Kate turns 10 this coming Saturday.
Ten years old.
We celebrated this milestone with her friends on Monday. Ten girls, ten hula hoops, yards and yards of duct tape and electrical tape, pleasant 70 degree weather, lots of giggling and screaming, running around and rolling in the grass. I think they had fun. It looked like they were, at least. She wanted a rainbow cake – that was her only request. If you could have seen the look on those girls' faces when I cut the first slice. The awe and surprise was amazing. It made me look like a superhero of a mom when all it really took was some food coloring. What they don't know, won't hurt them.
On Kate's actual birthday, I'm running my first half marathon. I remember the first time I thought that I might just want to run that far. It was New Year's Eve 2001 – Kate was 6 weeks old, Jane was 2. Someone asked me what resolutions I had for the coming year. I said to run the half marathon. I didn't end up doing it – I could barely find the time to sleep, let alone run enough to train. Really, what was I thinking? But for 10 years, more or less, that thought has been in the back of my mind. I trained for a different half marathon three years ago, but didn't end up running it. It wasn't meant to be then and, until recently, I wasn't sure it would ever happen.
At the beginning of the summer, I saw a sign advertising a half marathon in November. I mentioned it to Fatty and friends, all of whom are cyclists or runners or both, and they encouraged me. With the promise of beer, I convinced one in particular to coach me (Thank you, Michael. I couldn't have gotten this far without you). I've been training since August. I have run short distances and many miles. People (you know who you are) have helped me along the way and I am grateful to have them in my life, pushing me, running with me, believing in me, cheering me on.
Saturday. 13.1 miles. I'm nervous and little bit scared. But I'm ready.
It only took me 10 years.