cecilia bedelia goes for a run (because her mom made her)
I knew when we finalized a weekend for Mom’s visit that her trip would overlap her training schedule for the River Bank Run. ”You can go running in Central Park!” I told her before she arrived. ”I might even run with you. You can run the full loop at 6.whatever miles and I could join you on the first and last miles.”
“That sounds great, Cecilia!” Mom said enthusiastically. ”Two miles… or even three miles… whatever you want.”
“Don’t push your luck, lady!” I replied. ”I’ll give you two miles. That’s more than I usually run.”
Mom laughed. ”I’ll take the two!” And that’s exactly what she got on Saturday morning.
I had picked her up from the airport the previous morning. Mom and I spent most of Friday traipsing around mid-town, enjoying some quality mother-daughter time. We were both exhausted by the time we reached my apartment, and we fell asleep watching a movie. Our naps and the movie ended just as Karl arrived for a late dinner. We didn’t stay up too late since Karl was driving back to New Jersey that night and Mother and I were running in the morning. Still, Mom and I managed to oversleep. Thankfully it didn’t upset our plans too much. We dragged ourselves out of bed, threw on our running gear, and headed down to Central Park.
We warmed up our muscles with a little stretching before joining the legions already circling the park. Mom set our pace, but kept checking to make sure she wasn’t going too fast for me. I was able to keep up just fine. Mom was in her glory, while I couldn’t wait for my mile to end. I asked several times when it would be over. She would check her fancy runners’ watch and update me on our progress. I would groan no matter what the answer was.
“You can stop now if you want,” Mom offered graciously.
“No, no. I can run a mile.” I insisted. I ended up running a little over a mile on the first leg. Then Mom and I parted ways. I headed west to cut across the park, and Mom continued north along the Central Park Loop. She still had to run four miles before picking me up at Mile 5 for the last leg. So I took my time getting to the other side. I moseyed through The Ramble, stopped to stretch several times, talked to Karl on the phone, relaxed on a park bench, talked to Rosario… I was still on the phone with Rosario when I decided I didn’t feel like running another mile.
“I’m going to walk down a way so I don’t have to run as far,” I informed my sister. I stopped when I came to an intersection. I had been standing there for a few minutes when I suddenly spotted Mom up the road. ”Oooo! I see Mom! I’m not ready to run again! I gotta stretch muh calves.” I gave Rosario the play-by-play as I stretched faster than I had ever stretched before. I knew as soon as my mom saw me because she started laughing at the way I was stretching.
I fell into step next to Mom. ”Where were you?” she asked. ”I looked for you at Mile 5, but you weren’t there. I was worried.”
I smiled sheepishly. ”Sorry, Mom. I just didn’t think I had two miles in me, so I got a head start on the last mile.” Dear Mom just shook her head.
I ended up running two whole miles. The overage I completed at the beginning made up for the ‘head start’ at the end. I don’t know how fast we ran the last mile, but Mom started sprinting at the end. I cheered her on, as usual with a lot of ‘Finish strong, Mom! Finish strong!’ and ‘Nice finish! Nice finish!’
“Didn’t you want to finish strong?” she asked when I finally caught up to her.
“Nope! I’m just glad I finished.”
Later in the day, I had a chance to show Mom my idea of running: sprinting through Penn Station. We were on our way to New Jersey to stay with Karl’s family for the rest of the weekend and had to run for our train. And I mean RUN for our train. I had to hold back a bit or I would have left poor Mom in my dust! I’m used to weaving in and out of crowds at top speed; she’s used to long distance. Besides, the woman had just finished running six miles! We made it to our train, both with a new appreciation for each other’s running talents.