Friday, November 28, 2008
Just Call Me Rosie ... Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving, all! We had one of our best, and funniest, Thanksgivings ever. Memorable for many reasons, all of them humorous.
The fun and merriment started on Wednesday morning before school, when Bill began preparing his Thanksgiving stuffings. He gets an A for effort, and you know what that inevitably means. Let's just say Julia narrowly escaped a serious brain injury when Bill opened the oven door to check on the chestnuts he was roasting (sounds almost romantic, right?), and gunfire erupted from inside the oven, spraying a white mealy material all over Bill and Julia. The chestnuts were literally exploding, one after the other, in the oven and outside of it when Bill opened the door to check on the noise. You may recall that Bill has some difficulty with small details, such as "split the spaghetti squash down the middle," or "cut an X in the top of each chestnut before roasting." It was the funniest part of Thanksgiving ... until this morning.
The picture of the crew above is the small troupe we gathered together to run the Feaster Five Road Race in Andover on Thanksgiving morning. We have been running the race for years, with family and friends joining us to run in the often freezing, windy cold. This year, we were joined by several friends and super runners (and still newlyweds) Kristen and DJ, in from Bellingham, Washington for the holiday. The sun broke through as the race was starting, and it turned out to be a beautiful morning for running.
As was the case last year, I ran with my friend, Jennifer Marois (another swim mom; her son, Marc, is one of Ethan's best friends and teammates). Jennifer and I attained respectable times in the 5-mile race last year, and we promised to boost each other up again this year so that we could guiltlessly stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving desserts later in the day. As the race got under way, we felt great. There is a rather long, steep hill at the beginning of the course, and, in contrast to several Thanksgivings when I could barely run the whole way up the hill, this year all my hard training paid off and Jennifer and I were still laughing, talking and yes, running, at the top of the hill. Then, because we were so obviously distracted by all the laughing, talking and running we were doing -- a lethal combination which completely drains the brain of blood, oxygen and common sense -- we made the fateful decision to turn left instead of running straight at the top of the hill. As a result, contrary to our best and sincerest intentions, we ended up traveling the 5 Kilometer route instead of the 5 Mile route to the finish.
Didn't you notice, you may wisely ask. Weeelllll..... we did comment on the fact that we didn't see a mile marker after the 2-mile sign. And, we arrived at the finish line in the blisteringly fast time of 34.14, sprinting (unheard of for me) to the finish line, exhilarated, proud and feeling very young. Of course, within about 15 seconds we realized there was no possible way we had run the 5 mile course, because, as much as this may surprise you, all of my training has not yet allowed me to run a 7-minute mile, under any conditions.
So, Jennifer and I were much chagrined, and shared our good (private) laugh with the kids on the car ride home. How could we miss the signs? Hadn't we run the race before? Weren't we paying attention? Did we really think we'd feel that good after running 5 miles? The Happy Thanksgiving telephone call later that day between Kristen and Melissa went something like, "Listen to this. Guess what Catherine did. Not only did she think she ran the 5 mile, but she actually finished in the 5-mile corral. Can you believe it? Blah, Blah, Blah."
Now, up to this point in the day, my biggest supporter was my heretofore unsupportive son, Ethan. Like any good criminal defense lawyer, Ethan wisely pointed out, "Mom didn't actually cheat, because she didn't run the 5K route On Purpose, she just made a mistake."
To which I say, "Thank you, Ethan. And, by the way, do you think everyone else will feel that way, or do I have to write a letter to the Eagle Tribune explaining the circumstances of my finishing 9th overall for women in the 5 mile race?" Check it out. Page 2 of the Sports Section. Catherine Sullivan, 9th, and yes, Jennifer Marois, 10th. Of course they got our ages right as well.
The congratulatory phone calls have already started coming in. My mother-in-law called at 9 am with her sincere best wishes, gushing, "Oh my God, Catherine, I'm so proud of you! All that hard work really paid off. I knew you were running a lot, but I had no idea you were that fast. That's wonderful. Billy must be so proud of you!"
I just didn't have the heart to explain it all to her. Not yet, anyways. I think I'll just enjoy my under seven-minute mile for a few more hours. Like the cornucopia we had for the table, my cup truly has runneth over.