Perhaps it was my love of all things free, as Tina scored me a complimentary registration, or maybe it was my thinking ahead figuring I probably would need some reason to get back to running after the Big Boy two weeks ago. In either case, I’m glad I was up early this morning with half of Milledgeville, more specifically, the entire GMC track team plus a few hard-core runners I am beginning to recognize, and then the rest of us.
It was COLD when I got up and got started this morning, but by the time race time rolled around, I was warmed up enough to shed my fleece.
Funny thing, even after running 26 miles, it still takes me a while to get in my groove. I loved running with Tina, Leah had long since left us, and I have a feeling that pretty soon she too, will outrun this slow penguin on the short runs.
Maybe it was good I had no ipod, it made me think about this man, Will Robinson, a police man for who the race is named. Shot and killed while on duty. Very sad to think of this young man gone in the prime of his life. That is unless, like me, you believe that God numbers our days. There really is no such ting as “gone to soon”. When he finished the last task he was on earth to do, it was time to go.
By the time I was coming up Newport I was done pondering all things theological, and began to feel a familiar burn in my calves as we climbed up that horrible hill. As the decline started, I realized that Tina was hardly breathing heavy. In fact, little did she know that occasionally I heard her spontaneous singing of some lyrics from God only knows what was playing on that ipod of hers.
It was then I saw the time clock and a sweet “29:33”. I had wanted to run it in less than 30. I looked at Tina and said “Let’s sprint.” We took off and I realized that to my surprise, she was pulling away. I was smiling when we finished. Leah had finished 3rd in her age group. It was a good race.
The cold feeling was long gone and sweat ran down my face, into my eyes. I looked around and thought, “Will I ever get tired of running?” and then I saw my friend Autumn. She is my mother’s age and runs marathons almost every month. She went to Africa with me last summer and I could barely keep up with her. And then I knew. No, I don’t think I will ever tire of running. I hope I’m the old lady with the wrinkly legs. Slow at first, then passing all the young kids in the last mile.
And so I got in my car and drove home. The rest of the family will not even be up yet. I turned up the radio and belted out “All I want for Christmas Is You” with Mariah Carey. It is a a perfect Saturday morning, and I am thankful for Will Robinson. He is not forgotten, not by me, or many other racers this cold November morning.