It was fun being back with the pack; there were some 6,000 runners, and, at the start, we were really packed in. I went with Ben and some of his friends and stood with Ben at the start. The weather was good for running, and the crowds and music were energizing.
|Ben and me after the race, with|
Holyoke City Hall behind us.
And after all that worry about my feet, they didn't bother me at all.
I wasn't even going to think about the time, but when I crossed at 1:23, although I was happy to finish, I did think, "How did I get so slow?" My time, after all, used to be in the 50s at my best best and although slower with time, it was usually under an hour...except for the 2003 race when I was much slower, went to the doctor, and ultimately was diagnosed with leukemia.
When my father slowed down in his 80s, he used to say, "I'm a shadow of my former self." I'd say, "Dad, you've had two heart surgeries and you're a little older. You're doing great."
I guess I inherited some of my father's competitive streak. I'm sure it helped me get through a lot of the things that were thrown at me. But still.
Of course I know how I got so slow. I'm a little older and haven't run the race in five years. And three years ago I was in a coma, bedridden for months, and unable to walk when I could finally get out of bed.
Anyway, people did finish behind me.
I'm alive and feeling well, and I earned my new green shirt.