There was a time, way back in the way back days (ok maybe 10 years ago or so, I was a runner. I did 5, 10, and 12Ks on a regular basis, and once (ONLY once) I ran a half marathon (13.1 miles)
A week after this picture was taken I had a hernia operation and never got bad into running shape. Today proved that to me a bit!
Today was the Arthritis Foundations Seattle Jingle Bell run! Last year Michelle was the honoree and got to cut the ribbon to start the event,
This year she and I were happy to just be participants.
This is a fun run for many reasons. First, the Mighty P always fields a team for the event.
We get employees, spouses, kids, cousins boyfriends and girlfriends all willing to wake up early and brave whatever weather is thrown at us by a Seattle winter! I’ve had rain so hard I could have kayaked the course. Snow showers, wind, and, last year, temps in the low teens. You just never know.
Today?, blue sky, sunny, and in the upper 30s. The best weather I have ever seen for this event.
Then there are the back stories of some of the participants.
One of my favorite people at the Mighty P, is Rod, the VP of Marketing, Michelle invited him for his first walk in 2011. He has been at most of them since. Today though, we met his wife Cindy. Last year, she was getting chemo treatment for cancer. This year, she was striding right next to him in the Santa Striders wave! She is a sweetie in person, and a saint to be married to the big lug! (He is also a Coug! So Michelle knows of her toils being married to one)
Then there is my wife herself. As we know, she suffers from serious auto immune issues, which has prevented her from running for quite a while. Given that she was a serious athlete in High School and College and an avid runner her entire life, this has been extremely hard on her.
Two years ago, she got sick of it. She had heart to heart talks with her docs, took over a lot more control of her medications, got rid of a few (docs and meds) and, most importantly got herself in the gym again. She has gotten to the point where she works out 5 days a week sometimes. And works out hard!
As we all know, she and her friend Kim completed Portland Half Marathon in September
So I should have expected it when she said to someone, “Yeah I want to run as much of it as I can!” “Oh lord I am in trouble!” thought I! I can ride 200 miles in a day, and hike forever, but these legs aint run, except on the elliptical, for years!
There we were, in the Dasher’s Dashers wave, ready to go! And as soon as we hit the starting line, we were running. My goal was simple, keep close to her and not talk. Why no talk, you ask? Cuz I needed all the oxygen I had to get to the lungs and legs! DAMN I am out of running shape!
We ran well past the first mile marker, and when she asked if I wanted to walk some, I am pretty sure I nodded profusely! (remember the no wasting oxygen on speaking idea) We then alternated walking and running for the rest of the course, with a hard run at the end. Last year, in the butt cold, we finished right at an hour, this year, 42 minutes!
Next year she wants to be under 40, I better get some running in these legs!
There are somethings that never change though about this run. First, some of the things people dress up in to run are amazing. This one is the wildest I’ve ever seen! Notice the legs under the gingerbread house!
I also know, that the aforementioned Rod is, and will always be, excited to cross the finish line. Here he is in 2011
And here again this year
Gotta love him!
Most importantly. I am impressed beyond belief with that bride of mine. She does not let anything keep her down, and she can do anything! There is no exaggeration here when I say it was all I had in me to keep up with her today! I am very proud of you babe!