As I type this, I’m listening to the playlist from my half marathon yesterday. Just like post-race, I have a big smile on my face, remembering my effort. I was a majorly happy camper yesterday. My goal was to break 1:50, something I hadn’t done in a half. Best halves thus far: Last year I ran the same race in 1:52:05, and the summer before I got pregnant with the twins, I ran another tabletop-flat half in 1:51-something.
Fueled by a carbo-load dinner of spaghetti and turkey meatballs and Phoebe birthday cake (she turned 7 on Saturday!), a solid training plan, and an almost the perfectly compiled playlist, I felt good the entire race—and ran 1:49:55. (By my watch—no chip.) Woo-hoo! Five seconds ain’t much, but that counts—sub-1:50! Perhaps best of all, I passed numerous runners in the second half of the race, reeling in many of them between miles 10 and 13. If the course, set on quiet country roads in exposed farmland as flat as the Netherlands, hadn’t been somewhat windy, who knows what I could have pulled off. I was—and still am—ecstatic!
But when I got home, my joy multiplied: While I was off racing, Jack and his buddies had delivered and set up the second-hand play structure we had bought on craigslist. A big wooden one complete with monkey bars, swings, a faux rock wall, slide, and double-decker playhouse. If you live where large lots are the rule, this might not be such thrilling news, but for those of us with small city yards, this is big-time excitement. Running in our neighborhood, I’d looking longingly at houses set on rare double lots complete with play structures, wishing we had space for one. Finally I decided enough with the envy: We’d tear out the lovely but useless shade garden in our sideyard and plant a play structure there. Who needs lily of the valley, hydrangea, and hellebore when there are three darling, rambunctious kids living here? (Including Daphne, named after one of the two plants we did keep in the sideyard!)
Yup, I feel elated about my speedy half, but the thing that’s going to keep this mother happy in the long run is that play structure.