My cousin and I placed a friendly little wager on who could run the faster half marathon time.
The verdict: Race over. I won.
To say the family I grew up in is a tad competitive is an understatement.
My cousin, Jen, understands this reality. She was raised in the same crazy clan. We believe that if you don’t set out to win, what’s the point of competing in the first place? Silver medals stink.
You meet a lot of friends through competition. Your intense desire to beat one another is only overshadowed by the incredible amount of respect you have for one another.
Competitors do stupid things to earn bragging rights.
Last Christmas, Jen and I came up with our wager to see who could run the faster half marathon time. The loser would have to suffer public humiliation.
If I logged a slower race time, I would have to sport a set of stick family figures on the back of my mom van for one whole month. Jen is experienced in graphic design and came up with her own rendition of what my stick figure family would look like.
You need to see the design to understand why I trained relentlessly for my race.
If Jen came up short, she would have to go to work dressed like reality TV personality Whitney Port from MTV’s “The Hills” for acomplete week. (Did I mention she works with a bunch of guys at a beer distributor?) I made sure to demand photographic proof of her transformation from tomboy to superstar!
Some things I should mention:
We exchanged a fair share of both trash talking and motivational messages throughout our training periods
I ran the Lincoln Half on May 5. My time: 2:08:13.
Jen ran the Omaha Half on Sept. 22. Her time: Let’s just say it was much slower.
(She was running nine-minute miles before she got injured, which would’ve had her finishing in under two hours had she maintained that pace.)
Jen sort of over-trained and started feeling pain in her right foot leading up to the race. After struggling through 13.1 miles, her doctor diagnosed her with a condition called plantar fasciitis.
I’m still faster than my cocky little cousin.
She will never hear the end of this until the day comes when she can earn bragging rights.
In the end, Jen only had to dress up one day and I — being the gracious winner that I am — allowed her to wear comfortable shoes in lieu of heels.
Before you accuse me of being cruel for making her honor the bet, know that I could have fallen into quick sand during my race and Jen would have refused to throw me a vine.
A bet’s a bet. That’s how we roll.
See her transformation below.
Heidi Woodard is a working-mom with three children.
Read her Thursdays on momaha.com
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