Blogging, just like everything else, was preempted by other crap. I had the best of intentions of dedicating this week to the Summerlin half but life took over and squashed my plans. I had written out the entries in my head - My Lemur Diet, Out of the Darkness, and then today's entry, but instead of being transcribed onto my computer, it looks like they will live in my head for a little longer. Darn life. Actually, I should say, darn annual report, but only about 30% of my viewing audience would understand what that means.
(and I hope you 30% just uttered a collective groan on my behalf. I curse you, annual report!)
Anyways, I planned to write about why I run today, since in the days before any race (whether it's a half marathon or a 5K), I find myself asking, "Why am I doing this to myself?!" And trust me, that doubt runs deep. I didn't go out with friends on Wednesday night due to the race on Saturday. I've been eating like a lemur (oh, that would make so much more sense to you if I had been able to blog on Wednesday!) for two months now. Waking up at 5:30 and running in the dark is old hat by now (again, Thursday entry would have really expounded on this, complete with Keith Morrison's voice always in the back of my head as I run through the darkness and visualize my inevitable kidnapping...."She was a wife, a mother, and a new runner. Little did Kimberly know that the morning she set out to complete five miles, her life would take a dramatically different route...") and besides, the time change has literally allowed me to run with the sun. I feel a bit like an old vampire, waking up to a new day. It's delicious though blinding.
Vampires and Dateline NBC aside, running a sport for crazy people. That's what I've come up with. It does not make any sense unless it's the zombie apocalypse and you are running for food/medical supplies, or wolves are chasing you (zombie apocalypse not withstanding.) The idea of running 13.1 miles tomorrow makes me shiver, and it's not just because the HIGH is 55 (WTH???), complete with RAIN and HIGH WINDS (OMG I just threw up); it's because I really don't want to have a repeat of December's half-marathon disaster. (oh please please please don't let me need a medic).
Thankfully, our very smart and very experience running coach from last fall asked all of us on the team to write a little essay about why we run. Like a true dork, I loved this idea. Writing? Yes, please! So I typed up a few paragraphs for her and emailed it away. She responded and asked if she could share my essay with the rest of the team. I said sure, why not. I got a lot of really nice feedback, and as I started to have doubts about this Saturday's race, I re-read my email. What I wrote still stands true and I thought I would share it with you as well.
I cried when I wrote it and cried again reading it over. But it's how I feel and it gives me energy and motivation for tomorrow to go kick some serious half-marathon butt.
Per Melissa's instructions, here is the reason I am running the Vegas 1/2 marathon this year.
On May 6, 2011, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. He told me about the diagnosis on May 18. By May 26, they had determined that it had spread to his liver. He began chemo on June 6, and I flew out to see him on June 7. (My parents live in Indiana). My sister (who lives in MN) and I left on June 12 and on June 13, he was hospitalized. He died from liver failure on June 16. He was one week short of his 61st birthday.
My dad was a gentle, kind man who loved his family. He never hurt anyone, and to have him taken from us so early - and so quickly - absolutely destroyed me. I spent most of July crying. In August, I stopped crying and started running. I figured out that I couldn't cry if I was running, because it was impossible to breathe. So I ran as much as I could to stop crying.
In late August, a friend mentioned Boot Camp to me and I went to my first-ever Hill Day. It was the perfect distraction to my grief, since for the first time since my dad got sick, I didn't think about it. I had to concentrate 100% on not passing out/throwing up during the work out. The marathon team started in early September, and despite the fact I had never run more than 3 miles at a time, I winged it and signed up. I figured if Hill Day is a good distraction and running stops me from crying, than marathon training would be the best of both worlds.
So that's my reason for signing up for the marathon. I'm not doing it to honor my dad necessarily, since he was not a runner, but I'm doing it to give meaning to his life. I want to challenge myself and live my life to its fullest, something I realized after he passed.
See you at the finish line.