When Batsheva was visiting for Purim, I started jogging with her. She's a pretty accomplished runner and she was a terrific person to get started with--she knew exactly what I should do to get started (she got me doing interval training with 5 or 10 minutes of running and then 30 seconds or 1 minute of walking. Using this method was great, as it meant I did not keel over due to lack of oxygen. Big thanks to our friend Lev who made an interval timer app that was quite a help). It was also so neat to have *her* be the teacher and the one giving encouragement and praise. I see we are entering a whole new level of family life.
So I was (somewhat) ready when one of the local libraries announced their yearly road race, which is their major fundraiser (like most libraries here, it's private. But that's another blog post). Signing up online was a total hoot. The site announced that it was "powered by Google translate". We'll use the word "power" loosely here, because it first told me that my age category was "Old" (in another 12 years I'll be in the "Veteran" category, which sounds much more pleasant) and then sternly admonished that "no one is allowed to use another person's chest during the race" :)
Ilana and I signed up together. She was AMAZING and ran the 2K race in only 17 minutes, with really minimal training (we were trying to figure out if she ran with me three times or was it four, but, whatever it was, it was not much).
|at the end. whew!|
I signed up for the 5K, which was the only longer option (not that I could have done more yet, anyway. I had only run 5k once, last week, when I was starting to panic about being ready for the race). It was really amazing to participate. I had the idea that there would be about 50 people running on the sidewalks. When we picked up our race packets, I found out that 900 people were signed up, major streets would be closed and there would be water stations along the way--so professional! It was so cool to be running in this crowd of people where men were wearing yarmulkes, women were wearing skirts and had their hair covered, and some of the guards who were posted at the intersections were learning religious texts (it's like double guarding since they help cover the spiritual aspect while they stand there with their guns!)
The race started at 7:15 p.m. and the beauty of running at sunset through this area was indescribable. We went on a street that seemed like the edge of the city--just a drop-off down the side and the mountains so close and so beautiful. Amazing. (The downside of being "nestled among the Judean Hills", though, is that it's always "uphill, both ways" around here).
I spent the first bit of the race just being overwhelmed with gratitude that I was there and able to do it. Being so thankful that I had gotten past my endless series of spinal fusions when I was a teenager and my knee surgery when Ilana was young (which was following a sports injury and had me worried I would never be able to do anything physical again).....And using niece Cloe's mantra (from when she was three) of "I'm strong, I'm healthy, I can do this, I can do this" ;)
As someone who spent many years screaming until I was hoarse while cheering runners on at the Boston Marathon, it was really sweet to get my own tiny taste of receiving that support, including a few people who knew me by name and a group of girls who screamed, "Go, Penina's Mom" which I loved. The BEST part was, not surprisingly, the end. While we had been watching the 2k runners come back, Penina had admonished me to chill out in my cheering and clapping--I was being WAY not cool. It was the sweetest thing to run over the finish line and have her and Ilana screaming at the top of their lungs.
We're hoping that next year, all three of us will run the 5k together ;)