Skip to main content

Another 5K and Mother's Day

Last weekend I participated in the Healthy Heart Women's Classic, my second (and probably last) 5K of the season. I had originally registered to run in the Miles for Moffitt 5K at USF with Joe that same day, but he came down with a bad cold soon before the event, and Anna had already planned to participate in the Women's Classic, so I decided to run with her and Gabe, rather than by myself. I had already made my nonrefundable philanthropic contribution to Moffitt, a cancer institute associated with USF, so I figured they certainly wouldn't miss me if I didn't show.

The Women's Classic took place at Al Lopez Park, which is actually quite beautiful and filled with plenty of trees for shade. This run was significantly smaller than the last run I was in--I doubt there were more than 100 participants--and about 99% of the participants were women (way to represent, Gabe). What was most significant about this run, however, was that Anna's organization, The Ophelia Project, was sponsoring a group of girls for their Girls on the Run program, which encourages healthy behaviors, such as running, in pre-teen girls. Some of these girls were not runners, but they had been training somewhat with running coaches in the weeks leading up to the event. Anna asked if I would be a "running buddy" and stick with one of the girls during the run. I hesitated to commit, because in the back of my mind I was thinking I had to beat my last time of 36 minutes. So I just dodged an answer. I'd make that decision at the last minute.

Just as the run began, I felt a surging sense of civic duty to run with one of the girls as much as possible, so I stayed with Anna and two girls in the program, but after about fifty feet the girls lost wind and fell back at a walking pace. I cringed and tried running in place, then backwards, but when that proved impossible, I decided I had to work toward my own personal goal and try to beat my time. I took off and left the girls behind with Anna. I ran most of the race by myself, sometimes falling into pace with other women. I found it difficult to know if I was pacing myself well or pushing myself hard enough. In the end I came in two minutes earlier than my last race time, which is certainly an improvement, but not as much as I'd hoped for.

I found Gabe waiting around in the park after having completed his run in 28 or 29 minutes, and we waited for a while for Anna to come in with one or both of her girls. After 50 minutes, we went looking for her along the running path and finally saw her with one of the girls, briskly walking along and chatting. They were dead last. We joined them, as did the running coaches, and, closer to the finish line, the girl's dad. It was kind of an inspirational moment when we all picked up the pace to run with her across the finish line. I was choked up for sure. Even though she came in at about 57 minutes, which the time caller didn't bother to call out loud, I felt a lot of pride for the girl (Lassandra?) for finishing the race, and for Anna for unselfishly sticking with her the whole way.


Later that day I willingly got in a car with Joe, Anna, and Gabe to drive to Mount Dora for Mother's Day. It's significant to say that I willingly got in the car with them because two of them were sick (Anna and Joe). This made for a rather rough, but spirited weekend trip. We stopped in Orlando to have dinner with Dad, which was a somewhat botched event, since the highly anticipated meal at Bonefish Grille was replaced by a mediocre Italian experience at the restaurant next door that did not have a 60 minute wait.

We settled in at Mom's later that evening and went to sleep so we could get up early to prepare Mother's Day breakfast and then head out to the new pontoon for some lake touring. Breakfast turned out to be delicious, with Gabe on the quiches, Catie preparing the french toast, and me--where else, but at the fruit bowl.

It was a windy morning when we all loaded onto the boat, Adrienne and Grandma now in tow, and Perry whipped us through the rough waters quite speedily until we reached the canal. It was suddenly very serene and scenic maneuvering through the canal, with little turtles bathing on logs, blue herons watching us in stillness, and even a couple of alligators poking their beady eyes above water. We all enjoyed the peace of nature together as other holiday boaters passed us by.

After returning safely to land, we convened at the Frosty Mug for lunch, where Pattie met up with us. We visited over salads, sandwiches, and fish 'n' chips, and then we returned to Mom's house for ice cream sundaes. It was a long and full day, especially for the two sickos, and us kids were ready to head home.

That evening Joe slept for 13 hours straight, and I shifted around the house uncomfortably, sensing some dark viral entity looming over my body, ready to strike as soon as I let my guard down.


People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: Hard Feelings

I'm one and a half weeks out from my second foot surgery, and, by all important measures, I'm doing well. But boy has the past week been difficult. In the first few days post-surgery I was in a pretty good mood; the surgery had gone well, I was in the excellent care of my mom, and I had made it past the last major hurdle of this months-long event. All I had to look forward to was recovery and progress and gradually returning to my normal life, whatever that might look like.

But even though I've gone through this process once already, it's still just as difficult this time around. There's the constant worrying about this weird feeling or that new pain, the accidental step in the middle of the night when I forgot which foot was injured, and the agonizing wait time between appointments. Now it's compounded by concern over whether I'm taking good enough care of my first foot. Did I ruin the surgery when I stubbed my toe falling off an exercise ball? Am I using …

Surgery Chronicles: I Exhale

I've really been holding my breath with this recovery, more so than the last one for some reason. After getting past the three-week point (which was two weeks ago, when I started to write this), I felt a little more at ease. Since then I've been changing my own dressing daily and slowly weaning off of crutches so I can now walk around in the boot—hands-free! I'm still a slave to icing and elevating as much as possible throughout the day. But the very best part? There's no other foot left to do. After this, I'm done, done, done. I can start to return to a life not defined by sitting and waiting and feeling confined and limited and trying my hardest to heal but having little actual control over any of it.

I wrote in my last post about the difficult emotions I'd been having throughout this second surgery recovery. I think I underestimated the psychological toll I would take doing one foot right after the other. And while there was a feeling of elation after gettin…

Surgery Chronicles: 12 Weeks and Progress

I'm now more than 12 weeks recovered from my second (and final!) foot surgery, and life is starting to feel a little more normal. When I last wrote an update, seven weeks ago (still blaming Irma for all of my delays), I had just gotten off of crutches but would wear my boot for two more weeks. I've been out of the boot and walking in shoes for just over five weeks. The constant discomfort I've felt in my foot from swelling is finally starting to wane. I work in the office now, I do my own groceries, and I even attended a work conference recently, which meant lots of walking at airports and the conference hotel, frequent standing, and few opportunities to elevate and ice. I was very concerned about how my feet, particularly the left one, would endure. And while it wasn't comfortable, I made it through, no worse for the wear in the end.

I joined a new gym/community center recently, with a new and beautiful outdoor pool, and I'm so happy that I'm able to use it n…