Ran the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon on Sunday with the HARD runners group. What an awesome day!!! It started out a little teary when we all assembled at Shawn’s at 5:45 am for pictures and car pooling only to find out that our matriarch, Shawn, wouldn’t be attending due to dog problems. I was bummed! Without Shawn HARD wouldn’t even exist. She had to go! Unfortunately, all the persuading was fruitless. She couldn’t go. So we broke up into groups and piled into cars. I picked up my backpack and computer book and headed over to the last group to form. It was five of us…Jen, Gail, Nicole, me, and….Marc. Hmmm. I looked at my book. I’ve been spending every spare minute with my nose in it to learn a new programming language. I looked at Marc. Then I walked over to my car and threw the book in the back seat. No need for that. Marc would be providing non-stop entertainment on this trip. Guaranteed.
We jumped in the car and headed out. Sure enough, Marc didn’t disappoint us. He had us in stitches the whole way up to Allentown, telling us about the 5K he ran the day before. He was such a softy…letting some little kid beat him at the finish line. And then we got to know the true Nicole…who revealed she would have taught that kid a life lesson and kicked his butt.
We got there in just enough time for potty stops at a McDonald’s (at Dunkin Donuts for Marc!), to get our packets from Stevie, to attach our race chips to our shoes, and to get to the starting line with a few minutes to spare. We took our spots at our respective pace groups. I attached myself to Bonnie, the epitome of a steady pace. The gun went off.
It was Bonnie, Nicole, Jen, Krumy, and me in a group, constantly getting boxed in by others, then breaking free to get back in stride. About every mile or so there was a live band playing – everything from rock to violin trios to bagpipes. The most memorable was the all women pop band called the “Menopausal Maniacs”. Appropriate since almost everyone in our group is in their 40′s and 50′s (except me…just wanted to clear that right up!).
During our run, I became increasingly sure that Shawn had just been messing with us in the morning and she actually came to the race to cheer us on. What made me think this?
- We ran around several piles of what could have been Sampson’s pooh
- There was side walk chalk all over the place
- There were rumors of beer at water stations
But, no. She really wasn’t there.
As we got tired, our little group started crumbling. People were hitting the wall. It was down to Nicole and me. We got into the final stretch. I looked over at her…was she about to teach me a life lesson? We put it in high gear and crossed the finish line at exactly the same time.
We hung around, stretched, and cheered the remaining H.A.R.D. Runners in and then headed to an Italian restaurant for the post race festivities. We rehashed the race for another couple hours over pizza (some with hot peppers!) and sodas/beer before jumping in the car and heading back to Annville. What an absolutely wonderful day! I think my sides are more sore from laughing than my legs are from running. Thanks H.A.R.D.!!! We missed you Shawn!!!