August 1

Running

At the age of 40, I decided that it was finally time to run Grandma’s Marathon.  This had been on my bucket list since I was in my early 20s, when I worked in Canal Park as a waitress at the Timber Lodge Steakhouse,  and I waited on the runners who were carb-loading for the next day’s race.  These people fascinated me, and I thought they threw a pretty good after-race party too.  I didn’t run track or cross-country in high school.  In fact, I spent many years thinking that being chased by the police was the only reason to run (which I never was btw).

Holy crap!  I am doing this!
Holy crap! I am doing this!

When I turned 40, I felt different.  I felt like it was finally time to really concentrate on doing the things I felt I was meant to do.  Grandma’s Marathon was on that list.  I had run two 5ks up until this point, but I was not really training.  First,I started running and following some training guidelines I found online.  I made the decision to sign up for the race on January 20, 2014, which I only realized after doing so, was the same day that, 3 years earlier, we took my mom off of the ventilator that was keeping her alive.

Somehow my running journey has become a way to do something to honor my parents who both have passed.  Neither of them were runners or athletes in any way.  In fact, they were both arthritic, and when I run I celebrate my ability to move and thank them for my existence.  Florence and the Machine says “Run for you mother.  Run for your father…” and I do.

Hauling ass towards the finish line
Hauling ass towards the finish line

On June 21, 2014, I completed Grandma’s Marathon with my husband, two daughters, two nieces and sister-in-law all cheering me on in front of the Club Saratoga, which I found so fitting in ways I will never completely explain to everyone.  I cried at the finish line.  I was so completely overwrought with the joy that I had worked on something I had dreamed of for 20 years and finally made it a reality.

The whole experience was a poignant one, but one thing that really stood out was a woman holding a tag board sign at about the 25-mile mark.  It read, “You WILL do this again!”  I laughed when I saw it and shook my head to say “No I won’t!”, and I think I am remembering correctly that she gave me a nod as if to say “Yes you will.”

 

Did it again!
Did it again!

As it turns out, she was right. Running races has become the best drug to me.  I am addicted.  I will be running the Des Moines marathon in October, and then I will only have 51 or so to go.  (I decided one day on a run to do all 50 states and Guam and Puerto Rico – I get all my BEST ideas while I am running).  So check in regularly, as I will be adding more running stuff as I get the hang of this whole website thing!

 

 

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