Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Great Weekend

Yesterday was a wonderful day. While it didn't start out quite as planned, by mid-afternoon we were watching the Purple Haze cruise to a 4-0 win in their last game of the season. More excitingly for the girls, they finished a remarkable 8-0 for an undefeated kindergarten girls season!

We're so proud of Sydney and all the girls, who have progressed from the first few games spent picking daisies to the last game where 4 different girls scored our 4 goals. Here's a pic of the team that struck fear in the hearts of all who had to play against them! Syd's in the back, 4th from the right.

Actually, they're all just wonderful kids, princesses, all of them! I love this pic because we unknowingly had them staring straight into the sun - the poor girls are giving it their best "cheese" smile but can barely get their eyes open! We moved them later and got some better pics, but this is still my favorite. They all got cupcakes and medals after the game, and Syd finished as the top scorer on the team!

Later that afternoon, I had planned to get my 8-mile pace run going again, but somehow ended up with a 2 hour nap instead! I woke up a few times feeling guilty about it, but not guilty enough to prevent me from falling back asleep again!

This morning, with the nap plus an extra hour from daylight savings, I tossed and turned long before it was time to get up. I still had visions of my daylight savings fiasco from MCM last year, and I wasn't about to repeat it this year. Thankfully, I made it safely to the DRC Half this morning by 7:00-ish.

The race started right about 8:00 am. I planned to use this as a training run, with a 10:06 min/mile goal time. This is what ended up instead:

Mile 2: 18:54
Mile 3: 9:25
Mile 4: 9:24
Mile 5: 9:23
Mile 6: 9:21
Mile 7: 9:00
Mile 8: 9:07
Mile 9: 9:17
Mile 10: 9:07
Mile 11: 8:29
Mile 12: 8:36
Mile 13: 8:42
Mile 13.1: 0:55

Total time = 1:59:45. Not a PR, but I'm totally happy with it for a training run. I have a prefect stranger to thank for it too.

Somewhere past mile 9, I fell into step with another girl running. We seemed to have the same pace, and were pushing it a bit. Without looking at each other, or saying a single word, we ran side by side for most of the next few miles. It was a surreal connection. It wasn't competitive at all, just us two pushing each other.

Through twists and turns, through water stops, through squeezing past or going around other runners, we'd slow down to let the other catch up, then push the pace once again. For almost 3 miles, not a word. I spent most of that time wondering how I was going to keep up the pace, thinking about how badly I wanted to finish together so I could thank her for making this a great run, thinking about how much gatorade I had spilled on my shirt at that last water stop! We must have passed more than a hundred runners along the way.

Then 3/4-mile from the end, inexplicably, she stopped. I took 2 steps before I realized what had happened, and then I hit the brakes and turned around. With a half-smile half-gasp, she said "I can't go on". I said softly "Yes you can, c'mon, we'll make it". And so she picked up her feet again and started running, the pace a touch slower, and we continued down the last mile. After the final turn, with the finish in sight, I pointed ahead and said to her "it's all yours". She kicked up a final sprint, and I followed her in to the finish.

While they were collecting our chips, she thanked me for pacing her in. I congratulated her for her strong finish, and was thinking I should be the one thanking her for pacing me! We went our separate ways, and I never saw her again.

Later this afternoon, to cap a great weekend, we celebrated Sydney's 6th birthday with a joint birthday party with her buddy Alaina and 37 other kindergartners! Thankfully it was outside at a pizza party place and not at home!

Last but not least, Susan and David finished NYC! Go over and tell them how great they are!


Runner Susan said...

great job on your half Rich! Awesome time.

peter said...

Nice training run, Rich. I liked your last 5K in your half, Rich. Always saving the best for last. And chivalrous, too.

Ahh, those years of youth soccer. As the kids get better, those 4-0 games turn into a riveting sixty minutes of 1-0 contests. Your daughter was high scorer? Congratulations. She must be fast. My oldest boy was fast, and he was often high scorer on his team. When he got to wheeling down the sideline with the ball, outrunning the sweepers, occasionally parents would say to me in surprise, "Jimmy's fast!" I'd always answer, "Yup, I taught him that!" and they'd stare at me incredulously. Sometimes people don't get my humor.

GandaMan said...

4th quarter comeback, last second field goal victory over OSU!

David said...

Training run, huh? 10 minute pace? What? Are you kidding me?

That was downright dominating.

I so relate to that anonymous link-up with someone who pushes and paces you for great distances. Your inclination to finish together and thank the other person is a great motivator. I'd have been exhilirated if I had been you.

Good job.

And I am pleased to hear you know how to set a clock now. How old are you?

jeanne said...

what a great story!!! do you think she was an angel? I DO! and you were too.

and what great kids. you have much to be thankful for.

i love david. isn't he funny?


Baba said...

Interesting to know.