The Shadow

M. and family are coming for a long awaited visit this weekend. When M. lived in Lausanne years ago we ran together on many weekends. He ran along side me, even though he could run circles around me. Literally. He would run backwards up hills to keep from leaving me in the dust. M. might have done quite well in the 20km de Lausanne, but he stayed as close as my shadow during the whole race. I love the picture of the two of us in the official results booklet. It’s framed and sits proudly by my desk.

gotta run…


The other side of the fence

My 10K started an hour before Husband’s 20K. After I finished my race (we won’t discuss my mediocre time), I hopped on my bike and met Daughter at a strategic intersection where we could see Husband go by twice near kilometers 6 and 7. Then I waited to cheer on several other friends. After they went by, I rode up to another strategic intersection in the center of town where I could watch Husband run by two more times (kilometers 11 and 15). I spotted my friends again coming up one of the toughest hills, before riding down to the finish line. Husband did well and finished strong. We biked home against the flow of runners and saw my friends one last time. I have to admit I enjoyed the 20K much more than the 10K.

Gotta run…


Who said life was fair?

Here’s how it works for Saturday’s race; no matter how many runners were in your category (2008: smallest category 7, largest 579), the first 10 finishers get a colored dot on their race bib the next year. This allows them to start out in front of everyone else. I wonder how the young man who was 11th in his category, and who will have to vie for a spot near the front of the crowd, feels about me (10 minutes slower than he was, but 5th in my category) waltzing up at the last minute and taking my place in front? I’m not sure how I feel about it!

Gotta run…


Short career

Of our three children, only Son 2 is a runner. Daughter’s running career started and ended with a 4K race. She was seven at the time and that was the only distance open to children 7 to 16. I was running the 20K race; her two older brothers were running the 4K. She wanted to be part of it. She ran the whole way. For a 7 year-old, a 4K is comparable to a half-marathon for you and me. She decided right then and there that it would be her first and last race. Now there is a 2K race for kids 10 and under. Too late for daughter.

Gotta run…


2, 4, 10, 20

The 20 kilomètres de Lausanne is a family affair. There are 2K races for kids 7-10,and families, 4Ks for kids 11-16 and families; and anyone over 16 can run the 10 or 20K races. With the first gun going off at 9:30 am, and a different category taking off every half hour till the last race at 6 pm, it’s also an all day affair. When our kids were little we would take a blanket and a picnic lunch, and hope for nice weather. I also started dressing the kids in distinctive matching t-shirts after Son 1 got lost in the crowd one year.

Hurry up and register, the deadline is tomorrow. No signing up on race day.

Gotta run…



On a recent visit, C., who runs off and on and recently started entering a few races, saw me reading my May Runner’s World. She asked if I had any old issues to pass on to her for motivation. I brought out a stack of magazines I had been holding onto; I can’t just throw them away. It’s nice to know they will at least be reread once.

Good luck on the Antwerp 10 miler next week, C.!

Gotta run...


That's dedication

In this month’s Runner’s World, I read about an Olympic marathoner who has run every day since December 1964. Another man ran every day for almost 32 years. His streak was broken by heart surgery, four months after which he ran his 35th straight Boston Marathon. He said:
I’ve run through broken ribs, 104-degree temperatures, and blizzards. I’m a compulsive person in a way.
Do you thing so?


A few of my favorite things, 3

After the snowiest winter I can remember, I’m glad to be able to run in shorts and a t-shirt again. I love the smell of freshly cut hedges. Wild flowers are popping up along the path and the magnolia, forsythia, and cherry trees are blossoming. I’m enjoying spring so far (even though I wasn’t too crazy about getting stung on my run today). I haven’t put away my winter running clothes yet, you never know about April weather.

Gotta run…


The loop

I ran through the fields and woods behind our house in Cheseaux regularly as a teen, then often on Sunday afternoons before our weekly meal with the folks. I had a 3.5-kilometer loop I would run with Boyko, the family dog. As he got older, he would do fewer laps with me. When I passed people sitting on the park bench for the third or fourth time, they would say, “Where’s your dog?” I would answer, “He got tired and went home.” Years later, our kids would follow me on their bikes. They didn’t always last very many laps either. Husband often ran the loop with me. So many fond memories!

Gotta run…


Les Traìne-savates

Saturday’s 10.4K was held in a village just a few miles from Lausanne. When I got there, I saw a woman who smiled at me and said hello. She looked very familiar, so I said hello back and asked where I knew her from. She said, “We’re the family who bought your parents’ house.” You see, Cheseaux is my old stomping grounds. I must have run thousands of miles on that course over the years. Now I only run out there once a year. Kinda like a pilgrimage. I was a bit slower than last year, but I didn’t mind too much because it was a beautiful spring afternoon and the villagers had come out in numbers to applaud us runners. The prize, a windbreaker, was also the best one I’ve received in a long time.

Gotta run…


Give or take a few seconds

It’s very encouraging to hear spectators cheer as you run by, but that doesn’t compare to the cheers of the person running beside you. On the last hill of the recent 15K husband and I ran, a man caught up with me, but instead of passing right by, he slowed to my pace and helped me up the hill with his encouraging words. When we reached the flat, he sped up again. I saw him again after finishing and he congratulated me on hanging in there.

I’m sure he lost a few seconds in the encounter and I gained a few. It made me want to do the same for someone in my next race. I just have to be able to overtake someone on a hill.

Gotta run…