The last couple of weeks have been marked by tragic events. The disappearance and presumed murder of Sherry Arnold, though many miles from me, haunts me. I wish they would find her; her family deserves that. Last week, I talked about the sudden passing of Mr. Slowsky. Only 53 years old and not well known to me, he crossed my running path a number of times and made me smile. And then just this past week, a former coworker of mine succumbed to breast cancer. All of 47 years old. These events have weighed me down and forced me to contemplate life (and death), but have also kept me on the straight and narrow to remind me to do my job while I’m here: live life to the fullest.
So for 20.5 miles today, I did just that. I felt good and I felt notsogood, but I felt. Triumph!
My friend Martyn was on the fence about his running plans when I bumped into him yesterday. I told him what distance I was tackling and what time I was leaving and left the rest up to him. He arrived at my doorstep this morning and we took off. My hope was that he would accompany me on my first 10.5 mile loop. He’d been having a less than stellar 2 week period and was hoping my slower pace would be a good way to ease back in. I don’t mind being the slower friend – it got me an awesome running partner for my first half of my 20 miler. I don’t mind at all.
At about the 17.5 mile mark, Scott and Martyn arrived to check on me. I was doing fine – actually, feeling remarkably good for that point in the run – and lit up like a kid in a candy store when Scott held out a handful of these –
Now I sit here with some minor
chafing battle scars, basking in the glory of completing my first 20 miler for this training cycle. I’m eternally grateful that my shins especially locked it up for me (minor twinges, but mostly fine), that I had a friend to keep me company for the first half, and that I have a husband who checks on me and goes the extra mile to support me always - even though he had just run his own 20 miler.
I’m also grateful for my ability to run today. Although the tug-o-war of life and death continue around us all, we honor each other by grabbing life by the neck and shaking it for all its worth. And I’m very fortunate to have family and friends around me to remind me of this.