I must apologize to my loyal readers for posting five days later following our Saturday TNT run at Green Lakes State Park. What a beautiful place to run.
This week the plan was to run 12 miles, 5 inside the park along the hills overlooking the park. Let me tell you, those 2 hills are big, and we ran them twice once in each direction. However, I ran them 2.5 times because I did not pay attention and turned around early only to be sent back by our coach as I cruised on the downside of Hill number one. It is when I run up hills that my mind says, "Why are you doing this. It isn't any fun." I can only send the negative waves back by dreaming of the down hill awaiting me.
I love running down hills for several reason: 1) It gives my legs a rest, 2) It allows me to catch my breath, 3) It helps make up time after plodding up hill and almost dying. When i first starting to run, no matter the elevation, it was like running up hill. I always thought I was going to hit a wall. Yet I ran through it and persevered on to the next mile looking for the next landmark or hoping to return to my car for an iced cold, green Gatorade. Now, after almost a full year of running outside, I am able to run longer and, sometimes, faster than I had ever thought to accomplish. The Team In Training has made it easier to run longer since there is usually some one to run with like running with my good friends of the Lake Effect Run Club.
So as I think about those long and "boring miles" or those "torturous" short races I think about Jane Spellman and the people who suffer from blood cancer. There are times, I am sure, when they feel as though they are running up hill or running on empty ready to drop, but they reach deep inside for that little extra to smile and assure their friends and family its going to be ok. During these trials of life we discover many things, who are the true heroes, who are our supporters, and who needs a lift.
The true heroes are those among us who ignore the pain to put others at ease; the true heroes are those who persevere to the end knowing that its important to fight on, to finish the race because its only by finishing that we finally understand what was accomplished; the true heroes are those who suffer silently and/or who sacrifice themselves for others. I recently received an email from a colleague who shared her sisters story with me. Her sister, like Jane, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Although her sister died a year after diagnosis, she recalled how her sister always smiled and sought to make her visitors comfortable. it was only at night when she could hear her sisters tears. That is a hero. That is for whom I run.
So, if you are able, visit my donation page for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and support my marathon run for Jane Spellman: http://pages.teamintraining.org/cny/rnr09/wboyd. No donation is too small and will make a difference in the life of a hero, if not today then tomorrow.
On a lighter note, I took the opportunity to try to discover answers to our TNT question list. This is a kist of questions submitted by the runners regarding unique things about themselves. The winner who turned in the most completed list, and with the most correct answers wins a massage from The Spa at 500. I did not turn in a sheet because I only knew two answers, my question and my mentor Tim's question. I asked two others about their question while running beside them, Joel and Celia, and discovered they hadn't submitted any questions. Stymied! Onward and upward. They turned around at the 6 mile turn around and I continued on alone. No one to ask questions of until the water stop on my return to the park.
At this water stop near the canal park, I bumped into a former colleague who volunteered to man the stop. Kevin Conboy, I worked with his aunt and swapped sales positions, kind of, at Abbott Laboratories. Well, feeling exhausted he and another volunteer (I forgot his name, sorry) offered me Gatorade and a trip down memory lane. It was a nice trip. I vented, laughed, and gained a few updates on his aunt/family. It was just enough to get me through to the end. We couldn't do it without the water stops nor the fine folks who volunteer to work them.
Great run. I can't wait for week eight. See you on the road.