Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the Genes

Yesterday Lyle turned forty and despite his mother's gentle reminders that he's not as young as he used to be, he celebrated the momentous day by running 26.2 miles.  His two youngest sisters actually bought plane tickets to fly to Seattle and join him in this suffer-fest.  (They descend from pioneer ancestors, that's the only thing I can attribute it to.)

Many months ago when I signed up to run the half marathon, I envisioned myself in top-notch physical shape, running as a birthday tribute to my husband.  Unfortunately, I didn't really envision the training.  Or if I did envision it, I certainly didn't do it.  So as I laced my running shoes at 4 AM, I knew it would not be pretty.  Not pretty at all. 

I was assigned corral number 32.  I felt the urge to moo.  Being in a corral was bad enough, but being in number 32 meant I would be crossing the starting line nearly an hour after Lyle way ahead in corral number 2.  In that case, he could conceivably finish before me, despite having run twice the distance.  That felt demoralizing, so the night before, I moved my start time up to corral 17.  Unfortunately, I was still in the Port-a-potty line when corral 17 began the race.  I believe it was corral 25 I jumped into and I saw the pacer for the 2:30 half marathon time.   Being that the woman was at least 65 years old, I thought maybe I could hang with her.  I did for a bit, but at mile four my body began sending subtle reminders that I hadn't really trained for any distance farther than house to mailbox.

So I quickly adjusted my goal (I think wishy-washy goal-making is the root of my problem) and decided that with walking breaks, I could finish in less than three hours and hopefully still make it back before Lyle.  That 2:30 group seemed a bit stuffy anyway.  There is no pacer for the three hour group.  What can I say, we're lone wolves.  

And so I finished, before the three hour mark and in time to meet Lyle, give him a kiss, and say happy birthday.  Then he told me he threw up in a garbage can on mile 24.  That was nice to hear. 

Lyle's brother-in-law took this picture of him somewhere along the course.  Lyle's smiling, so I believe it was before mile 24.  

Here,  I was swishing with water after the vomit revelation. 
My new haircut actually can look stylish, but like the rest of my body, 
my hair didn't quite know what to do with itself after about mile four.  

Lyle's sister, Laurel, however, can look quite lovely even after 26.2 miles.  

And Lyle's youngest sister, in the teal, looked strong coming into the finish.   This was her first marathon, only thirteen months after giving birth to a baby the size of a first grader.  (Did I mention the pioneer ancestors?)

And despite the blue lips, Lyle said he felt good.  I'm convinced that if he lived 150 years ago, he could have crossed the plains, cleared a forrest, built a cabin, and still had the time and energy to throw together a pizza oven.

From Seattle, we drove east to see three more of Lyle's sisters.  Lyle's local sister was due to have a baby July 18th, but she reasoned that it would be very convenient for everyone (since family was already flying in and all) to just have her water break a few weeks early.  With the arrival of the baby, two more sisters made the trek to Washington to help, and so it was a mini reunion, missing only Lyle's oldest sister and his younger brother.  

On Lyle's side, this is grandbaby number 29.  Despite being three weeks early, Olivia was a hefty 7 pounds 10 ounces.  She'll probably be almost ready for the next Rock and Roll Marathon.  She comes from healthy stock.


Kelly said...

Way to go Eileen! Love the haircut. And many happy returns of the day to Lyle.

Tammy said...

I'm so impressed with all the marathon runners. Amazing! What a way to spend your 40th birthday-go Lyle! And what a supportive wife to participate in the running festivities. Your haircut looks cute! Wish I was brave enough to try a new look.

Jen Bay said...

Impressive! great job!!!