Last But Not Least

We have another runner! 😀 We all know I get super excited anytime someone gets into running, and my younger sister, Kim, was no exception.  A few years ago, when my mom was pulling her involuntary 5K sign-up stunts, Kim was one of the casualties.  She ran a few races, but it didn’t stick with her.  Then for some reason, about a year ago, she began to take interest.

Looking back to our younger years, Kim and I have had our fair share of memories ranging from hilarious moments to raging sibling rivalry.  I believe the smaller age gap of three years contributed to this, especially during our teenage years.  But even amidst our hair pulling/catfighting battles, we had a lot of great times.  She was also part of Joge and my prank-calling adventures, only it backfired when one angry woman demanded to know who was calling after Kim asked for “Joggaaay.” Apparently she panicked and answered with “Kimball.”  Needless to say, this instantly became her nickname, which still haunts her today.  In fact, just yesterday, I missed a photo opportunity in the car as we passed a truck with Kimball written on the side.  I was very disappointed.IMG_1398

Another one of our pastimes was watching the same movies on repeat and mimicking our favorite scenes.  To this day, our shared Cool Runnings appreciation makes an out-of-nowhere “Sanka, ya dead?  Ya muhn…” or “I see pride.  I see powaa.  I see a…” crack us up as others look at us like we are crazy. 😉  I never understood it at the time, but she used to beg me to let her camp out in my room with me, sleeping on my floor since we both didn’t fit in my twin bed comfortably. This lasted well into our teenage years, and it wasn’t until much later that it dawned on me:  she just wanted to be close to me.  Awww… 😉

Fast forward back to the present.  After running a great time for a mile-long road race, Kim started to join me on the trail more often.  Then, she ran a very challenging 5K race and ended up taking 1st place in her age group.

Woohoo!

I was so proud!  As she fawned over her award, she turned and thanked me for not running that night, following up with a threat to trip me if I ran any upcoming races with her.  Confused, but not the least bit scared, I asked why, to which she replied, “Because it gives me a chance to win something.”  I hadn’t realized she had entered my age group.

Since I was running a lot of longer distances in preparation for the Richmond marathon, she started to push herself to run longer with me.  During this time, I was able to convince her to train for a half marathon.  She made it all the way to nine miles when scheduling started to interfere, and she put training on the back burner. Nonetheless, another runner was born.

She did continue to keep me company on her bike during my marathon training.  I was very grateful for the time she spent riding alongside me as I ran 12, 13, 15, 18 miles, providing me with my water and Gatorade so I wouldn’t have the extra weight of bottles on my fuel belt.  It also forced me to talk most of the way because she insisted on both riding beside me at all times and being a chatterbox.  This didn’t make sense to me considering she’s usually not a big talker, and it baffled me that she chose to change this while I was running such distances.  So talk talk talk we did, along with lots of laughs along the way.  Such as the time she stuffed a pillow in her pants to fix her bike-induced sore butt syndrome…

Kim who? ;-)

Kim who? 😉

My personal favorite was the karmic retribution she received one day on the trail.  I had stopped to gag on a bug that had taken a nose dive down my throat, and she was still laughing hysterically, leaving her mouth open just long enough to get smacked in the lips with a giant grasshopper.  Awesome.  IMG_1356

Another day we passed a hillside full of poppy plants, those little green shells that turn into pretty little yellow flowers, but pop open and curl up when you squeeze them.  I voiced my childlike excitement so eagerly that she stopped to get me some for when I was finished running.  She was gone for over five minutes, and just as I started to wonder if I should go back and check the ditches for a crash site, there she was.

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She got me a whole plant!  Literally.  After laughing so hard I ended up with a side stitch, I completed my run and got busy popping.  But not before capturing the moment.

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Winter time came and I managed to convince her to join me in one snow adventure.

With her little runner recruits

With her little runner recruits

After that, she refused to run, saying something crazy like “it was too cold.”  Being the snow monster that I am, I laughed her off and went on my merry way.

Summer returned, and Kim started to ease back into running.  This time wasn’t so easy, with knee problems and humidity challenges plaguing her, but she stuck with it.  Together we ran yet another hilly 5K, which was pretty cool because it was a Glo in the Dark race, and when they called out the age group winner, it was her!

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I placed third overall female, which was surprisingly awesome, but funny because she had told me beforehand that I had better place in the overall winners so I left room for her to win something.

Time will tell if she will continue on the running path, but for now, I am enjoying the company and adventures that come along with having a new runner on board.  Go Kimball! 🙂

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