That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Friday, August 10, 2007

The magic of mission moments

Saturday was my first long run in 3 weeks! So I was pretty nervous to see how my body would take it. My previous long run had been 8 miles, so I was hoping I would find it within me to do 9 miles.

So at 8 am we stood on the terrace, and Coach Ramon pumped us up. In fact, he asked that we run two miles longer than our previous long run. Apparently by now we should have a good base to our running, and tacking on an extra mile shouldn't affect us physically...just mentally.

While getting in a mental mindset for running can be difficult, our mission moment that morning was all it took!

I have had a hard time relating the mission moments in this blog because they are so powerful. However, one of our honored teammates, Dave, just ran the 1/2 marathon only months after a second round of chemo. His grandfather died of blood cancer, his mother battled it and won, and he is still fighting. But I have seen him at every practice!

His mother was in from Florida to see her son run. She is a very small woman, so she stood on the park bench to discuss how much Team in Training meant to her. She said that every year, as a girl, she would watch the Boston Marathon with her father. It was a family tradition and one of the few chances she had to bond with her Dad. When her father died of cancer, her mother really didn't allow her children to show emotion.

It wasn't until the next Boston Marathon that Dave's mom truly had the opportunity to grieve. Running and crying now go hand in hand, she said.

So she thanked us and told us she loved us and loved what we were doing.

While it is hard to really impart how touching her speech was, I can tell you there wasn't a dry eye in the park.

As we all tried to get ourselves together, Coach Ramon jumped on the bench and said, "after that you all should add 5 miles to your run!"

So off we went.

I ran with two other girls. I planned on running the first full loop (6 miles) with them, and then doing the lower 4 mile loop, if I could. We slowly made it around once, and I knew that if I went off alone, I might not make it. So I decide to do the upper 5 mile loop with them, leaving them when we got back to the terrace. I was actually fine, my legs started to get a little sore around mile 9, but I made it to mile 9 (OMG) and kept going.

By the time I had made it 11 miles, I figured that doing 1 more mile to complete the second loop was not going to kill me.

So I actually ran 12 miles! I am hoping it wasn't a fluke, but at this point I can hardly wait for the Queens half marathon next month!