Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Millie (Half) Marathoner

Way back in May, while on the boat in Mazatlan, Millie started getting up early to run.  Colin and I would sleep in, make banana pancakes, and watch The Lion King as Millie was out jogging.  She found a website online for the annual Haulin’ Aspen Trail Marathon and Half Marathon in Bend and, in a moment of spontaneity, signed up to run the half marathon.

Over the next three months, as we slowly made our way north to central Oregon, Millie continued to train for the race.  When we were putting the boat away in the heat of Guaymas, she would run.  When we spent a week visiting family in California, she would run.  And, when we finally made our way to Bend, she picked up the pace, getting up early to put in eight miles before breakfast.  Colin and I slept in, made blueberry waffles, and watched Dora the Explorer.

Of course, we encouraged her.  I offered my congratulations as she made steady improvement in both distance and time.  I handed out upbeat praise and gratuitous high-fives as she came in from her runs.  I made her waffles.  And, I had confidence in her.  As the big day of the race approached I knew she was ready.

That big day came on Sunday.  We all got up early to get Mom to the starting line by 8 o'clock.  Colin and I cheered as the horn sounded and she strode out of view with a few hundred other runners.  The course started out on a paved bike path that led to a dirt trail through the beautiful wooded Shevlin park before climbing up a steep hill and looping back to the start -- a nice 13 1/2 mile stroll on a gorgeous sunny day.

Two-and-a-half hours later and we waited at the finish line as Millie's bright pink tank-top came in to view.  She crossed the line holding the same steady pace she started with, and her proud family showered her with hugs and kisses.  Then we all made our way to the concession stands where Mom drank her weight in water and Dad enjoyed the free beer and burritos.  We should do this more often.

Good job, Mom!
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