Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slow and Steady

I run marathons.  I don't run them very fast (4:17 is my personal record, 5:13 is my personal worst), but I have run a lot of them.  I've never worried if I'll finish, because I know a secret:

No matter how slowly, I can get to the finish line by crawling if necessary.  I can finish looking good or finish looking like I got run over, but I will not DNF.  (For the non-runners out there, DNF = Did not finish.  It's my greatest fear in running.)

Ellie already knows this secret, even though she is 13 days old and can't quite hold up her own head, let alone run 26.2 miles.  She makes progress at her own speed.  Her eyes are starting to track.  She loves drinking from a bottle and is very angry she only gets 5 ccs at a time right now.  These little milestones may take her longer to reach than other kids.  Oh well.

One reason I love the sport of marathoning is that the guy who finishes in six hours gets a medal.  So does the guy who qualifies for Boston.  And they even get to race against each other!  Everyone is in the mix together.  I had a six-year-old friend inquire after one of my races why I got a medal if I didn't get first, second, or third place.  While somewhat irritated that this six-year-old could not recognize the hard work I'd put in to place in the thousands, I was able to reply, "Because running a marathon is so hard, you get a prize just for finishing."

Even if sweet Ellie takes a little bit longer, she'll cross that finish line with every milestone.  And we are so proud of her.

The guy running his first race taking all day usually has more friends, fans, and signs than Meb or Paula.  They don't need signs.  They are expected to win.  If they get third or fourth, the media critiques their efforts.  But when the slow guy finishes and his family surrounds him, he doesn't care that he finished in 10,387th place.  His friends and his family don't care.  They're just proud he finished.

(Sleepy girl reflected in her new toy, the mirror!)

(Love this little monster!)

(Checking out one of her visitors)

(Just hanging out with Mommy)
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  1. Love the analogy! I ran 1 marathon and my goal was 4:20 (10 min miles) I finished in 3:57 and hope to run more. I love running and thinking and running and thinking. I will always think of this now, thanks!

    Good job on the running by the way :)

  2. Ellie's beautiful! Congratulations! I just found you through your comment on Kelle H.'s blog - we live in the DC area, too, and my chromosomally-enhanced daughter is almost 5. :-)


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