Here's the best dad to my kids that I could ever wish for. He loves having fun with the kids and has more patience with them than I can fathom. He plays games with them, reads to Neve at night, and lovingly (he might argue that) makes their lunches every day. He provides well for us and makes us all feel loved. We are lucky.
Those of you on Facebook have seen most of these pictures already, but I'll post these for the rest of you. We had such a great day today. We were up bright and early and off to the races. We picked up my niece Tia on the way, so she could run the Super Run with Neve. Since Spencer's been doing running club at school and wanted to beat his record from last year, we knew he and Neve would be running at different paces. Some kids his age run on their own and just meet up with their parents at the finish line, but that wouldn't work for Spencer. He would be like the little Super Run kids I saw running on Pembina Hwy with all the half/full/relay runners. Or like the relay kids we saw that obviously turned right instead of left at the spot where the half marathon route and the full/relay route split. It happens every single year and I know Spencer would be one of those kids if he didn't have direct adult supervision.
Dale and Spencer ran it in 25 minutes, which Spencer was disappointed about. Last year he finished in just under 24 minutes. He can be pretty hard on himself, but Dale said he did really well and ran the whole way. Neve and Tia took 40 minutes, which wasn't bad considering that despite Tia's best encouraging efforts, Neve walked most of it. 2.6 miles is still a fair distance when you're seven years old.
|Pre-marathon. We look pretty shiny and fresh considering we all got up at 5:30 a.m.|
|All the kids and me|
Chloe and I had a great run. Our official goal was just to finish (everyone says that), but based on our training runs, I thought we could do it in under 2.5 hours. I didn't really want to say that out loud because I know race day can bring unforeseen things like injury, weather that's not optimum for running, cramps, or even just a really bad running day. Thankfully none of those things happened. Yesterday we woke up to steady rain and I would have been so disappointed if that had happened today. Instead, we woke up to a perfect, beautiful morning. We got to the university early and got a good parking spot. Chloe and I waited in line for quite a while for the bathrooms at the Max Bell centre, but we got to the start line with a few minutes to spare. Then the running began. Chloe did so great; we stuck to our walking-one-minute at each mile marker except for around the five mile mark when Chloe wanted to keep walking. After a couple of minutes, she felt okay to run again so we carried on. I had to encourage her a bit around the 4-6 mile stretch, but she picked up the pace after that. When we got to St. Vital Road where there were sprinklers, popsicles, a water/gatorade station, orange slices, etc., she got her second wind and miles 9-12 were a breeze. It was during this stretch that she said, "This is fun!" and "This isn't actually that hard" and "This is way easier than the training runs." I had to include that here; I told her I was going to remind her of those words. Mile 13 was tougher. I think everyone who's done the marathon can relate to how that mile feels like it will never end. At the start of University Crescent is the sign that says "Irv's Mile" in memory of him. I'm sure Irv was awesome, but I did not think good thoughts about him the first time I ran that stretch and realized the last mile does not start until at least a quarter mile after that sign. Chloe felt the same way today because I forgot to warn her. And then you see the new stadium construction and you think you're almost done. But no. Then you think you see Chancellor-Matheson where you turn, but no. Finally you do get there, and then you're so happy when you turn toward the stadium, but it's still a long stretch. And then you have to run into the stadium and do a quarter lap or so (they've changed it up a bit). Just reading this is probably annoying - just think how annoying it is when you've been running for over two hours.
|This is us on Chancellor Matheson. Don't zoom in on my face. I look like a crazy person. I said don't! No one listens to me.|
|"I hate to see you go but I love to watch you leave," is probably what Dale was thinking (of me, not Chloe) when he took this. This is the one and only photo of my butt and bare thighs you will ever see on this blog.|
But finally, we crossed the finish line at 2 hours 18 minutes and 50-ish seconds, still standing, still smiling. I might have been smiling more than Chloe, but she did awesome. She did far better than I thought she would; both during the training and the actual half-marathon. It makes a mama proud. I feel so lucky that we could do this together; it was such a great bonding experience. She says she'll never do it again (haven't we all said that), but I'd place bets to the contrary. She was pretty pumped about the whole thing and wore her medal all day. She says she's wearing it to school tomorrow too. I asked her if the other kids won't think that's weird, but she said, "Who cares?" That's my girl. My hope is that this will be a confidence-instilling event that she can always look back on whenever there's a challenge ahead and think, "I ran a half marathon when I was 14, so I can do this too."
As for Father's Day, we came home after the marathon, cleaned ourselves up and had a lovely lunch on the deck. We gave Dale his Father's Day gifts and then everyone had a nice long nap. In lieu of supper, we went to Banana Boat for ice cream. I read Anne of Green Gables to the kids and put them to bed early.
I didn't get to celebrate Father's Day with my dad today (we'll see him next weekend), but he's a wonderful dad too and I'm so thankful for him and how his influence has shaped me into the person I am today. I love you, Dad!