(Almost) The Eve of Battle


It is a strange thing to be sitting on a balcony, surrounded by the steep green peaks of the Tirolean Alps, listening to the clang of belled cows, using faster internet than I have in my little writing room in Franconia, and writing (once again) about running.

It is almost the Eve of Battle, and my emotional roller coaster has not come to a complete stop since we loaded up the car this morning.

There are moments when I question what I’m doing–what on earth makes me think that a simple housewife, homeschool mom with four kids and a fluffy white dog can join the same race with all these ATHLETES? People from Kenya, for goodness sakes! Have you seen how they FLY? I don’t think their feet touch the GROUND!

At those moments, I want to pack up and head for home and console myself with vigorous mopping and closet-cleaning.

Then there are times when I listen to the kids. I hear the joy and excitement in their voices and I begin to realize that maybe running marathons isn’t just about me…maybe it impacts them too. If nothing else, it gives us a fun family time, away from the routine we get so blinded by.

Then my imagination fast-forwards: How will it be for Katie when she’s 38 to tell her Kaffee Schwestern that her mom is a marathon runner? Or will Noah still be my (only) running buddy? Will he be waiting for me across the finish line someday with his own muddy running shoes, wrapped in a solar blanket, a medal dangling from his neck, and downing a good German beer? Will he come back and run the last mile with me (or five) so we can finish together? Will I even be here to cross the finish line 30 years from now?

Then there are those glorious Present-Tense moments when I am a runner–and not just a frightened, nervous runner, but a veteran marathoner.

As I walked alone to the event arena this afternoon, I became so excited about the race, I could hardly keep myself from breaking into a trot.

I proudly entered the tent, and this year, I knew exactly what to do.

I bypassed the “half-marathon” table and marched to the chart posted at the far end of the room, which listed not Kenyans or Retirees or Sports Stars or Hausefraus–but marathon runners.

Number 591.

That’s me.

And the only reason they put my name up there is because I’m an athlete too.

I can’t wait to hear that starting gun!

There is the possibility that my feet won’t touch the ground this year.


One response »

  1. Keri, we are so proud of you, first place or last! It is the effort you have put into being healthy and learning how to run properly through sore knees, achy lungs and all. You are our hero and your feet never touch the ground. The mops and the closets can wait, World, here comes Keri.

    Love from Oklahoma.

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