But this is reality so of course the day didn’t go like that. I had parent teacher conferences in the late morning then spent the rest of the day rushing around trying to get kids to various friend’s birthday parties and doing some last minute furniture moving. Yes, I moved furniture the day before running a half marathon. By the end of the day my back was saying maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Hmm.
Note for next time: No heavy lifting the day before a big race.
My last stop for the day was dropping my daughter off for a sleepover with a good friend, a family we’ve known for quite a while now. I came in and hung out with the parents for a bit. They’re pretty fun people, the type I wish were my neighbors so we could socialize regularly. Sadly they live over a half hour away. Well, their neighbors came over and it came up that I was running a half marathon in the morning. The neighbor guy asked if I use a GPS watch & I told him I did not. I don’t have one, just my crappy phone that frequently turns the running app off part way through my run. It sucks! Everyone knows that half the fun of distance running is tracking your mileage stats. Then the guy asked if I was coming back there the next day which of course I was. And…
…he offered to lend me his Garmin for the race.
My eyes lit up like a kid’s on Christmas morning. It was a moment of pure running nerd happiness.
Not only was I about to join the ranks of the real runners, I was going to get a fun toy to play with while I did it, one that would show me my pace and track my mile splits and give me all sorts of delightful statistical feedback. YAY!
My pre-race excitement escalated at least 2.5 levels.

Aaand We’re Off to the Races!
The morning of the race was cold, dark (I had to leave my house by 6:30am), and rainy. Blerg!
I layered appropriately, over packed ( a nervous habit…but who knows, maybe I would need an entire change of clothes and an extra pair of shoes), gave my little sister appropriate layers to wear (she was typically unprepared) and we hit the road with coffee, water, and whole grain toaster waffles topped with peanut butter and honey (Breakfast of champions right there, folks.) in hand. Both my sister and I were excited but nervous.
My oldest son’s last high school cross country meet of the season was also that morning about ten minutes from where my sister and I were running. I had made arrangements for him to ride up with a teammate then I’d meet him at his race after mine. He was running at noon, our race started at nine so the timing was perfect.
About a half hour into the drive I mentioned this to my sister(pretty sure this wasn’t the first time I had either) she then informed me that she had to be at work at 3pm….three hours from where we were running.
Seriously?!? You tell me you have to rush back after we run when we’re on our way TO the race?
Ugh! Twenty year olds!
Lucky for her our dad was willing to drive up and bring her a car so she could leave straight from the race and get to work on time. He had wanted to catch one of my son’s races anyhow and he and our mom decided they’d go visit another sister who lives up near there. Crisis averted (after a few minutes of frantic phone calls and me valiantly holding back the many snappy remarks about communication and planning ahead that desperately wanted to spew forth) and, as a side bonus, we now had a spectator.
The rest of the drive to the race site went without incident. Eventually it got light out but the sun was definitely not shining. It rained on and off. We were really hoping it’s be off by the time we got there.

At the Starting Line
We got to the race site about twenty-five minutes before start time which was good because it took us about ten minutes to figure out where parking and packet pick-up was. There were no signs indicating that there would even be a running event held there that day. Nothing!
Eventually we found two white tents and a finishing coral just behind a hotel parking lot. I knew this was a smaller race but I didn’t anticipate it being this small.
Around this time I got a text from my son saying his ride wasn’t there yet. They had told me the day before that they’d be there around 8:15 to pick him up. My boy is not a morning person so there was some concern that he wouldn’t be up and ready when his teammate’s family got there. As a precaution I woke him up before we left so he could get ready to go then try to go back to sleep on the couch until eight. I told him not to worry, they were probably just running late.
My sister and I got our shirts and numbers, used the restrooms one last time, donned our hats and gloves and joined the fifty or so other runners standing around in the cold.
I’m not sure if most runners warm up before the start of a thirteen mile run but I figured we’d have enough time running to get warm.
Did I mention it was cold out? Not winter in Michigan cold but definitely colder than we’re used to and damp and drizzly. It was a very cloudy forty-three degrees as we gathered at the start line at 9am for the pre-race announcements and instructions.
My phone buzzed and I looked down to see another text from my son saying his ride still wasn’t there yet. I was starting to worry that something had gone wrong so I called the mom…no answer. Umm…huh.
This was not good. What if my son didn’t get picked up and missed his last meet? Ugh. I’m two hours away, about to run thirteen point one miles and my son might miss his season finale meet.
Crap. Crap!
As the race director was saying we’d be starting in just under five minutes I was frantically calling my dad. I left a panicked voicemail asking him to call my son’s phone before he passed my house because he might need a ride. I’m not sure if I was even coherent at this point but just had to hope he understood what I was asking. Then I texted my son and gave him the mom’s number and tell him to answer if his grandpa called. Hopefully someone would show up to get him. Imagine the parental guilt I’d have if he missed his last race of the season because I was busy with my own race.
I’m not sure I’d be able to live that one down.
And then they were calling runners to the line and the time was now.