Sunday, September 21, 2008

2008 Philadelphia Distance Run – Part Three: Done

“So … What went wrong?” I started hearing those words at Mile 12 when I knew that a 2-hour finish was out of reach. Not by much, but enough.

The fact was nothing went wrong … it all went incredibly right! Sure, I was slower than I expected, but I didn’t break down, I didn’t over heat, and I was still moving past people at the end - of course they may have been drifting backwards … I didn’t get any blisters [brand new sox, nonetheless] and I won’t be losing any toenails.

After passing under the finish banner, the first order of business was to reconnect with my girls, my backpack, and most importantly, my toothpaste. The Jefferson Hospital Family Reunion Area was not a tent as we had suspected, but a number of areas staked out on the Eakins Oval Lawn with letters on them. I just hoped D’Girls were bright enough to go to “M”.

They were …

Now, the next order of business was to find the others.

“Daddy!” D’Kid shouted as we wandered about looking for a familiar face, “I met Alexis!”

“You did?”

‘Damn,’ I thought, ‘That was someone I really wanted to meet.’

“Yeah,” she said her eyes beaming, “She came up to me and asked ‘Are you Mariel?’ and I said ‘Yes’ and she said ‘I’m Alexis. I’ve seen your picture. I’m one of your Dad’s online fiends’ then she said to Mom, ‘You must be Donna’ She’s really tall … and really tan.”

“She’s niiiiiice,” D’Wife agreed. Niiiiiiiice, is a great compliment, “I’m really liking these friends you’ve made.”

I think that of the six of us, I was fifth.

Eventually, Jill circled back around to see us, but we couldn’t stay … I needed to get back to Jersey for Post-Race Diner Food, before my legs started seizing up. The heaters in the car’s seats were fully employed and much welcome.

Lunch at Country Club Diner found me tucking into a well made Reuben, with more than enough coleslaw; spinach and feta omelet for D’Wife and cheese ravioli for D’Kid.

Upon returning home, all my race gear was shed, and I got a good scrubbing off.

Mariel’s friend across the street was home, so she asked if she could go play over there.

“Not a problem,” I answered, as I popped the cork on a bottle of Chimay Blue. “Stay over there as long as you want. The Eagles game isn’t until 4”

I took my pint outside and set it on the steps, as I set a glide-path and slowly nosedived into the blanket D’Wife had spread out for us in the warm sunshine of the backyard.

After a brief catnap, I came back in to check up on my friends who were checking up on me. It was pretty cool to see that they were following me better and closer than I was following myself.

I’d never had a bunch of friends that would do that.

“I’m really liking these friends you’ve made.”

3 comments:

Audrey said...

Absolutely awesome race report, Randy, I feel like I was there with you. You did just great. Hope you're still feeling good and don't have any of that delayed sore muscly thing.

Stephen said...

I'm slow to read sometimes, but I do make the rounds. I really enjoy your posts, so sometimes I leave them unread so I can read them when I am not rushed and enjoy them more.

My wife has met several of the 30's and made similar comments about them.

Theia said...

I so wish I had met you that day! At least I did get to say hi to the girls. :)

And yes, it's awesome to know that our friends -- some of whom we have not met and may never meet -- are tracking us and cheering us on from afar!