One Christmas, I gave Chef the gift of making his running T-shirts into a blanket. He loves that blanket, and he uses it a lot. I decided that I want to make one for myself, too, so I’ve been saving up my shirts from the races I run.
This shirt was for the first organized race I participated in. Except it wasn’t so organized. It was supposed to be a 5K, but I’m pretty certain it was only about a 4.5K. There was supposed to be someone timing us, but the timer got bored by the time I came in, so I don’t know what my time was.
About a year later, I ran my first half marathon. Chef ran it with me. It was crazy hilly, and my hip was killing me by the end. This was the beginning of my sacroiliitis, but thanks to my chiropractor, that’s under control now.
That was in the spring. Chef and I had so much fun, that the same afternoon, after we ran uphill for thirteen miles (at least, that’s what it felt like), we were trying to decide when our next race would be. We could barely walk, but we were looking for our next half marathon. We decided it would be that fall.
During the Lake City Half Marathon, it rained. And rained. Pretty much the whole time, it rained. My shoe rubbed my toe, and I got my very first black toenail. It fell off a couple of months later.
About a month after Lake City, my alma mater had a 5K which I entered.
Last December, my mother-in-law suggested we run a 5K. It was very very cold, and there were patches of ice on the trail where we ran. But I was grateful to be out there nonetheless, because it helped me stay in shape over the winter.
In 2009, I ran several races that didn’t provide t-shirts. That is truly disappointing to me. A race number doesn’t make as nice a blanket, after all. But still, I know I ran them, and I did it partly in training for the following race: the Indianapolis Half Marathon. This was the first race I truly did on my own. I didn’t know anyone else running. No relatives, no friends. Honestly, I loved it. I set a personal record for time, and while part of that is due to good training, part of it may have been because I wasn’t distracted by a running partner.
This December, I ran my only repeat race — the 5K with the YMCA. It’s not that it’s the best race in the world, but it is nearby, and it’s in the winter, which is encouragement to stay active.
At the moment, I have seven race shirts. That’s two more than Chef had when I made his blanket. (Not that he’d run fewer races — just that I couldn’t find any more of his shirts.) How many should I save up until I make the blanket? I mean, I’m not going to stop running or racing just because my blanket is done, so what’s the cut-off for a good blanket? I’m thinking nine. That would make a nice square of t-shirts in the middle.
But then what do I do? Just keep running, I guess, and save up my shirts for another blanket.