Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Third Year, Third Place

In late winter I started training for the half-marathon again.  I even bought a new pair of shoes, my dear Asics Gel Kayano 16s.  They don't make this shoe anymore (I think they're onto #18 or 19 by now), but I love the off-center lacing and excellent stability they provide.  (No, this is not an official endorsement for Asics...but I wish it was ;)

A day after Dad's funeral, I was out on a long training run and it was the first time Daddy was really "with me" on a run.  I talked to him and God a lot that day.  Dad was never a big supporter of me running - because by the time I started training 2 years ago, his health was failing and he couldn't see why I was hurting myself just to cross something off my bucket list.  "It ain't worth it," he told me the day before my first half-marathon.  Not exactly a stirring motivational sports talk!  In all fairness to Dad, he knew I was having some sharp knee and foot pain--so it didn't really make sense to run 13.2 miles !!  But I did it anyway, and one of the big reasons I kept running (besides I was turning 40 that year) was because of our family friend Joe who was fighting Lou Gehrig's disease.  He couldn't walk anymore, so the least I could do, I figured, was run this thing for him.  I finished under my goal time in 2010.

In 2011, I got stronger and Dad got weaker.  I trained again, this time not telling anyone that I was training.  I didn't want to hear the "nay-sayers", and the only one I was running for was me.  I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't a one-hit wonder...that it wasn't a fluke.  That even though I am not an athletic person, I am a hard worker who sets goals and works her darndest to accomplish them.  I had very few injuries/aches and pains in 2011 and finished in second place in my age group!  One of the perks of being in the age-40 bracket!

In 2012, I ran because...well, just because.  I like running.  Plus I wanted to see if I could still train and accomplish this goal now that I was teaching full-time.  (I say "was" because school's out now...and summer kid-running is in.)  Then I hit a training obstacle.  I missed a half-week of running because my dad died.  It threw me off, physically and emotionally.  Could I do this thing?  The day after the funeral, I went on my first long training run with my dad.  He was WITH me this time.  I talked to him and God and asked them to give me some strength.  My body was so tired, but it was also on auto-pilot.  The training I had been doing paid off, as I ran the race with more smiles than tears, more energy than exhaustion.  Mark and the kids got up early with me, once again, and cheered me on as I took off for the race.

We remembered the camera this time.  Mark and the kids took this picture, I guess!  Prairie du Chien sky, May 5, 2012.
Race day was cool at first, but really beautiful and quite comfortable.  I wore Cy's MP3 player/headphones but never turned them on!  I had plenty to pray and sing about, plus plenty of people to talk with along the way.  (When talking was still an option, before mile 8 plus!!)
For all those people who can't run, I kept running.
For all those times when Dad had to stop and catch his breath, I kept running.
I tried really hard to cross the finish line with a smile.  Linda, the race director who knows you by name, put a medal around my neck and hugged me.  She knew I had run this one for Dad.  She has been there.  It was a great comfort.
I had my Personal Best time this year!  1 hour 52:53 seconds!  Third place in my age division.


           This one's for you, Dad!  Thanks for running it with me.  And yes, it was totally worth it!--Bing
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us.--Hebrews 12:1

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jodi said...

congratulations, amy...what an accomplishment!!!!!!

June 7, 2012 at 7:24 AM  

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