Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Classic

Today has been a fabulous Mother's Day.  It began with a quick run around Lake Burley Griffin with thousands of other mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. All of us came out to support breast cancer research at the Australian-wide Mother's Day Classic.  I completed the 10 kilometer run which took us twice around the lake.  This lake is not new territory for me.  While in temporary quarters it is the lake I ran around each time I tied up my laces.  It's a beautiful man-made lake that the Nation's capital city is built around.  National monuments, memorials, museums, Parliament House and beautiful parks line the lake on both sides.  The lake is named after a Chicago-born architect, Walter Burley Griffin, who designed the city. 

Uri brought the kids down to watch me race.  I was so happy to have them there especially because they missed the Half Marathon.  Temperatures were cold (-1 celsius) with frost on the ground.  Its difficult to decide what to wear when its that cold, but the sun was shining.  And, here in Oz, when the sun is out it tends to warm up quickly.  So, at the last minute, I decided to take off all of the extra layers (and I am glad I did!).  I kept my mother's day bracelet on that Chloe made me at school for good luck. 

The first 2ks were not record breaking.  The runners were so thick on a narrow path along the lake that it was difficult to do anything but enjoy a nice warm up.  You should have seen us making our way up the sidewalk to cross the King's Avenue bridge.  We were walking.  It took some time to get my feet warmed up after standing in the frost for an hour before the run.  After the first kilometer they began to tingle as they began to thaw out.  I saw my friend Pam driving over the bridge on her way to park her car.  The main reason I recognized her was because she drives an American car with the steering wheel on the left side of the car.  Pam and some friends were participating in the 5k race taking place later that morning. 

The route began to thin out at 3 kilometers.  My first 5 kilometers were good.  I was on pace and comfortable.  I was happy that I took my under-shirt off.  The sun was warm.  As I approached the halfway point (which was back at the start) I saw Uri making his way to the sidelines with the camera.  Although he was looking at me he didn't see me.  This is a picture of me getting his attention.

The second 5k was not as easy.  My notorious ITB problem came back...on the other leg.  Boy, it was painful.  Kilometers 6 & 7 were particularly hard, but I just wouldn't give up.  At 8k I saw that I was not off my pace too much and remembered my family was at the finish so decided to go for it.  I was happy to finish strong and came in at 55 minutes exactly.  I am quite happy with how I did.  I'll be calling the PT in the morning! 

My run today was dedicated to four amazing women: Kathy Alexander and Susan Richter who fought and survived this disease with incredible spirit, determination and grace; Uri's dear friend, Teri Morris, who is currently fighting this disease; and in memory of my grandmother, Grammie Bec.  It was emotional to be at this event thinking about all of my friends and family who have struggled with this disease.  This event also made me miss my friends and colleagues from the American Cancer Society, New England Division.  I'd have these fleeting moments of thinking I'd see someone I know...can't help it when I am surrounded by pink at a breast cancer walk/run.  I was especially happy when I saw two good friends from the Embassy; Maya and Sonja, who were there volunteering.  Thanks ladies for coming out to help! 

The Tribute Wall
After the race, I enjoyed a nice breakfast at home made by my hubby and cashed in on several of the coupons from the coupon book Anabella gave me for Mother's Day.  These included 7 kisses, a hug (which I have gotten three times so far), an uninterrupted bubble bath, and one back rub.  The coupon book is such a fantastic gift!  Lastly, I've had uninterrupted time to write this post because my husband and Chloe headed off to the grocery store.  


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