Friday, June 22, 2012

Getting My Freak On at the Finish Line

Glen Arbor, MI 
Solstice Half Marathon

Me, dancing and ululating at the finish line while running? Well… you bet!

I am thrilled that the ladies and tribe from Another Mother Runner and writers of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother thought the photos of me at the finish line were just as hilarious as I thought they were. They made them their cover photo on their Facebook page this week.

With a Marathon the following weekend and a ferocious hill at mile 8, the realistic mission on this race was to keep it smooth and not set a PR. My running buddy was there with me the entire time and this was another awesome experience. We ran steady at marathon pace and passed the only 6 runners we saw going up Inspiration Point—because we never stopped running and everyone else had to walk at some point. I was barking "hills for breakfast" 3/4 of the way up. Evie said she need that right then. And thank you to the man who was saying "good job" as we passed him. As bad as the hill was, I needed it. I needed to find faith after last week's rough 15. I could feel the disappointment I would have had if I did not push thru this mental and physical barrier. Yes, I was inspired. 

After getting over the top I was firing my fists in the air and then it was a swift recovery DOWNHILL run. Translation: ululation time. yei yei yei yei yei yei yei

And oh yeah, this was a race were told to be quiet during since it might disturb the community. So I had to find the right surroundings to disturb. No houses at this point. And the hand slapping did start from here on out. I was zig zagging just a little to get some energy from volunteers. I admit it, I NEED them.

The last 3 miles were flat and entailed a beautiful view crossing between two crystal blue lakes.  We passed around another 6 runners who were just having a hard time. Every time I see this, I remember my own past rough moments, been there. Closing in on the finish line I saw my other two run buddies who were done and waving—so this is what happens: dancing, running and ululating all at once. Celebrate and live it up.

Thanks for taking my photo Fly Chics.

Now to find my Focused Drive for tomorrow's marathon.

FLY RUNNING CHICS: Becky, Jill, Crista and Evie

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soul Sister

Georgia, I'm with You.

Yesterday I was sleeping in to fight a cold coming on and the kids were behaving in front of the TV (home a week from school) when the phone rang at 8am from Georgia. It was my soul sister on the other line calling to tell me that her husband has cancer and that it is an aggressive kind. This day took on a whole new up-side-down twist. I had encouraged these two to date 14 years ago and they quickly became an item and were married within a year. I have loved that this man makes laughter in my friend's life.

It was actually an accident that they found the cancer, but found at his wife's insistence that his stomach pains were not just an upset stomach or something to be taken lightly. By demanding action and going through a few doctors an ultrasound showed much more. It's completely OUTRAGEOUS and unexceptable if you ask me—to have to fight for proper health care and attention where serious pain is involved. It's the same thing I tell my kids. "If there is a problem, tell somebody. If they are not listening or doing anything, tell somebody else until somebody does something." I just didn't realize that this applies to going to the doctor as well.

I spent the entire day in an awkward sadness, wondering what I could do. I felt useless—thinking of how terrifying this is for them and their family to not have answers and to deal with this potential loss. I needed that 5 miler like nobody's business. When I finally got it in later that evening, I was tired, worn, feeling bla, depressed and my right hip had been aching for a week, but I ran it. I ran it like the pain could just take the edge off of their pain. I wished it would work that way—that I could endure the 26.2 as a trade. I ran with my legs of lead since this is nothing compared to what they are going thru and what distance is ahead for them. I ran choking back tears just trying to breath. I ran praying for 5 miles and giving thanks for each breath and the lives I have met and love. By the time I returned, a little of my edge was scrapped off on the road and the tears could be mistaken for glistening sweat. I had a good limp, but I still felt useless for Georgia.