Patti - I'm thinking about you mama, and you'll be in my thoughts and prayers all day tomorrow. I hope you are holding that baby by supper time! I feel so terrible for you about your mom, I could hardly sleep Friday night after I popped on here to catch up. I hope the baby coming tomorrow is at least a little bit of sunshine in the midst of these storms. Lots of love, mama.
I ran my Griffin Patrick 5K on Saturday morning. Friday night, I used the conference's set up of free computers to check in quickly. They limit you to 15 minutes at a time, so I had to skim through, and mostly I was looking to see if Griffin was a big brother yet, so Patti's post about her mom really caught me by surprise and shook me up. I couldn't get the stupid computer to let me respond, so couldn't even post condolences. The race was planned for 6:30 am, and the plan was for me to go alone (the kids didn't want to get up that early, so dh would stay in the hotel with them) I needed to get up about 5:15 to make sure I caught a bus to the race, and I slept terribly. I kept thinking about Patti and her family, and how painful this week must have been, and I was worried I'd oversleep my alarm and miss my run, too. Finally, the alarm went off, and I got up and threw on my clothes. My older dd had designed an iron-on for me that said "In loving memory of Griffin Patrick/Came and went on 9/24/05" with a line drawing of dove taking off under it, and we ironed that on the front of my shirt. On the back we ironed "In Loving Memory of Anne Regina/ 1/30/67-9/9/06" with a picture of a woman runner in shadow, crossing the finish line with her arms in the arm under neath it. We just finished it the night before we flew out, so this was the first time I'd put it on, and I felt better just having their names with me.
I walked out of the hotel to wait for the bus. I met a nice couple who are both family docs from CO on the bus stop, and we had a nice chat. After a while, we were worried that the bus wasn't going to come (that happened to me 2 conferences ago, actually) so we decided to just walk. Turned out the race start was about 7-8 blocks away, and with company it wasn't a problem to walk it in the dark. They were very friendly and I told them about my shirt and that I was running in honor of Patti's baby and my friend, and they were very kind and sympathetic, and it made me feel good to know at least 2 people knew about my Griffin Patrick 5K since I was so far from home and didn't have anyone there I knew.
At the start, the race sponsor (a drug company) had hired a guy to do an aerobic warm up, which was lots of fun as we marched, stretched, and did some brief aerobics. I was nice and warmed up, even though it was still dark and pretty chilly. There were about 500 runners and walkers, mostly family docs and some family members, and it's a very friendly race. We set off right at 6:30 am, still in the dark, but just starting to get light. Now, I hardly ran at all in Sept, and really planned just to run like a moderate training run, but I was feeling good, and feeling inspired to put forth my best effort, so I took off at a good pace for me. As we turned toward the Capitol building early on, the sun was just starting to come up, and I felt like I could hear my dear friend Anne cheering me on (she always talked continuously when we ran races together, and would be cheering me on every step of the way.) The sunrise always makes me sort of emotional anyway, and seeing it get light over a National landmark, and thinking about Anne and her family, and Patti's family grieving her mother and holding their breaths waiting for the baby put me over the edge and I started to cry. I ran the next mile sniffling, feeling sad, but also feeling terribly glad that I had the chance to know my friend Anne, and have such great memories of her, and also feeling so grateful for this place, and for all of us who've been able to share Griffin with Patti. I'm glad that people all over the country know him, and how important he is. I'm glad we're all here.
The last mile, I was feeling a big sense of release, and I was able to smile again, and as I passed the second mile marker, I realized I wasn't doing too badly time-wise. There were a couple turn arounds, and I passed the lady I had walked to the race with (I was quite a bit ahead of her, but could see her as I turned back towards the finish) and yelled her name, and she grinned from ear to ear and raised her hands in the air, and I felt like I could run forever. It was almost completely light by now, and a beautiful morning. I sprinted up the last little hill to the finish line, and crossed it feeling so alive, and thankful that I can run - that I am blessed with a healthy body, and a great life, and I can run just because it's FUN!
Turns out I ran 25:36, the fastest 5K I've run this year (though not a lifetime PR) I was 127th overall, out of 378 runners, the 24th woman, and 3rd out of 55 in my age group. Dh took pictures of me in my shirt later, but our desk top computer is on the fritz, so I'll have to wait until I can download the pictures so I can post them.
I had a great time at the conference - went to several courses on fitness promotion for patients which were really useful on a personal level, too. We liked DC quite a bit (except that it cost us a fortune to eat there) and I enjoyed running along the National Mall and the monuments a couple of mornings. I missed 2 babies being born (one a mama who had her first 2 babies with me, so I was sad to miss her, and one first time mama, but the one mama who was so frightened I would miss her birth is still pregnant - she's the one whose identical twin birthed a 10 lb baby with me in Aug.) Off for some needed one on one time with dh now (3 kids in the same room with us all week did not make for much marital intimacy, if you get my drift!) Can't wait to hear about Patti's new precious babe!