There is nothing quite so bracing as lunging for one’s alarm clock at 6:30 in the morning, only to suffer a spontaneous and extremely painful cramp in one’s right calf. I know exactly what to do when a cramp happens: grab one’s toes and pull up and toward you. This lessens the pain enough that you no longer wish to die, but not enough that you can just go “TRA LA” and go on about your business.And if you let go too soon, the pain comes right back.And the whole time, the alarm clock is going “BLATT BLATT BLATT” and getting increasingly loud.Nothin’ better than that.
There’s nothing to make you feel silly as sitting through the age group awards at a 5K run/10K run/5K walk, waiting patiently for the organizers to get to the awards for top fundraisers, and then hearing your name called out as the Top Male Finisher for the walk. Which they said they weren’t going to time. And having all the runners who did the 10K in 38 minutes and the 5K in 17 minutes clapping because you finished the walk in 45 and a half minutes.I was not only the first male to finish, I was also the first male in the 40-49 bracket, which meant I had to get back up and claim a second ribbon, alongside Carole, who was first in the female 40-49 bracket and thus got a ribbon as well.I wanted to sit right back down and and try not to meet anyone’s eyes, but we were firmly directed off to one side where a photographer was waiting to photograph our greatness.Carole and I had decided not to run the Run for Empowerment, benefiting Women Helping Battered Women, because we needed to get in a training walk for the upcoming Seattle Susan G Komen, because I’ve let myself get out of running shape, and because Carole’s never liked to run anyway.I think, all told, there were 13 walkers. Two of those were men. The other guy was in the 60-69 age bracket. But YAY I WAS THE FASTEST oh god kill me now I’m a 48-year-old and I just basically got one of these:
On a much more positive note, the Run for Empowerment raised something like $17,000 to help fund the programs of Women Helping Battered Women, which is awesome. Carole raised $1025 on her own, which is really awesome, when you consider that she did it in ONE WEEK. Social media can work amazingly well for fundraising, if you know how to use it.At the end of the event, they announced the top fundraisers, and we were startled and confused when Carole was announced as the #2 fundraiser. There was another participant who had a few hundred more dollars raised who we expected to be announced second, but instead they called for Carole. We both looked very startled and started semaphoring to the staff member from WHBW who was doing the announcing that Carole was third, but said staff member firmly shook her head and said second.It wasn’t until it was all over that she told us that when it came to “offline” money actually turned in at the start of the walk (as opposed to raised via the website), and all tallied up, Carole had actually finished 2nd. I have no idea what happened to that person who’d been ahead of Carole all week, but hey, being 2nd-place fundraiser is pretty cool. And again, thanks to wonderful generous friends and acquaintances, Carole pulled all that off in ONE WEEK. (She says “THANK YOU SO MUCH” and will be writing her own blog entry later.)
On a more negative note, it turns out that if you’re going to go crazy buying hanging pots of flowers to make your back yard look more festive, you’ve got to remember to water them. I was out of town (in Illinois) for work this past week and it was hot and sunny back here in Vermont … and Carole was busy working on a very detailed and complicated government security clearance application… and oops. Carole caught it today and watered everywhere and everything, and we hope the flowers rebound. One of these days I’ve got to win the lottery so I can afford a personal landscaper. We’re definitely pretty incompetent at it.