Monday, September 10, 2007

We Are Family

If there were an appropriate soundtrack for my past weekend, it would be headed up by The Pointer Sisters.

We are family... I got all my sisters and me!

I rounded up my four younger sisters and ran a marathon relay together on Saturday morning. When I told friends I was heading out of town for a couple of days to do this, most of them said, "oh, I didn't know your sisters run too," to which I replied, "they don't". But on Saturday, they did! And they ran like the best of them.

Actually, to say none of my sisters have ever been runners wouldn't be accurate at all. In high school, two of them ran quite regularly. Both played on the tennis team and used running for cross-training. One of them continued on in college but had a major fallback when she tore the miniscus in her knee. She underwent two surgeries to repair it, but still deals with a fair amount of discomfort when she exercises. Another sister caught the running bug in college and actually entered a couple of 5K's. She didn't do what I did and figure since she ran a 5K, the natural and obvious progression would be then to run a marathon, but she still kept up a pretty good routine of running when she had the time. The other two, while both extremely active (one is especially so with mountain biking and snowboarding), just haven't found running to be their favorite gig. But that didn't matter on Saturday. Over the past several months, they each individually worked up to being able to run a 5.2 mile loop for a race advertised as "One Full Marathon: 1/5 the Pain".

My own training scheduled actually dictated a tapered long run of eight miles for Saturday, but I figured a slow eight would be essentially the same as a fast five. My extra rest earlier in the week really paid off and I started the relay on the first leg with a very strong outing. Once again, I was amazed by the adrenaline of race day as I easily ran a pace I haven't been able to run in training for months. Heading into my full marathon this coming weekend, it was a great confidence booster. Each of my four sisters took their turns afterward and ran the same loop. The course wasn't particularly easy, especially for those who were a little more inexperienced. While much of it ran along a flat paved river trail, there was a short, but steep hill thrown in there in the middle as well as a mile-long steep downhill on the other side. But each one of them plugged away and got it done. I was especially proud of my sister who'd done the least running of all who decided early on if she stopped running to walk because she was tired, she wouldn't be able to start up again. So she just never stopped! She'd run perhaps three miles at most while training, but toughed out the entire 5.2 miles during the race. As a team, we didn't bring home any medals. But we didn't come in last either... which actually was real concern for some of the girls. I tried to convince them there will always be someone that finishes after you just as sure as there will always be someone that finishes before.

My parents also came from the beginning and stuck it out to the very end to support us. We had a great time together and I think I got at least out of one of them a quasi-serious committment to consider training for a half-marathon together sometime next year. We decided at the very least to all do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K next spring.

The rest of the weekend was filled with food, talk and fun. We went out for a nice lunch, followed by some recovery walking through the Museum of Fine Art in Salt Lake City and the local outdoor mall (they even obliged by allowing me some time to stop in to the local running store to pick up some needed supplies for my marathon). By day's end, we were utterly exhuasted and our hotel beds were a welcomed sight. Not even the promising call of the warm hot tub could lure us away.

Growing up in a military family, my sisters and I had to learn how to bond to each other early because often we were all the others had. Now, years and years later, I still consider my sisters my best friends. And on Saturday, they were my running team too.


Jim said...

Awesome job Angie getting everyone together like that. With all due respect, "We Are Family" is from Sister Sledge, not the Pointer Sisters. But you young kids today wouldn't know of such things now wouldja? Now, when EYE was your age......

Anonymous said...

Long live the Madsen Moseys! I have a feeling our annual Sister's Retreat will now list running on somewhere on the agenda. After running 1/5th of a marathon, I am now officially impressed--no, awed--by those who CHOOSE to run 5 times longer. We'll be seeing you next week, Ang!

robison52 said...

Congrats on a fine adrenaline filled fun race!! You're the official Pied Piper of Running as you said, "I think I got at least out of one of them a quasi-serious committment to consider training for a half-marathon together sometime next year." You're a terrific role model for your family!! Now if I can get my wife at least to walk.

See Zanne Run said...

that's awesome! love that last picture. and love your bit about the race day adrenaline spurring you on at a pace you haven't done in training in a while ... this is a current worry of mine & you give me hope ... thank you for the reminder of race day adrenaline! good luck this weekend angie!!

Joe said...

Wow, you're all so tall (except for the one on the left, I suppose).

The Salty One said...

Lots of tall girls running! Woo!

Good luck this weekend! I'll be rooting for you all the way in Ohio!