Saturday, February 23, 2013
The following is the speech my daughter delivered to our training team's pre-race pasta dinner the Friday before the Austin 26.2013/2013.1 (Marathon/Half Marathon). I wasn't there because I was on a date with my hubby (who's usually traveling so Thurs, Valentine's Day, had to be delayed):
It Began with a 5K for Clay…
Once upon a time, a tiny blonde woman ran across the road in front of our car. Some months later, she was waiting at a traffic light on Chisholm Trail Rd, in a black SUV with something about a Marathon and Half Marathon training program printed across the back window and a URL to a website. Going to the site, there was something about a 5K…okay…doable…in August…yikes! And, it was somewhere off Gattis School Road. Well, that’s like being on the other side of the universe from our house.
Up the road, across a field, and around to the finish line in 42 mins., not a great time, but, enough for an age group place and the first road race medal ever for this woman in her mid-50’s. That was 2005.
[photo: 5K medal]
Fast forward 8 years to 2013: 2 Austin Distance Challenges and a DC trophy, 7 completed Marathons and 14 Half Marathons in 2 States, a few competitive Triathlons and age place wins, 2 Silver and a Gold Phidippides medals as a USA Track & Field National Masters runner (and a feature article), member of a competitive Endurance Team, the occasional dramatic, but graceful bike crashes, professional Certified Running Coach and soon Certified Race Director, Founder and Coach of the corporate running team, Founder of the Slow Fat Runners Team, and stacks upon stacks of event and Finishers shirts and never enough running shoes later…
...still has to remind herself to not go out too fast,
…still gets nervous in the start corral,
…still forgets to start her Garmin on time…
But, her greatest achievement would not have been possible without the support of this program, her Coaches, and Kat – that tiny blonde who ran in front of our car - and Mark, the blonde’s other half. You see, Mom was diagnosed with SLE, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, in 1990, an autoimmune disease that has no cure and makes the body attack itself. She runs to honor my Aunt Sherry and my great grandfather who both died from complications and the eventual organ failure from lupus. She has to live by our motto, “No Whining,” because she knows what it really means.
The fellow who hired Mom at her company asked during the interview if she had any questions, concerns or fears. “Fears?” she laughed. “I’m a marathoner, I have no fear.” But, running farther than most people want to drive isn’t her greatest achievement – although she does finish a 5K in faster than 42 minutes, now. This is her greatest achievement:
[photo: the girls] [photo: us, Mika’s1st marathon finish] [photo: Grandma and us]
…and that all started with a little 5K, all because of that tiny blonde woman!
(The girls are the group of women I trained to walk/run the Half Marathon.)
My daughter was given a special award for being the team photographer, which she has been for several years, now. That was super sweet!