Monday, February 27, 2012

50 in 50 by 50: #1 OHIO

Our first race was in April of 2010. We had planned a trip to Ohio to see Neil's sister and Lebron James. Except one of those people severely disappointed us by choosing not to play on fan appreciation day.

Mr James would be the one in the beige suit

Somewhere between the Cavs game in Cleveland and the Football Hall of Fame in Canton was a tiny place called Strongsville - the location of my first 5K post-accident.

I had trained with Neil but never ran that full distance of 3.1 miles and I was very nervous. I said the whole time, "my only goal is to finish." In hindsight, should have been a bit more high reaching...

Lesson: when you put the one with the head injury in charge of directions you may not get to where you need to go.

So there we were, the minutes before start time ticking away, and we just drove and drove, not finding our race. We finally saw a traffic cop that pointed us to the direction of the run and after what seemed like forever - we found our parking lot - sprinted to the registration tent - and gave them our names...

"I'm sorry, we don't have your names."
"But we registered. I have my confirmation form printed right here..."
"Oh honey, that race is in Strongsville, about two counties over. This is a whole other race."
"Well, can we run this one?"
"If you hurry."

While Neil threw dollar bills at them, I scribbled away waivers, and we hauled ass to the start line a solid 2 minutes after the race start. And it was pretty perfect, because we missed the loud crowds and I felt deceivingly fast as I passed the walkers. The course was flat and beautiful (residential, through parks, on back roads). The air was cool and the sun was shining. And get this - I finished!!

you can't tell here - but I want to throw up a little bit

The race was a small one to raise money for a local school's playground. As they announced winners it was very quaint... "Annnnd from Mrs. Peterson's 3rd grade class, we collected $430!!!" and everyone cheers. Then the poor coordinators that felt so bad for us, they 'magically' pulled my name out of a hat for a prize... "And the winner of the Dicks Sporting Goods card, all the way from Pittsburgh Pennnnnsylvania..." and the crowd murmurs in awe.

That race was so good for us - Neil never got upset with me - he just let it bump, he laughed it off, and he called it an adventure. He supported me through a run that was very difficult pain-wise, and he celebrated with me afterwards like I had made the olympic trials.

The Breakdown
date: 4/10/10
race: Run for Your Life 5K
location: NOT Stongsville, OH
charity: Childhood Obesity Awareness and a Local Playground 
time: 34:27

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