Saturday, September 19, 2009

A year in the making

Exactly one year ago, I posted about running the MDI Half Marathon and said, in that post, that all my running friends should come and run this race with me next year because it was such a beautiful course.

A few days later, I got an email from Michelle, my cousin Todd's wife, who lives in Maryland.
She said that she wanted to start running, (she was not a runner at the time at all, and had a 6 month old son plus three other kids), and wanted to run the MDI Half Marathon with me next year. I immediately wrote back with my most enthusiastic if-I-can-do-this-you-can-too response, and attached the Hal Higdon 12-week training plan. She wrote back and said: "Thank you for taking me seriously! I'm in!"

And so it began. Michelle started running that very week.

Okay, then get this: as I said, Michelle is married to Todd, my cousin who is a triplet (!). The other two triplets are my cousins Tiercy and Paige. We started an email frenzy and got Tiercy and Paige interested too. Pretty soon, Todd jumped on board. The plan was made: All cousins will reunite in Maine in September and run a half marathon together!

When Sam heard the plan, he did the math quickly and realized that while we were running, there would be 12 children combined to take care of, he said: "I'll run it too!"

Soon after the plan was set, we created our own little blog and called it "Go Team Cousins" where we wrote about running, posted running plans, workouts, complained about our bad days and triumphed in our own little successes. Michelle's sister Meredith joined in too and there was much running talk, banter and bonding.

After a year of blogging, our dream of all crossing the finish line together didn't quite work out.
Paige has an injured foot and can't run, and Tiercy very understandably could not, in the end, make the trip from Utah to Maine for the race. And two weeks ago, Michelle had a sudden and very painful knee injury after successfully completing months of training. How totally unfair.

Fortunately, both Tiercy and Michelle were so ambitious about their training for this half marathon, that they were ready months early. Michelle succesfully completed her first half in May, and Tiercy blew us all out of the water in August.

So, this weekend, Michelle and Todd, with their FOUR children, drove 13 hours from Maryland for the race and for a little Maine vacation. Their mom, my Aunt Ann, flew in from Virginia too!
Because Michelle could not run due to her injury, she decided to walk the 13.1 miles instead. I'm so glad she did!

Our first night together:

The kids table

Pre-race dinner.

Getting some baby Jake love.

On race day, Maine put on her best show of September glory.

And the MDI YMCA has a playground where my mom and my Aunt Ann watched the 6 kids. It was a big job! Luckily, the playground was fenced-in and everyone was on best behavior. Here are some pics my mom took:

This is how Skyler feels about Julianna.

Check out the love-clutch she has on Julianna's jacket.

Sam and Todd were too fast to get finish line photos. I'm really bummed, because we've been told that Todd did a cartwheel over the finish line and there is no proof. They both hoped to beat 2 hours, and they did by 10 minutes. Extremely impressive.

With us in spirit, Tiercy and Paige. I believe we WILL all run a race together some day soon.

Post race meal. Todd and Michelle wanted lobsters, so we took them to this place:

the typical Mainey place with lobster buoys and photos of whales everywhere,

and of course, the fish nets hanging from the ceiling. What a nice touch.

The "Lobster Experience" they had been waiting for.

After all of our bellies were full, we headed home, sore and satisfied. I am so grateful to Todd and Michelle for making the huge trip here to do this together. We had a really terrific time.

On the way home:
Hey, wait just a minute. Exactly who ran 13 miles today?


SNW said...

You're (all) awesome, slash where did you get those running tights? Stocking up on crisp-weather gear. xo!

Emilie said...

steph... they are patagonia, but I got them probably 8 years ago???

Tiercy said...

Emilie, what a great post!!! I feel like I should copy it and put it on mine(but I won't) for two reasons: I was totally there in spirit thinking of you guys ALL day, and because it was my journey too. = ) thanks for understanding my the choice I had to make about going home in the fall.

You guys did awesome!!

And, I've decided that cousins make the best friends, especially as all of ours don't have sisters!

Carver Fam said...

Yay for you! Halfway there!

Lisa said...

Great job team cousins!

Michelle said...

Awesome post! I need to get over how tired I am and upload all my pictures and blog blog blog!

This was such a great day... bittersweet for me to walk it alone. BUT the fabulous sceenery kept me breathless (you know when the knee pain wasn't doing that) and I totally enjoyed the walk!!

I miss you and I miss Maine already!