On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.

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Today is Day 1 of my training for the DC edition of the Ragnar Relay Series. While S swam in this morning’s drizzle, I checked off a 4.4 mile tempo run. (According to running calculator guru Greg McMillan, tempo is the quickest pace you can comfortably hold for 1 hour.) It took me 1 mile to question what I was doing and 3 miles to decide that I was not crazy. In just under 13 weeks, I will be joining 11 other mother runners–none of whom I’ve met in person–on a 200-mile trek from Cumberland, Maryland, to National Harbor. Yes, 200 miles. With 11 other moms. And I can’t wait!

You see, I get one get-out-of-the-house-free pass from Ryan per year. That means 1 whole weekend without any feeding, cleaning, schooling, or diabetes responsibilities. He’s completely in charge, and I’m not. For the past two years, I’ve jetted off to Padre Island to visit friends from our last duty station and run the PIBC Surf ‘n Turf 10k. That’s in January each year, and this year I decided to hold onto my card.

The right moment presented itself when my favorite running blog announced a contest for 22 spots on two Ragnar relay teams. The contest entry was completely open-ended, the race finishes a mere 50 miles from my doorstep, and I was determined to get a spot. I will shamelessly admit that I enlisted my children’s help with my winning entry. The girls consulted with me and helped create a shoebox diorama. (That was after I agreed to trade one of my empty shoe boxes for S’s Saucony shoe box. Saucony is a sponsor.) Last month we all celebrated when the first team was announced and we found my name on this list. (Correction: Ryan was not celebrating. He still thinks I’m nutty to want to spend 24 hours in a van with sweaty sleep-deprived strangers. He also knows what’s in store for him while I’m gone.) Here are my teammates.

All of this is to explain what I will be doing with my free time for the next 13 weeks. If I look (more) tired (than usual), you’ll know why. If you can’t get in touch with me from October 3-5, you’ll know why. If Ryan looks completely exhausted and frazzled on those same dates, you’ll also know why.

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