Chapter 20 – It’s Marathon Day
Lisa and Nicole planned to get to bed early. Like most plans, life gets in the way. After all, who could sleep with the excitement of seeing each other for the first time in four months and the Thanksgiving Marathon tomorrow? Lisa and Nicole stayed awake until eleven catching up, taking turns describing each of their races, and talking about the marathon, strategy. They made plans to hang out together the entire time Nicole was home. Lisa didn’t fall asleep until 12:30. Her mind kept playing how Nicole and she would run in the marathon.
Sunrise was at 7:10 a.m. The race started at 9 a.m. Nicole’s coach told her that she and Lisa needed to have a powerful breakfast four hours before the race. It meant they had to be up early. They asked their mom to get them up at four thirty so they could eat the race day breakfast meal Nicole’s coach suggested.
Lisa was up at 4:15 and in Nicole’s bedroom shaking her. Nicole opened her eyes and looked at Lisa, “You’re already dressed? What time is it?”
Before Lisa could speak, their mom’s alarm went off.
Lisa said, “I heard mom making breakfast in the kitchen. I knew I wasn’t going back to sleep for 15 minutes, so I got up. Can you smell the bagels toasting? I’m starving. Hurry up and get dressed. Remember, your coach said to eat four hours before the race?”
Nicole gave a big yawn, sat up in bed, and stretched her arms out over her head. She looked at Lisa, “I’ll meet you in the kitchen in ten minutes.”
“I’ll wait in my room. Get me when you’re ready so we can go to the kitchen together,” Lisa said.
When Lisa and Nicole walked into the kitchen, they already had their sweats on. Their mom said, “You girls are ready to go. Breakfast will be ready in five minutes. I squeezed fresh orange juice, it has a lot of potassium and I read online where that is very good for runners.”
Lisa and Nicole fist bumped their mom, then sat at the table. They drank their orange juice without taking a breath. Their mom brought two plates for them. Toasted bagels were on the plates surrounded by raisons, and sliced bananas. A large jar of peanut butter was open.
“Girls, I read online about breakfast and I’m going to make sure you eat enough to make it through the marathon. No skimping,” the mom said.
Lisa said, “If I overeat I’ll have to go to the bathroom during the race.”
Nicole gave Lisa a gentle push with her right hand, “Mom’s right Lisa. You’ll run great for the first ten or so miles, then you’ll bonk. You won’t have the energy left to make it. Do it for me, okay.”
“Okay Nicole. I hope you’re right,” said Lisa.
“Don’t worry about that, there will be plenty of Porta Potties at the park. We can use them right before we enter the corral,” Nicole laughed.
At 8:00 a.m. the sisters hugged their mom and dad and started off jogging the two miles toward Nickerson Park. The designated parking lots were already packed. Runners were warming up on the streets. They arrived at the park at eight twenty and checked in. Three trips to the Porta Potty later and Lisa and Nicole headed to the corral.
Nicole said, “We’ll line up with the runners who are aiming for three hours.”
Lisa frowned, “Come on Nicole. I bet we can do a two forty-five easy.”
Nicole put a hand on each of Lisa’s shoulders, “We promised Mom to take it easy and make it a fun run.”
Lisa said, “Okay, okay, you’re right. But if we feel good at mile fourteen can we pick it up a bit? Please?”
Nicole said, “We have to both feel good. And, if we need to slow down we’ll cut it back a bit. Deal?”
Lisa fist bumped Nicole, “Deal.”