Chapter 18 ~Lisa is Psyched for the Marathon
As soon as Lisa had a chance to get to the team bus and her backpack she text Nicole.
I won. I won states. I can’t believe it. We won the state championship for the fifth time. We beat Stinson by ten points. Mia came in fourth. Marie ran seventh, Leah came in twelfth and Sara twentieth.
Within seconds Nicole texted back.
Wow. Congrats Lisa. I didn’t want to say anything, but I had a feeling you were going to win. Your times got better each week. Can’t wait to run with you next week. You made me proud.
Lisa was exhausted. It was a happy kind of exhaustion. She and her teammates were excited.
Coach Kappa stood up in front of the bus, and said, “I am so proud of you. You never quit. You fought hard against the toughest opponents we’ve ever faced. You earned this.”
Coach Kappa raised the state championship trophy over head. The runners gave a sustained cheer. “One more thing, some of you are planning to run in the Turkey Day marathon. Don’t turn it into a race. Enjoy the run. Enjoy everyone who runs with you. You worked hard this season. Our spring track seasons begins March 1. Between now and then only easy runs. One more item, lunch is on me.” The runners let out another cheer.
Lisa listened to Coach Kappa, maybe she’d take it easy this week since the season was over. She wanted to be ready for the Thanksgiving marathon on Saturday. Well, maybe she take a couple of long slow runs to keep her legs in shape.
When Coach Kappa sat down, Lisa pulled out her iPhone and texted Nicole.
What kind of workouts will you do this week?
Nicole’s text came within seconds.
Let’s take it easy. You pushed hard the last few weeks. We’re only running for fun. Don’t forget to pick up the registration packets at All Sports. We have to have our bib numbers before race day.
Will do 2morrow. There’s a trophy for the best sister team. Did you know that? I saw it on their website. Maybe we have a chance. What do you think?
Nicole texted back.
You up to it? We’ll have to push a bit harder this week. Don’t wear out.
Lisa thought Nicole was still trying to protect her.
I feel good. I will feel better after a good night’s sleep – what’s the plan for the week?
I’ll talk to coach. She’ll give us a plan. I’m going to brag about you to her. I’m so excited about your race. Love you. N.
When Lisa woke up, she checked her iPhone. There were no overnight texts from Nicole. Then she checked her email. A wave of excitement ran through her. Nicole e-mailed her coach’s plan for the week before a marathon. Lisa forwarded the email to her iPad. When she went to breakfast she already had the training plan memorized. She wished she could memorize her Spanish vocabulary as easily.
Lisa and her parents ate breakfast, then went to church at 10 a.m. She fidgited all during church. Her mother once whispered to her, “What’s wrong? Please sit still.”
The family went out to lunch after church services. During the meal, her mom said, “Something is wrong. First, you couldn’t sit still in church. Now, you’re not eating your lunch. You should be famished after yesterday’s race.”
Lisa looked up, “I’m sorry, Mom. I’m only excited Nicole is coming home this week and we get to run in the Marathon together. I haven’t seen her since we took her to the university. I’m going to pick up our bib numbers this afternoon. First I’m going on a bike ride over the twenty-six mile course. Get a to-go container and I’ll eat after my ride.”
Her dad spoke up, “Don’t you think you should rest, at least one day?”
“I promise, Dad it will be a fun ride. If I feel the least bit tired I’ll turn around and come home.”
Her mom said, “At least take a bite of your sandwich. It will make me feel better. And, I want you to take tomorrow off. You need a day of rest.”
Lisa smiled at her mom, picked up her turkey sandwich, and took a bite. While she was chewing her food her mind was thinking about the bike ride. It would be a switch from running. It would be her cross training day. She was going to make sure she kept taking plenty of fluids and eating the diet Nicole’s coach suggested for the week before a marathon. When she finished chewing her food, she said to her mom, One more week, that’s all mom.”
The only reason Lisa took Monday off was a promise she made to her mom. Even though she took the day off, she ran the course in her mind five different times. Once she was interrupted by her math teacher and asked if she was daydreaming.
As soon as school was over on Tuesday, Lisa came home, changed clothes, and headed out on a ten mile run. She was training at what she thought was a marathon race pace. Although she’d never run a marathon before, it couldn’t be much tougher than the fifteen mile runs she and Nicole ran in the summer. When she finished her workout she thought of the additional sixteen more miles to this race. I can do it. I can do it. Yes. I can do it she said to herself. Lisa fell asleep shortly after supper while doing her homework on her bed. Her dad covered her up with a blanket and let Lisa sleep with her clothes on.
Wednesday Lisa took a nice easy run. She ran through Nickerson’s Park and over to the river before coming home. She felt a little flat. Her legs felt heavy. She hoped her legs came back in time for the marathon. She remembered from the workouts Nicole sent that tomorrow’s workout were supposed to put life back into her legs. She finished her workout before her mom and dad came home from work. She was hungry. She walked into the kitchen and their was note for her from her mom telling her the training snacks were in the first cabinet and if she was still hungry to eat something a little more substantial like peanut butter on a toasted bagel. Lisa ignored her mom’s advice, opened the cabinet door, and got the pretzels and salted nuts to keep her sodium levels up. Nicole said that was important. She must have needed them because they tasted awesome.
Thursday was the final day of preparation for Saturday’s marathon. It was a combination low and high intensity workout. She knew it was a fartlek run where she ran slow for a time and then ran at a strong pace for one to two minutes. Nicole’s coach was right. Her legs felt great. She was ready. In her mind, Lisa was already holding the Best Sister’s Team trophy over her head. Tomorrow, Lisa and her dad and mom were going to pick up Nicole at college. They’d be home in time for dinner. Lisa didn’t know if she was more excited about the marathon or seeing Nicole. Or, having Nicole home for a whole week.