Tuesday, April 29, 2008
NOTE: To everyone who has made a recent donation, please know that I am extremely grateful and that I should soon have a Thank You in the mail to you but...
Excuse my tardiness because I am currently waiting on another order of those little guys you see up there. The fact that I keep running out is a direct reflection of how generous all of you are and it gives me warm fuzzies just thinking about it!
This weekend, I attended the funeral service of Herb, one of my marathon honorees. I was touched by how much my running gesture truly meant to his family. I made the commitment to raise money for cancer as a means to settle my frustration and sadness over something that there was no control over. It was to give myself a sense of empowerment and to give something positive back to humanity as a result of it. I wanted to honor the people in my life with cancer and to show them that they were more than just a passing thought to me. I knew my goal would make them smile and maybe even a little proud, I just had no idea how much.
When Herb's wife, Deane, singled me out at the funeral to give me a big hug of thanks it was rather humbling. I had no idea just how much the actions of my goofball self would mean to them. I was touched and inspired to keep at this with even more resolve.
This inspiration couldn't have come at a better time either because, quite frankly, last week beat me to a pulp. As a long-time runner I know bad weeks sometimes happen and that you just have to persevere through them. It will be better next week, usually. Each day, my normal runs were long and my body felt like it was dragging its own dead weight along. My legs burned from fatigue. The weather was less than ideal. However, the distances were not that great and in my crummy state of mind the realization that this short run today was but a mere fraction of a marathon...well, that was a drag too. I once read a quote that said, "One man's mile is another man's marathon," and oh how true that felt last week. I know the saying is meant to be more metaphorical, but it fits so well in the literal sense as well. Last week had my number, and even though I wanted to quit and slink home to my bed, I stuck with it.
So come Sunday, the day after the funeral, I met my long seven-miler with a mix of new found hope and inspiration with a smattering of trepidation.
I launched myself into the first two whole miles of brutal uphill, with the sun and wind at my face. Before I knew it, I was making the long winding turn back into town, rewarded with the downhill portion. Seven miles went by smooth as silk, complete with scenic views of woods and water, and smiles exchanged with strangers on the trail. My mind was calm, my body chugged right along without any pangs and the afternoon was an idyllic sunny day. Everything clicked into place.
I've never experienced the so-called runner's high, but for me Sunday's run was just as good as one. That run combined with the positive affirmations of Herb's family make the upcoming long miles look a little less scary. Bring it marathon training calendar!