For years the Perea family has run the Bolder Boulder. It is a family tradition, but our two youngest children have never joined us before. After years of curiosity, our middle child, the actress, begged to join the more athletic members of our family to see what all the fuss was about. The story of her adventure is provided below.
Right Before the run
Piper: Oh no, my legs are itchy, I think I am allergic to something. Ahhhhh. [We stop at Walgreen's and buy chewable Benadryl. She takes one, and I tuck a 2nd in my sock in case it doesn't work. We check our stuff in to the mobile locker and head to the starting line.]
Mom: [Hugging Dad and big sister] Ok, you two, good luck! Don't worry about me and Piper, we will just meet you in the same spot as last year at the end.
Piper: I am so excited!! This should be fun. I am also a little nervous.
Piper: Hey!! We made it to the 1 mile marker. Cool. That wasn't so bad, only 5 more to go.
Mom: Uh...yeah, that's the 1K marker. We have to do 9 more of those. [Piper shakes off her incredulous stare and moves forward, thoroughly disgusted]
1 Mile marker
Piper: Oh no. We have only gone one mile?! [starts to cry] I am just so itchy I can't stand it. It's driving me crazy.
Mom: Do you want to quit? Or should we take the 2nd Benadryl and see what happens.
Piper: Let's do the the Benadryl. I can do this. Dad says if I start the race, I have to finish. Let's go. [dries tears, takes pill, soldiers on]
Piper: Mom, my itchies are gone, but now my feet and knees hurt [starts crying again] I mean really, really hurt.
Mom: [sitting her down on the curb] Look there are some firemen over there, let's ask for a short cut to the stadium, maybe this wasn't a great plan.
Piper: NO! Dad says you can't quit once you start something, I just need a minute...I can do this.
Mile 3 [after walking slowly in silence for 27 minutes]
Mom: Piper? Are you ok? Honey, oh...are you still crying? Babe, we do NOT have to do this. There is no shame in calling it if you are hurting yourself.
Piper: Nope. Keep walking
Piper: [louder crying and yanking on her dress- clearly her sensory issues have kicked in] Oh Mom, my dress it is driving me crazy. It feels funny. I forgot a change of clothes. I can't stand these socks and shoes anymore. Ahhhhhhhh. Can you walk with your hand right here in my neckline. It feels better away from my skin but my hands are getting tired from holding it out.
Mom: Yeah...sorry, but I am not going to walk down the street with my hand down your shirt. That just wouldn't look good and I am just not doing it. You are out of luck on that one darling. But we can quit anytime you want. Really. You don't have to prove anything to us. I am already proud of you.
Piper: NO!! I said I was finishing and I am finishing.
Mom: All right. Let's soldier on....[5 minutes later, just after the 7K marker] Oh crap, do you see who is behind us? Those people in the orange shirts are the course cut off pace walkers. If we don't finish ahead of them, we get cut off from the stadium. If that happens we may have to walk longer to get to Dad and Talia. You know what? Here, hop on my back.
Mom; *Groaning* Smile for the cameras darling. I want proof that this is actually happening.
Piper: Thank you so much Mom. I am starting to feel better.
8 1/2 K
Mom: Oh my lord, I have got to put you down. My legs are starting to feel like jelly. [sudden loss of 85 pounds causes excessive flailing around, much like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz as the muscles adjust to loss of pressure.]
Piper: Mom!! Are you ok!?!
Mom: Yep, just let me get my legs under me.
Just shy of 9K
Piper: Mom, there is a bathroom. I have to go.
Mom: Ok, we can both go, but quickly, those orange shirts aren't that far behind us....[waiting outside]...Piper? Honey? You have got to hurry up, the orange pacer people are....Oh no, there they are! Piper, they are here, we have got to hurry!
Piper: [bursting out of the bathroom, dress hitched up, yanking up her shorts with a fierce look of determination] We can DO this!!!! Come on mom, I feel better. Let's run! [takes off]
Mom: [standing there in shock] Um. What? [after running about 100 feet] Wait! Piper! Slow down! Mommy's asthma can't take this *gasp* *gasp*
Sideline security: OK RUNNERS YOU HAVE 10 MINUTES TO FINISH! ONE K TO GO PEOPLE LET'S HUSTLE IF YOU WANT TO MAKE IT TO THE STADIUM
Mom: Oh lord! Ok Piper, let's run.
Sideline security: RUNNERS YOU HAVE 2 MINUTES. LET'S PICK UP THE PACE!
Mom: Piper *gasp* Look. Those are the world class runners. *gasp* They will be where we are in about 20 minutes.
Piper: WOW! That is crazy fast. I guess we better hurry.
Piper: Mom!! It's the finish line! We made it.
Mom: *gasp* Oh *gasp* no. *gasp* That's the *gasp* last mile *gasp* marker. The race *gasp* is 6.2 miles.
Piper: Where's the finish line then?
Mom: In the *gasp* stadium.
Piper: WHAT!? I can't make it that far.
Mom: Well, *deep breath* we don't have to run *deep breath* anymore. We are past the kick off point *deep breath* We made it to the stadium.
[Two figures slowly drag themselves over the finish line, smiling watery smiles "for the cameras" not unlike figures from a movie with slow moving zombies.]
Shane: Hey! There you guys are. We have been here for about an hour....[smile fading] um, how did it go?
Mom: *blank stare accompanied by heavy breathing*
Piper: I did it Dad!! I did it!! I actually finished the race. I didn't think I was going to make it, but I did!! I am so proud of myself! Can you believe it?
Shane: That is so amazing. I am so proud of you, honey. Hey, is Mommy ok?
Piper: Yeah, she is just tired because she had to carry me and then she had to run a lot.
Shane: [arches one eyebrow] Do you want to talk about it Mom?
Mom: [Tears welling up, shakes head] I'll save it for Incredibly True Stories.
Epilogue- The Car Ride Home
Piper: You know, I always wondered what the Bolder Boulder was like. I am really glad I did it, but I think I'll probably skip it next year. It seems like way too much work.
Mom: Sounds good. Zzzzzz.......
|Before the race, when we were all fresh faced and hopeful.|